Tulips in Europe

Comments from members of Groups for Spiritual Direction:
- "It helped me to grow and to meet people of faith and hear about their journeys. This group helped me to grow in trust and prayer."
- "I enjoyed sharing my faith with others and felt a sense of belonging, united in Christ's love. I liked the kindness, compassion, and Charity among the group members."
- "This group helped deepen my faith and desire to center my life on God. I liked our focus on encouraging each other as well as being encouraged myself."
- "I liked the prayer together as a group. I felt a sense of community and enjoyed meeting new people."
- "What I liked about this summer group was that there was open honest sharing."
- "Sharing with the group was important. I was reminded that we all have our struggles and God is there for us all."
- "Words cannot express my gratitude for the spiritual direction we just completed or the prayers being sent our way! The prayers said throughout the weeks for one another was valuable. Annette's guidance was right on. What I take from this group is to always pray first and to love myself."
- "I enjoyed the sharing in the group. Listening to each other and being supportive was helpful to me. We are all connected and the Holy Spirit is working through each of us."
- "I liked the supportive environment. I liked the prayers and the listening. I will take away that others have challenges and that prayer helps."
- "This experience opened my heart, after feeling like I was in a desert. Thank you. I experienced growth not only with God, also with those around me. I enjoyed each person here and sharing the journey together."
- "I received acceptance, joy and comfort. I felt accepted and I could share freely in this group setting. Through Annette, I felt Christ's love and gentleness. I enjoyed digging deeper with Scripture, and hearing from others."
- "Hearing from all the group members helped me to experience God. I liked the quiet time, and trusting that the Holy Spirit was really guiding and directing our group. I had the opportunity to see faith in action through others that were so different than me."
- "My relationship with God has deepened, and I felt blessed to be a part of this group. I liked the intimacy of the group, and Annette's gentleness in leading the group. It was a wonderful experience, more than I expected."
- "Being a part of the group helped give me a new awareness and reminders of others gifts in prayer. I love God even more. The group members were phenomenal, I am amazed! I like the silence, listening for, and discovering where God's direction takes us. The reflection materials were very good."
- "I have learned to be much more aware of God working in my life. I am more aware during my day of people, things, words, and thoughts that come my way, and how God may be trying to communicate to me through them. I love the camaraderie, the joy and peace that come with them, and the thoughts and questions that come after each session. I am becoming a more spiritual person, my prayer life is enlarging, and I am becoming more aware of what to pray for. I'm learning to share more easily."
- "This group filled a need for me to grow spiritually. I enjoyed the prayer together with the group members. The discussion during our group meetings was amazing. Thanks, it was great!"
- "I felt God's care for me through the group in a personal and unique way. God led us to Trust, and to Comfort each other on our spiritual journeys. I experienced a Grace filled time together with this group."

Affirmations

"Some of the qualities I have observed in Annette that make her a good Spiritual Director include... that she is prayerful, discerning, and a careful listener. Annette has a strong desire to help people grow in their relationship with God through her gentle presence. From what I have come to know about Annette, her strengths are many and especially that she has grown in her experience of offering spiritual direction since her graduation from Aquinas. Annette has offered expert direction in retreat settings, group spiritual direction, and individual spiritual direction sessions."
Father Harry Byrne, O.P. Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology
Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO

Comments from the Women's Retreat:
- "I carried the spirituality of this retreat for several days. That is the first time I experienced that peace. Your prayers for all of us meant a lot to me."
- "I experienced the gentle quiet, confidence and presence of Annette on retreat. The way she introduced the sessions with
a simple song – quietly – just seemed very respectful. I would come again to a retreat where she was the spiritual director."
- "You have honored Our God with who you have become. Thank you for serving us here today."
- "My sincerest thank you for directing this retreat. Your insights are full of wisdom."
- "I'll strive to keep your thoughts in my coming decisions."
- "Thank you so much for this great retreat! I enjoyed every minute, savored the free time, time to quiet our hearts and be at peace thinking of Jesus! God bless you!"
- "Thank you for taking the time to put together this retreat. Thank you for your prayers."
- "I will take your advice and trust in God's timing."
- "Thank you, Annette for your service to God and us on this retreat. Your gentle ways and speech make it easy to absorb your message and hold fodder for great meditation."
- "I appreciated the one-on-one spiritual guidance, something I may pursue in the future."
- "The peace and gentleness you have about you is so filled with God and the Holy Spirit. May your continued ministry flourish beyond your greatest expectations. This was a time I realized I so needed."
- "Thank you so much for all of the inspirations and food for thought. It is good to be reminded of God's love for me. Thank you for taking such good care of us."
- "Annette, you have created a very special retreat. I enjoyed the quiet time. You instilled a lot of ideas to think about."
- "Thank you for looking up a certain Scripture passage for me in the Bible."
- "Your gentleness is attractive. Your handouts are keepsakes."
- "You are truly a great spiritual director. I so enjoyed this retreat - being recharged again. And I loved the environment. Thank You."
- "Thank you for making the journey to Springfield for the ladies - all is greatly appreciated. May the climate of your life always be sunny and bright!"
- "Thank you so much for your inspirational words. You are certainly good at what you do. God Bless!"
- "Thank you Annette for your wonderful and insightful direction. I'm so glad you became a Spiritual Director. It certainly has benefitted me."

