March 5, 2024

Pentecost during Lent

Sister Gertrud-Maria Erhard
Hungary, Budapest

Retreat in Everyday Life

for Young Women in Budapest, Hungary  

For one week, from February 18-24, 2024

we four sisters from Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary, and two sponsors organized a week of retreat in everyday life for young women aged 16 and over.

“What was very good is that I experienced an unusually caring atmosphere here – the Holy Spirit was among us,” is how one student summed up her experience. “Here I felt I am good just the way I am – I received peace. I felt very much at home and well. We were together here not just as friends; there was something much deeper. We were like a family.”

In addition to the girls’ everyday commitments, we always came together for smaller or larger community events: for prayer, for talks, for discussion in small groups, and not least of all, for meals.

The most surprising thing was probably the deep conversations that took place at table in a wide variety of settings, so that it was difficult to conclude the conversations: How do I discover the God of Providence? How can you maintain a prayerful connection to heaven in the midst of everyday life, or in retreat silence? How do I make good decisions? Where am I going in life?

We experienced a Pentecostal earthquake of grace; the good communication in Hungarian, German, and mostly in English also contributed to this.

We had the same program each day and each one could participate according to her possibilities and time.

The stable core group consisted of 16 girls. In total forty participated in the retreats.

In the morning we began with prayer from 7:00-7:30. Then followed breakfast. We sisters were available for personal discussions. Lunch was at 12:30. From 3:00-5:00 there was Eucharistic Adoration. At 4:00 there was the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation; at 5:00 was Holy Mass with night prayer afterwards.

Each evening a sister gave a talk which was followed by a discussion in small groups.

The day ended with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

” … the thorns bore roses …”

Here are a few impressions from the girls’ feedback at the end of the retreat:

A community of hearts

“This place and the people here mean much to me. I’m very happy that we could have this experience here with the sisters. I profited very much from the talks. It was very good that I could speak personally with a sister and last evening with the other young women. I really recharged my batteries. It’s good to spend time together and to laugh much.”

A community at table

“Meals were very special– for me, they were not the Upper Room, but a Tabor experience. It is good to be together. I experience being a tool, and my batteries were recharched.  I experienced female energy in an empowering way. My experience is that we were like siblings.”

A community of life

“On the first evening I thought: I’ll see how it turns out, don’t bring much, then it’s easier to sleep at home. I didn’t think that I would always sleep here too. I didn’t think that it would be so homey.

The daily order was very good; there was the freedom to come and go. In terms of organization, it was perhaps difficult because you didn’t have to commit yourself, but that’s exactly why I committed myself.”

A community of prayer

“I came here just by chance. Once I felt the atmosphere, I stayed until the end. What do I take with me? The cheerfulness that radiates from everyone. I experienced a family atmosphere also. It was good to begin and end each day with prayer. That was fundamental… 


In the final gathering, it was not a question of whether we want to organize such a retreat week again. We do. When asked what could be done better, there was unanimous agreement: invite people on social media beforehand.

There were also many prayers for us, which we experienced very strongly. So it is indeed with great gratitude that we were able to

experience Pentecost and Tabor in the midst of Lent.