Going away on a retreat offers an amazing opportunity to enrich our spiritual selves. Whether you are there to recharge your soul in quiet contemplation or attend with a group that is having a formal presentation, there is much to be learned.
Featured here are over 350 locations offering workshops, spiritual formation, spiritual direction, and silent/non-directed retreats as well as directed retreats. You will find they are situated in some of nature’s most beautiful surroundings where you may feel closer to God by just being there.What should I bring to a catholic retreat?
You should bring an open mind and willingness to experience all that is offered. You will find the retreat centers are as varied as the programs presented. Some require payment for your stay, others ask for a donation. Some will provide linens and toiletries, where others require that you bring your own. Meals may be vegetarian as to cleanse our bodies and our minds. Look at this as a time to unplug and turn off. A time to leave your cell phone, laptop, and the outside world behind.
There will be exercises offered in a variety of topics to help inspire you during your retreat. Lectures, outdoor hikes, art lessons, discussion groups, physical activities, journaling - to name a few.
Whichever retreat experience you choose , the goal is the same – enrich your spiritual self and get closer to God.Private retreat
A private retreat is where you can take time from your busy world and be alone with God. You can walk the beautiful grounds, have time for reflection, pray quietly in the chapel, or join in communal prayer or classes being offered. The choices are yours to experience and connect to the voice inside your heart.Guided retreat
In a guided retreat you will work with a spiritual director. Many times in our lives we may feel lost. Perhaps it is a conflict at work, difficulty within our families, or simply wanting to refresh our spiritual connection. A desire for a more prayerful life. The spiritual director will focus on helping you find the answers within yourself, remind you of God’s ever presence and to go deeper into that relationship. This retreat could last one day or be ongoing.Workshops
There is something for everyone in retreat centers that offer workshops. The subject matter can range from study of religious artwork or book discussions to the more practical adjusting to retired life. You may find your first experience to be a before marriage workshop (pre-cana) while the more experienced require marriage enrichment or catholic parenting.Spiritual formation
A spiritual formation retreat can occur in groups or individually. Sometimes a theme is decided beforehand. It is a time to nurture, deepen, and strengthen our relationship with God in everyday life. For many of us when we are about to be confirmed, this is our first retreat we will attend. Through activities, group discussions, and prayer this is a way to build on our Catholic foundation.Silent/non-directed retreat
Going away by yourself to be closer to God. This retreat can last one day or thirty days. Usually, speaking is permitted in designated areas. Retreatants are asked to limit their speaking to those areas only. This is a time to listen and be able to hear the voice of God. It could be time to contemplate a great change in life. The path to clarity, soul searching, and decision making can be found in silence and solitude. It can be a time for meditation, contemplative prayer, and communion with God.