Comments from Summer Group Spiritual Direction:
- "I feel blessed, inspired, and aware that God is guiding all of us, and each person here inspired me to go deeper. Being a part of a faith sharing circle blessed by God's movement within each of us together."
- "I appreciated the honest and respectful sharing with others."
- "The group helped me grow in relationship with God with joy and communion."
- "I liked the peace, open sharing, acceptance, knowing from the first minute that everyone belonged, because of the gentleness of the leader."
- "This group felt holy and Annette was our shepherd. The Spirit was here, and the group's dynamic was open and receptive to the Spirit."
- "I enjoyed the uniqueness of each of us, and the openness of all of us. I have more ease with the concept of Group Spiritual Direction. Annette, you have a non-threatening and encouraging manner, you are the 'capstone' person!"
- "The bonding within the group was overwhelming to bring me closer to God. I enjoyed the summer sessions, the prayers and intentions towards one another. Annette helped me gain a new light within my soul, and spiritual growth in love."
- "I was helped by seeing God's expansion of beauty in others. There was a comfortable atmosphere I felt in the group. Thank you!"

Comments from Advent Retreat:
- "Thank you for a very nice reflection this morning. You have a gifted talent for retreat ministry. I thank God for you!"
- "I really enjoyed the Advent Retreat! Thank you. Christ be My Light"
- "Thanks Annette. Your Advent Retreat helped me to make this a meaningful Advent. Advent Joy!"
- "Thanks Annette, it was an enjoyable mini-retreat. This time of year can be so hectic, busy, and frustrating that the SEASON of Advent is often overlooked and the reality of the blessing lost."
- "I took the suggestions about making my Advent more meaningful. I put up less Christmas decorations this year to make this season more simple."
- "I was surprised at how deep the retreat was in a short amount of time. I enjoyed sharing in small groups."
- "The Advent Retreat was wonderful! It was full of the meaning of the Advent season, very prayerful, and very tranquil. A great contrast to the normal hectic preparations for Christmas!"

Comments from Individual Spiritual Direction:
- "Annette is a woman of integrity who has followed God's lead in training to become a Spiritual Director, and then on to accepting those whom God sends to be her spiritual sons and daughters. I have found her to be contemplative in prayer, loving and yet challenging in spiritual direction, and always striving to listen and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. She can be trusted with your heart and your soul."
- "You are a good Spiritual Mother. I have desired an intimate relationship with the Lord for a long time, struggling on my own, trying to find my own way; never quite succeeding. With your help and by God's grace I believe I will get there."
- "I enjoy our sharing. I feel very comfortable with you. You have a calming peace about you."
- "Annette's calm and gentle ways have encouraged me to keep saying 'yes' to God's invitation to love. The result has been a steady growth in holiness and drawing closer to Christ; discovering who He wants me to be...rooted in prayer and the Sacraments. I find it helpful that Annette is a wife and mother like me, and I don't feel like she tries to force someone else's spirituality on me, but helps me to discover God's unique plan for myself. It makes me feel free: free to be honest, free to grow, free to 'be'."
- "I really appreciate all of your time, prayers, and how much you stay open so God can use you to say what I need to hear, you have truly been a blessing to me, so again, thank you!"

Comments from Retreats:
- "Thank you for serving as a Spiritual Director for Fontbonne's Busy Person's Retreat. The students who met with you had nothing but wonderful things to say; what was best to hear was that they recognized the Holy Spirit was at work. So thank you for allowing the power of Christ to work through you!" Sarah Boul, Campus Ministry (Fontbonne University)
- The thing that struck me about Annette and Annie was their holiness Fr. Fasching (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)
- 'To Jesus Through Mary' was marvelous! What an uplifting experience. Thank you a thousand times over. Cyndi
- The seminar this morning touched me in so many ways - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It was truly a Holy Spirit event. Elizabeth
- I want to thank you once again for inviting me to this past weekend's retreat. I can't begin to tell you much I enjoyed it and was blessed by it. You and Annie are truly a blessing from God. I pray for you to continue to work together to bring more healing and blessings to others. You both have so much humility that is needed for God to use you girls as His Instruments. Continue to seek God's Will in your life, this is just the beginning!! Deb
- I want to thank you for a weekend that was beyond words. My heart was filled beyond words with love and spiritual food. People have asked me about the weekend and I do not even know how to answer them. Simple words can not convey any of my feelings. Your interior beauty radiates and that presence of peace, love and serenity is what I am looking for. Mary Jo
- I just want to personally thank you for the inspiring retreat. Annie and you make a good team; your gifts complement each other and you truly bring Jesus and His Mother to others. I'll keep you and your ministry in my prayers and that Annie and you continue to remain receptive to all that the Lord is asking of you. Irma
- It was a special retreat and a little emotional I might say! Every woman there was very special. Keep up the good work that you are doing. Liz

"Annette has a deep spirituality connecting with those she encounters because she sees all as brothers and sisters in the Lord. She is gifted with wisdom and understanding."
Deacon Dennis Chitwood

"Annette has many gifts in Spiritual Direction. One of her best, I believe, is affirmation. After speaking with her, you feel such warmth, and she enables you to see your worthiness through the eyes of God. She is helping me to find my voice."
Annie Karto
Catholic Singer/Song Writer

"Annette Sherwood is a gifted listener and spiritual counselor. The Lord works through her gentle spirit to bless and encourage those with whom she walks along the journey of life."
Matthew Baute
Catholic Singer/Song Writer

"I know Annette as someone who knows God, a gifted spiritual director and a holy friend to whom companioning others comes naturally. Annette radiates a quiet, contemplative, loving, listening presence. Spiritual direction is not something she does, but rather flows out of who she is. I give her my highest recommendation and often refer people seeking spiritual direction to her."
Clarence Heller
Coordinator of Week/Month of Guided Prayer

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Generosity, Self-Control - The Fruit of the Spirit, GAL 5:22-23