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Mercy Health Ministry offering Lenten retreat at St. Paul's Monastery


The Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry Program, part of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, will offer “Psalms for Busy People: Practicing the Presence of God in Our Everyday Lives,” on Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, 148 Monastery Drive, South Side Slopes.

Registration begins at 6 p.m. Friday, and the retreat ends at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The retreat fee is $110 per participant, which includes overnight accommodations, meals and retreat handouts. Parking at the retreat center is free.

The overnight, contemplative Lenten retreat is organized in response to feedback the Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry Program received from faith community nurses and health ministers. The purpose of the retreat is for participants to spend time away from their busy lives to focus on their relationship with God through mindful contemplation and spiritual practices using the Psalms.

The retreat is led by Rebecca Cole-Turner, a former psychologist who is now a spiritual director and retreat facilitator. Ms. Cole-Turner is a Masters of Divinity student and a spiritual formation instructor at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and also a supervisor in spiritual direction and leadership at the Pneuma Institute. She has been an ordained elder in her church since 1999.

An expert in counseling, theology, and spiritual direction and leadership, Ms. Cole-Turner has written numerous published articles, poems, lectures, and sermons. She has also presented and facilitated several themed retreats.

The retreat will focus on three Psalms that provide a basis for attendees to examine their busy lives to learn more about God’s leading in life circumstances. Participants will use scripture, songs, chants, prayer, poetry, art, writing, quiet time, and group reflection to delve deeper into their spiritual resources for strength by concentrating on body, mind and spirit.

Time for prayer, rest, and spiritual direction will be available. To view the retreat agenda, go to

Each participant will have a private room with a bed and sink. Most rooms have their own bathtub/shower and toilet facilities. Bed linens and bath towels are provided by St. Paul’s, however participants must bring their own toiletries.

Each private room has a Bible, but it is suggested that those attending bring their own. Parish nurse volunteer Esther Gass will play her bowed psaltery, an ancient stringed instrument.

Reservations are limited to 20 participants. Registration forms are available to download and print on the Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry website at To register, send the completed form along with a check payable to the “Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry Program” no later than March 21.

Questions regarding the retreat may be directed to Amy Armanious, health ministry specialist, at 412-232-7151.


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