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‘Women of the Well’ meet in Knock

Thirty women gathered recently in Knock Shrine for the first ‘Women of the Well’ retreat, organised by the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality & Culture, in Galway. The participants, representing a wide range of walks of life, came from all over Ireland and even included one visitor from the USA.  They were all keen to experience a retreat together as a group of women and, like the woman at the well in John’s Gospel, to experience a deeper encounter with Jesus.

Facilitated by Sr. Moira McDowall RLR and Ms Una Allen, the women were able to explore their spiritual lives through the media of poetry, clay, pastels, and even music and dance. There was also a chance to pay tribute to some inspirational women in their own lives.

“It was wonderful to get away and connect with other women, and to have the space to grow in my relationship with God in a new and fresh way,” commented Amy Hallett Cusack, Administrator at the Jesuit Centre and a participant on the retreat.

The Jesuit Centre has hosted several evening series on Women of the Well over the past few years, but this was the first time the programme was offered as a weekend retreat in Knock. “From the beginning we have wanted to offer ‘Women of the Well’ to other women in other ways,” said Sr. Moira McDowall, Coordinator of the Jesuit Centre; “We have good links with the Prayer Guidance Centre in Knock and so were delighted to do this for the first time there. The positive response to the weekend of this lovely group of women has convinced us that we must continue to develop it and to offer it in other places as well”.

The retreat was one of a series of faith events organised by Knock Shrine as part of their Witness to Hope programme. Further details of Witness to Hope can be found on

For all further information about ‘Women of the Well’ and the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality & Culture in Galway, go to