– Pottery, Plaiting, Poetry, and Prayer –
A Lenten Sacred Art Retreat

(Note: If you’re looking for the webpage for the Pottery, Pysanky, and Prayer retreat, follow this link.)

March 18-19, 2022

Back by popular demand is a completely new “Art as Spiritual Therapy” retreat – just in time for Lent. Spend a day making some beautiful art, offering prayers for yourself and for others, and renewing your creative spirit. These sessions will be hands-on. With some guidance from expert presenters, you will be invited to open yourself up to the creative powers locked within and reflect upon God’s presence guiding you and acting in your life.

Session 1: Ojo de Dios (Eye of God)

Rediscover the joy of working with yarns, create something beautiful to enhance your prayer, and be amazed at your own creativity. The Ojo de Dios or Eye of God is an ancient tradition in Mexico believed to protect someone while they pray. Today, Christians throughout the world have adopted the Ojo de Dios as a symbol for the one and only God. When one makes a traditional Ojo de Dios, she or he is expressing a prayer that the “Eye of God” will either watch over them or the person for whom they are making the Ojo de Dios.

Session 2: The Healing Art of Poetry

In a confusing and challenging time, poetry offers a person a unique way to explore emotions and develop a new perspective. With an emphasis on symbols, metaphor, and imagery, poetry unlocks a person’s creative thinking and better hear the voice of God speaking the language of God. Poetry allows a person to develop a new perspective and expand his or her view of God’s presence and activity in the world.

Session 3: Prayer Bowls

We are, in a literal sense, pottery. God physically shaped Adam from the clay of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life. Using clay as a medium, you will spend some time reflecting upon you being God’s handiwork, and how even in these confusing times, God is still molding and shaping you into the image of his beloved. At the end of the workshop, you will have your own hand-crafted bowl filled with your very own prayer stones.

Once you’re done, your prayer bowl and stones will be kiln-fired and available for pick-up two weeks after the event.

Place the bowls in your prayer spot at home and let the stones guide each one of your prayers.

Returning potter and artist Debra Zimmerman of Groovy Girl Art & Studio and her husband Dale Zimmerman will take you through this journey. While Debra works the clay, Dale will offer inspirational comments on Abba, who is the Master potter and how “we are the clay, the work of His hands.” This activity may just give you tangible ways to both enhance your prayer and prepare for the Easter mysteries.

For more information, call 828.327.7441 or email info@catholicconference.org

Retreat Schedule

Friday, March 18
3:30 PM Outdoor Stations of the Cross, Deacon Scott Gilfillan
5:30 PM Evening Prayer, Deacon Gilfillan
6:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PMSession 1: Ojo de Dios – Camantha Corsi
9:00 PMNight Prayer, Deacon Gilfillan
Saturday, March 19
7:00 AMMorning Prayer, Hour of Adoration; Deacon Gilfillan
8:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 AMSession 2: Healing Art of Poetry – Al Sproull
12:00 PMLunch
1:00 PMPrayer Bowls – Debra and Dale Zimmerman
3:00 PMReflection and Final Blessing, Deacon Gilfillan

About the Session Presenters

Debra and Dale Zimmerman: Prayer Bowls

Shortly after moving to the area in 2012, Debra and her husband Dale began their journey into this age-old craft and haven’t looked back. Their art is displayed throughout the Hickory area and at regional pottery and craft shows and Debra teaches classes in their home studio and at local community colleges. She operates Groovy Girl Art Studio which specializes in mosaics, stained glass, pottery, and crafts. She and her husband have been highly praised as presenters for past retreats at the Catholic Conference Center.

Rev. Alden Sproull: The Healing Art of Poetry

Alden, founder of Simply Soul Stirrings, has a rich and diverse background in ministry, leading retreats, and offering spiritual direction across the United States. Primarily involved leading retreats for caregivers and health care workers, he uses a number of techniques like poetry to foster inner healing and spiritual growth. His latest collection of poems, “Walking Along the Edge” is to be released this Fall on Amazon.

Camantha Corsi: Ojo de Dios (Eye of God) Plaiting Workshop

Camantha Corsi is the owner of Wildskeins Yarn Company and uses her shop to spread her love of God. As an owner of a yarn shop located in Hickory, she understands the connection of like-minded people who come together as a community of crafters and invites anyone to spend time in the shop while working on their craft. Camantha uses her talent with yarn to help others while offering fiber crafters from all walks of life a place to call home. 

For comments & photos on past retreats, click here

For Catholic News Herald coverage, click here


The discounted price is $190 per person, $290 per couple.  This includes overnight lodging, three full-course meals prepared by our own executive chef, all materials, and fees for our expert presenters… plus access to our beautiful facilities, trails, and outdoor meditation areas. 


Please follow the link to our registration form. Should you decide to cancel, a full refund will be given outside of two weeks. Within two weeks, no refunds will be granted.

Safety and social distancing

All retreatants will be safely distanced in our spacious retreat center and, if desired, individual dining room tables are available. We are in full compliance with state and local regulations and mandates. If you would like to know more about our safety protocols, please call 828.327.7441 and ask for our Hospitality Manager, Kris Cordes.