Life-Giving Wounds Retreat

Life-Giving Wounds Retreat
March 22, 2024 - March 24, 2024
6:00pm (03/22) - 3:30pm (03/24)
Vallombrosa Retreat Center
250 Oak Grove Ave
Menlo Park, California 94025

March 22-24, 2024




A Retreat For Adult Children of Divorced/Separated Parents

Dealing with our parents' divorce is not easy but confronting this wound with faith can allow us to find great healing. We hope that you will become part of our supportive community and receive the many graces available through this ministry.

Healing Retreat

Attending the three-day retreat is a great way to start this journey of healing. The retreat focuses on discovering our identity as children of God, although it also focuses on overcoming the effects of parental divorce, forgiving our parents, and connecting with others from this background.

This retreat has something for any adult child of divorce or separation, no matter how much healing you have received or need.

The weekend includes presentations, small group sharing, adoration, spiritual direction, and Mass. This three-day retreat is the centerpiece of this ministry.

Themes covered on the weekend include:

• Finding Our Deepest Identity
• Faith and Our Relationship with God
• Love, Dating, and the Sacrament of Marriage
• Loneliness
• Anger and Anxiety
• False Guilt and Shame
• Forgiveness and Reconciliation
• Family Boundaries
• The Christian Meaning of Suffering
• Healing and the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist
• and more!


Fr Luke's testimony


Retreat team biographies


Father Carl Schlichte

Fr. Carl entered the Dominicans of the Western Province in 1990 and was ordained in 1998. He currently serves as Pastor at St. Dominic, Benicia, which is the oldest foundation of the Western Dominican Province. Prior to that he has served at a variety of parishes and campus ministries throughout the west, including the University of Utah and Stanford University. He is a San Francisco Bay Area native.

Fr. Carl is an only child whose parents divorced when he was seven. He is an alum of the first Life-Giving Wounds retreat on the West coast, in March 2022. On his retreat, he found a passion for helping other adult children of divorce overcome the pain and stigma of talking about the experience of being a child of separated or divorced parents, both among themselves and to those from intact marriages. He is excited by the rush of healing that comes from a LWG weekend and the long-term, ongoing healing that comes from staying engaged with fellow children of divorce.


Sr Maria Suso

Sr. Maria Suso grew up in Clearwater, FL. During Confirmation preparation, she began reading the Bible, met Jesus in the Word, and fell in love with Him and his Church. She immediately began discerning as she went from nominally Catholic to wanting to give her whole life to God. After attending Florida State University and working for a year in insurance, she entered the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, whose Motherhouse is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sr. Maria Suso made perpetual profession in 2017.

After initial formation and first vows, Sister obtained a teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan University, and she has taught English and biology in Lansing, Michigan; Peoria, Illinois; and Kentfield, CA. She also recently finished a Masters in Theology from St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota. She is enjoying teaching senior English this year at Marin Catholic High School and lives in a convent with three other Sisters who also teach at MC.


Kent and Sarah Levin

Kent and Sarah are a married couple who live a fast-paced, Christ-centered life in the Bay Area aboard their sailboat "Metanoia." Kent is a life-long sailor, a mechanical whiz, and currently works in robotics for an agricultural tech company. Sarah is an amateur sailor, building her portfolio in communications, and thrives in service to others.

They are both children of divorced families, and alumni of the Life-Giving Wounds Retreat. Kent was raised in the quiet lowcountry of South Carolina. He's the oldest of two children, raised in a rather secular family with parents who divorced when he was 11. Sarah grew up in southwest Virginia, the youngest child of Christian parents who divorced when she was 15.

Kent and Sarah are both converts to the Catholic faith. Their family experiences exposed both common ground and hurdles to overcome as they dated and entered into marriage. They've found that with prayer and healing, God's vision of marriage is within reach -- and it's pretty fun too!


Hallie Colorado

Hallie Colorado, knew from a very young age that God created her to be a servant to others. As a young child she set up a folding lawn chair in her driveway and offered neighborhood kids advice for all their life’s problems. That love of helping others continues with her to this day, and she has spent her life educating herself in the field of psychology and mental health.

