Cherished:
A Retreat for Those in a Season of Infertility

If you struggle with infertility, you may feel isolated and wrestle with a lot of conflicting emotions—especially on Mother’s Day. If this is your burden, you don’t have to carry it alone!

The Diocese of Phoenix Office of Natural Family Planning’s St. Gerard’s Outreach and Springs in the Desert are partnering to support couples carrying the cross of infertility with a day-long retreat on Saturday May 11. Come with your spouse or on your own to be supported, hear inspiring reflections, have opportunities for group sharing, and experience friendship with others on this same path.

Our retreat will include time for prayer in Adoration as well as an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Being at Mass on Mother’s Day can be tough, so we invite you to worship with us at the Vigil Mass for Sunday.

Event Details

Cherished: A Retreat for Those in a Season of Infertility
Hosted by St. Gerard’s Outreach and presented by Springs in the Desert

  • Location: Mount Claret Retreat Center, 4633 N. 54th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85018
  • Date: Saturday, May 11, 2024
  • Fee: Individual $.00, Couple $.00 (includes a light breakfast and lunch; scholarships available upon request)

Schedule:

  • 8:30am Check in
  • 9:00am Welcome, retreat begins
  • 12:00pm Lunch
  • 1:15pm Retreat continues
  • 4:30pm Vigil Mass for Sunday

Speakers

Ann Koshute

Springs in the Desert Co-Founder

Palmyra, PA

Ian & Cassi Durnan

Retreat Team Members

Phoenix, AZ

FAQ

What is Springs in the Desert?

We’re women and men just like you, with hopes and dreams for a family who find ourselves carrying the cross of infertility. We felt isolated and alone, too. When we started this ministry, we discovered that, while each of our experiences are unique, we’ve all encountered similar thoughts, emotions, and difficulties, and these are what bind us together. Now, we walk this path along with hundreds of others, discovering the fruitfulness God has planned for all of us!

Who will be on this retreat?

Couples at all different places on their infertility path. If you are a newlywed, trying to conceive, receiving treatment, taking a break from charting, nearing or in menopause, or anything in between—all are welcome. If your spouse can’t make it, you are welcome to come on your own. 

What can I expect on this retreat?

This is your time to let down your guard, to share your burdens with others who understand, without fear of judgment. Our Team will give reflections on different aspects of the infertility experience and offer encouragement and some practical suggestions for strengthening your relationship with God and your spouse; acknowledging the unique grief associated with infertility and strategies for combating negative thoughts; and affirming that we are cherished by God! We’ll have time for community, prayer, rest, and laughter. 

We know that going to Mass on Mother’s Day can be especially challenging in a season of infertility or loss. We’re so blessed to hold this retreat on Mother’s Day weekend so that we can celebrate the Vigil Mass for Sunday together –  no pressure, no anxiety over the final blessing, and no doubt that we’ll all be affirmed in the many expressions of fruitfulness found in our marriages.

Infertility is so hard. I don’t know if a retreat is for me.

Yes, infertility is hard. Really hard. And stepping out in faith to talk about it with others—even with those who are going through it too—can also be hard. Be not afraid! You will be among friends, and in a safe place to share your heart as little or as much as you feel comfortable. We’ve had people come on retreat who sat in their cars until the last minute, contemplating whether to come in. But they took a chance and found that it wasn’t as scary as they thought! Instead, they felt seen and heard, and shared that it was a positive step toward finding hope and healing.

Will this retreat really be beneficial?

Here are just a few things people are saying about the Cherished retreat:

Springs has been a great gift to me and my spouse. It has provided much needed encouragement, rest, and support in the season of infertility. –Ellie

I’ve been praying to find a men’s group for years and God answered my prayers this weekend. Thank you for your radical vulnerability and holiness on this retreat. The Team was extraordinary! –Peter

I felt heard for the first time on this difficult journey. The whole team was welcoming and loving. –Megan

The focus on Christ and healing and restoration through our sacrament, or each other, and not on “solutions” is a gift. Springs is a gift to my wife and I! We will continue to recommend you to others.  –Trey

Have questions? Let’s talk!

Email us at info@springsinthedesert.org and we’ll answer any questions you have.

The presentations from the Springs team were beautifully prepared and remarkable for their sensitivity, their deep understanding, and their honest clarity.  They showed in a very practical way how the teachings of the Church are not in conflict with our complex human experience, but call us to a deeper understanding of who we are as beloved daughters and sons of God.

Chris O'Neill, Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life, Archdiocese of New Orleans

Springs has been a great gift to me and my spouse. It has provided much needed encouragement, rest and support in the season of infertility. This ministry is a gift for all people, and I hope anyone searching for a place of support will get involved! Thank you, Springs team, for answering the call to serve us!

Ellie

I pray that more women dealing with the struggle of infertility will attend this retreat. I’ve found in my journey that infertility struggles are more prevalent than I thought. The more I open up about it, the more others do too. I’ve felt that talking about it helps. This retreat has brought an important aspect of God and His love and blessings for me into my heart and reflection. Thank you for helping me see that.

Nicole

I’ve been praying to find a men’s group for years and God answered my prayers this weekend. Thank you for your radical vulnerability and holiness on this retreat. The Team was extraordinary!

Peter

I felt heard for the first time on this difficult journey. The whole team was welcoming and loving. My only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough!

Megan

It was such a profound experience to be with other infertility warriors in the flesh. We have never had that opportunity before and it was so powerful just to be in each other’s presence. Thank you for the way you made non-Catholic brothers and sisters feel welcome. Very intentional, sensitive, and well-thought out.

Sarah

This retreat was everything I didn’t know I needed and all I hoped for. Thank you all so much for the hard work, both emotional and spiritual that you all have put into this amazing retreat. Thank you for putting a new and different hope in my heart.

Lydia