RETREATS

What is a retreat?

A retreat is a physical and spiritual pause from daily life. Although a retreat can be restful, it differs from a vacation in that its primary purpose is to grow deeper in relationship with God.

Why attend a retreat?

Retreats are an integral part of our Catholic faith. In fact, the Church encourages Catholics to make a retreat at least once per year. They provide a healthy opportunity to disconnect from the pressures of everyday life and reconnect with God.

What happens during a retreat?

Our weekend retreats begin with dinner on Friday evening and conclude with lunch on Sunday morning. The weekend typically includes presentations from the retreat leader and opportunities for Mass and confession, as well as ample free time for rest, prayer, and reflection.

CAN I BRING MY CHILD OR PET WITH ME?

Due to Safe Environment restrictions, we only allow participants on retreat that are 18 and older. Unless a retreat is specifically designed for parents and children, adults are not allowed to bring children with them on retreat. With the exception of documented service animals, pets are not allowed on the premises.

Is it expensive?

No. We have ensured that our pricing is far less expensive than a weekend at a hotel. We provide each guest with six hot meals, a comfortable room with private bathroom, access to our 24-hour chapel, library, and nature trails, priceless views of the water, and insightful presentations by faithful, knowledgeable retreat leaders.

For many, the investment of time is more challenging than the financial investment. Simply plan ahead, and make your weekend retreat a priority. The benefits of a clear mind and refreshed spirit are well worth the investment.

We want everyone to be able to experience the benefits of a retreat, so we will work to provide financial aid to those who request it.

Where did the practice of retreats originate?

Jesus himself modeled the practice of stepping away to communicate with the Father, in order to know and execute God’s will. Before beginning His public ministry, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert praying and fasting to prepare for the important work ahead (see Lk 4:1-13).

Jesus frequently withdrew to quiet places to pray (Mt 14:23, Mk 1:35, Lk 4:42, Lk 5:16, Lk 6:12, Lk 9:18, Luke 9:28, Lk 11:1) and invited his disciples to "come away to a deserted place and rest a while" (Mk 6:31).

Throughout the history of the Church, great saints such as St. Francis and St. Ignatius of Loyola have modeled the benefits of retreating. Preparative seasons such as Advent and Lent are excellent times to make a retreat.

Is it an emotional experience?

A retreat can be a very powerful, very real transformative experience. But reaching an emotional or spiritual "high" is not the purpose of a retreat. Rather, the object is to remove all distractions and obstacles in order to make room for God to move within your heart and soul.

How will a retreat help me in daily life? What do I do when I return home?

A retreat is not an end in itself. Rather, it serves as a catalyst to help you refocus on the Lord when you return home. Make 2-3 goals during your retreat, and then implement them into your daily routine. However, do not be discouraged if you fail or struggle to practice them as time passes. Trust in God's unfailing mercy and guidance.


Information based on the articles "Why go on a Spiritual Retreat?" by Fr. Francis Hoffman, Executive Director of Relevant Radio, Our Sunday Visitor, 6 April 2009 and "Why and How to make a Retreat" by Fr. C.J. McCloskey. This material first appeared on the website The Catholic Thing (www.thecatholicthing.org) Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
"What would I say to those who have not been on a retreat? Leave the outside world outside, enter into the joy of the retreat center, and encounter the silence of listening, in a place designed to transform."
— Robert Phelan