Hallie Colorado holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has worked with several populations, including Catholic seminarians as adjunct professor at St. Patrick’s seminary in Menlo Park, and the school counselor for two archdiocese K-8 schools. Dr. Colorado has also spent years working with engaged couples leading Engaging the Heart, as well as working at Stanford Children’s hospital’s pediatric cardiology unit.

She is currently the Director of Parish Outreach and Community at St. Raymond Catholic church where she and her family have been parishioners for over a decade. Hallie is the proud mother of a beautiful group of little ladies, and is happily married to her favorite guy. She is an adult child of divorce and is incredibly passionate about helping others through the grief, trauma and healing associated with this life altering event. 


Katherine Ambrose 

Katherine grew up in the suburbs of Portland, Maine with her four siblings. She graduated from The University of New Hampshire with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy (OT) and spent the first few years of her career working as a travel OT, living in NYC and Maui. Katherine now resides in San Francisco at Priory East, a Catholic women’s house, and works at a pediatric clinic in the city. She has a passion for building community, connecting people, and helping others maximize their potential. Katherine is the co-president of the Bay Area Association of Pediatric Therapists, host of The Visitation Podcast, and founder of Miss Sensational, a non-profit in Maine for girls and women with disabilities.

Her parents divorced and annulled their marriage when she was 6 years old, and she began the journey of intentional healing in early adulthood through therapy and reversion to the Catholic faith that deepened her relationship with God. Katherine attended her first Life Giving Wounds retreat in March 2022, and she is honored to accompany all those sharing the wound of divorced parents. When she’s not too busy with one of her many side projects or creating action plans, you can find Katherine working out, hiking, skiing, sipping coffee, FaceTiming with her adorable nephew, or browsing the vegan snacks at Trader Joe’s.


Fr. Luke Joseph Leighton

Fr. Luke grew up in Red Bank, NJ. He had a conversion experience in high school that led him to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at 15 years old. About a year later, he felt invited by the Lord to share in his priesthood. As a seminarian for the Diocese of Trenton, Fr. Luke attended Seton Hall University, where his knowledge of the faith and the life of prayer grew tremendously.

After graduating, he entered the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and served in the friars’ mission of preaching the Gospel and attending to the needs of the poor in NYC for fifteen years. While living in the Bronx, he served at the Saint Francis Youth Center, Saint Anthony’s Shelter for Renewal, and Cardinal Spellman High School. Fr. Luke was ordained a priest by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in May of 2013. He completed the Institute for Priestly Formation’s Spiritual Direction Training Program in January 2020. During his time as assistant chaplain at Cardinal Spellman High School Fr. Luke published videos on YouTube which can be viewed here.



Before registering, please be aware of the following:

  • All are very welcome to join us on retreat whether you are Catholic or not, but please be aware that the content of this retreat will be Catholic.

  • A team of presenters will speak about this wound and its effects, and there will be moments for you to share your experiences with others in small groups.

  • As with all retreats, everything will be treated on a strictly confidential basis.  This is a spiritual retreat, not primarily psychological, but we will have a list of counselors available as a resource outside of the retreat itself for those who are interested.

  • Healing retreats pair well with counseling and/or spiritual direction. If you are not already working through this wound with someone, we would encourage you to consider it. If you would like a recommendation, please give us a call.


Begins on Friday (Mar 22) at 6:00 pm, and ends Sunday (Mar 24) at 3:30 pm.  Includes Holy Mass, chance for confessions and Adoration.

Registration is $425 for a single room, $375 for a double (shared) room.  Limited scholarships are available - contact Ed Hopfner

Life-Giving Wounds Retreat
March 22, 2024 - March 24, 2024
6:00pm (03/22) - 3:30pm (03/24)
Vallombrosa Retreat Center
250 Oak Grove Ave
Menlo Park, California 94025
Ed Hopfner
(415) 614-5547