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Several women inspired by Pope Francis' Year of Mercy have organized a retreat open to women of all faiths.

The organizers hope to draw women at any stage of their lives for a retreat on Nov. 14 that focuses on purpose, peace, faith and forgiveness.

"We want to cater to those who demonstrate a desire or thirst for something," said Valerie Jundt, one of the organizers.

The event follows the Thirst 2015 Women's Conference held in September by the Diocese of Bismarck. The conference drew 1,100 attendees.

Jundt said the retreat aims to help women along their personal journeys set goals and reflect.

Participants will hear from Jundt and fellow organizer Cheryl Hansen, as well as Monsignors Chad Gion and Thomas Richter.

The retreat also will feature exercises to foster new insights, friendships and tools women can implement in their lives, Hansen said.

The event falls just before the start of the pope's Year of Mercy, which begins Dec. 8 and ends Nov. 20, 2016.

"The word 'mercy' is a powerful word whether you believe in any faith," Hansen said. "God is all merciful."

Jundt said to expect simple messages and a personalized environment. While speakers will occasionally touch on Catholic themes, Jundt said it shouldn't make non-Catholic attendees feel uncomfortable.

The organizers envision holding future retreats focusing on topics like forgiveness and peace.

The Nov. 14 event will take place at Spirit of Life Catholic Church, 801 First St. S.E. in Mandan. It will begin with a 9 a.m. Mass, and the retreat will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A light lunch will be provided.

The retreat is free, but those wishing to attend must register by Friday. To register, call 701-663-1660 or email office@myspiritoflife.com.

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(Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8267 or amy.sisk@bismarcktribune.com.)

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