Lenten retreat features visiting nun

Mother Maria, an Orthodox Christian nun from the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage in Guatemala City, is the featured speaker at the 2010 Lenten Retreat hosted by St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church.

"You don't need to be Orthodox to hear these topics," said Tracy Namee, one of the event coordinators.

The retreat, which begins this evening and continues through Sunday, is free to the public. No registration is required, and child care, as well as some meals, will be provided.

There will be three presentations: "Salvation and Healing," tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; "The Work of the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage," Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and "Adopted by God: Living as God's Children," Saturday from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m.

"The general theme for the retreat is adoption," said the Rev. Aaron Warwick of St. Mary. "Part of that theme is the work the nuns do at the orphanage, and the second part is how, according to the New Testament, all of us have been adopted by God."

Namee, who has visited the orphanage four times, said its story is "phenomenal."

"We hear so much about orphanages around the world, but it's actually very different from most of our impressions," Namee said.

"This orphanage has such a presence of God. The healing that takes place there is amazing."

Warwick said members of the church are expected to attend, but coordinators are hoping to have many attendees from the general public as well.

"No matter where you are in your faith, parts of this retreat are relevant for everyone," Namee said.