Meet a Member of the Bridges Community: Sella Roman 

Relate a little about your professional, religious and spiritual background:   

I am Sella Roman. I’m a mother of 3 boys and have 7 grandchildren. A nurse by trade, I now work for a medical device company working with physicians, clinicians and patients with implantable pacemakers and defibrillators. I’m a lifelong Catholic and attend St. Clare of Assisi in O’Fallon, IL.  During deployment as an Air Force nurse during the first Gulf War, I had a spiritual conversion experience. From then on, my transformation from a pew Catholic to one whose love for the Eucharist, my faith and my love of God grew exponentially! I later participated in RCIA, Confirmation classes, and CYO at Scott AFB. When I moved to St. Clare, I continued participation in Confirmation for a couple years, and RCIA until 3 years ago when I traded it for teaching 4th grade PSR. I also developed a love for Bible study while at Scott AFB, and still participate in these.

During the course of receiving the Bridges Exercises in Everyday Life, what surprised you?

In 2012, I participated in a Month of Guided Prayer, and experienced some very moving experiences while using imaginative prayer – this is inserting yourself into a Gospel reading and experiencing a connection with Jesus. Later that year, the Bridges Retreat was started at St. Nicholas Church across town and I signed up. I really wasn’t sure what the Exercises were all about, but I was soon easily and fully immersed in the most transformational experience of my life! I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure with my work schedule and responsibilities that I would be able to spend an hour in prayer, however, my prayer sessions sometimes lasted 2 hours! I never imagined the experiences would be so profoundly moving! Then, in the middle of the retreat, I experienced a powerful transformation when I was able to really forgive the person who hurt me the most in my life. I had harbored that for almost 15 years and, in an instant, I knew why and how to forgive, and this was but one of the graces I received during this retreat! Naturally, when the retreat was over, I was happy to know there was a follow-up program – Magis.  When I enrolled in this, it was in the session to better understand what I had just experienced!

Why would you recommend the Bridges Retreat?  Why do you remain active in the Bridges community?

Over the years, I participated in different sessions to help deepen both my understanding of the experiences in 2012 and in my life today.  Without a doubt, I recommend this retreat because I found my experience both rewarding and transformational. Each day now opens with gratitude and my focus is on doing God’s Will, something I can only do with His help. And it’s knowing how much I depend on God that keeps me grounded. It’s also why I am involved in the Bridges Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to make this retreat available to more people, and to serve on committees that work to assure it is.