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home : news : our diocese January 19, 2019

Pastoral Care Retreat to offer ministry tools, beachside renewal
Widian Nicola
Widian Nicola

All pastoral caregivers in the Diocese of Trenton are invited to experience a day of prayer, reflection and rejuvenation during the 11th annual Pastoral Care Retreat.

Sponsored by the diocesan Department of Pastoral Care, the retreat will take place May 5, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in San Alfonso Retreat House, 755 Ocean Ave., Long Branch.

The day will begin with 8:45 a.m. continental breakfast, and will include Mass, time for walks on the beach, luncheon, tools to support pastoral care ministry, and inspirational talks from retreat leader, Dr. Widian Nicola, DSW. A licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Nicola will speak on “The Heart of the Pastoral Encounter: Contact, Connect and Care.”

Dr. Nicola is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work in Seton Hall University, South Orange, specializing in social justice and issues surrounding poverty and immigration. She received a master’s of social work degree from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Wa., and a doctorate of social work from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

From inpatient treatment to outpatient counseling with both adolescents and adults, Dr. Nicola has over 15 years of clinical social work experience, maintaining a small private practice. She also specializes in integrating spirituality into psychotherapy sessions. For the past 10 years Dr. Nicola has been a retreat facilitator and conference presenter; her published works and media contributions have appeared on national platforms. Dr. Nicola is host/producer of a podcast show, the “Lived Experience Project” – a narrative social work show that explores unique and evocative stories rarely heard in mainstream media. In 2014 she was awarded the Larry DePaul Justice Education Award by the Romero Center, Camden.

Cost per participant is $45, which includes breakfast and hot lunch. Registration is required for the retreat. Deadline for registration is April 25, and may be completed online at

For more information, contact Deanna Sass, 609-403-7157,

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