Thanks so much for everyone's prayers. I think we can say the first St. Thomas Aquinas Beyond Cana retreat was a smashing success.
A.K.A. The Holy Spirit was flowing.
Our deacon attended most of the retreat not only to supply the liturgical side but also to evaluate the retreat itself, which was being given by the San Antonio team which developed the program. As he said, "I think it's great but the retreat isn't for me. We'll know by the fruits."
The fruits were very evident as the couples stood together in front of the altar, holding a single candle between them, looking in each other's eyes and smiling beatifically while renewing wedding vows. They certainly were evident from the fact that every single couple wanted to help in some way with the next retreat.
God has his hand on this process most personally as I was startled to realize (silly me, I know) when I was watching the wonderfully talented musician from the San Antonio team play his guitar and lead us in song. I thought, "Where will we ever find someone to do what Bill does?" And the thought popped into my head, "I will provide." Sure enough, at the end of the retreat one of the women was volunteering to do whatever was needed to help ... and we realized that she has a degree not only in music presentation but also in theology (related to music in some way but can't remember exactly how).
There also was a bit of excitement and panic as Tom and I found out exactly how quickly we could get home from Las Colinas when one of the girls called to say the the other was having chest pains bad enough to make her cry. We didn't beat the paramedics there but I can say that without driving dangerously it is a 15 minute trip. Luckily it turned out to be nothing serious but I did miss a portion of the retreat since I stayed home with the ailing one until the next morning.
No matter. It was in good hands.