Are you familiar with the shortest definition of a 'retreat'? Retreat is a time to “unplug”. Simply disconnect and get away from everyday life.
Using the same logic, Catholic retreat is a time spent away from everyday life, but the main purpose is to connect with God, to pray and meditate.
Types of Catholic Retreats
Below we've listed only the most popular types of catholic retreats in California. Of course, there are many other types, such as pastor retreats, monastic retreats, confirmation retreats, but we’ll explain these in articles to come.
Women’s Catholic Retreats
The functioning of the family usually rests with the woman. She's expected to be a caring mother, a wife, a sister - along with many other roles life can enforce. It can be hard, it can be challenging. Her feelings reflect on the whole family.
More than ever before, religious women need time to isolate from their everyday duties and to be in silence with The Holy Spirit. Woman’s catholic retreats are for both religious and lay woman (no matter if they are single, married or divorced) - women that would like to pray, meditate, spend some time in solitude with God and that need spiritual direction.
As other types, catholic retreats for woman consist of daily masses, private prayers, meditation and walks, reading the Bible and Scriptures and spiritual guidance. Some retreat centers offer the possibility of confession.
Many women decide to take group retreats and spend time with others who wish to deepen their knowledge about the faith and who are looking for a way to let Jesus into their heart. In group retreats you will have scheduled time within the workshops, conferences, mass and group mediation. You'll also have time for yourself, for quiet prayers and private activities, or for resting and relaxation. This is a great opportunity to connect with other women and help others grow in faith.
All group retreats are guided or directed by the retreat center staff. Spiritual direction (LINK) is very common for retreats that last two or more days.
Catholic Family Retreats
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
A strong and united family is the core of our society. We live in difficult times. Drugs and violence suddenly became scenes we see every day. Our duty is to teach our kids right from wrong and to help them become better people. Family that nourishes true catholic values and Jesus Gospel can expect nothing but unity and prosperity.
Vacations at sea or mountain getaways are great, but they are not the only option for a summer break. Take your family for a visit to one of the retreat centers and enjoy a family catholic retreat. It will certainly bring joy to all your family members and create some unforgettable memories.
Praying together with your dearest, attending daily mass, pray Rosary and spent time with other catholic families are just some of the activities you can rely on. The purpose of these activities is to reconnect with God, grow in holiness, introduce God to the youngest family members and teach them core catholic merits – forgiveness and gratefulness.
Family retreats can be attended by all fathers, mothers, kids, grandparents, relatives. Some catholic retreat centers organize themed events, for example, an event just for fathers and daughters, where they get an opportunity to grow in conversation and reflection, and to make stronger bonds between themselves and with The Lord.
Family retreats can be guided or assisted by the retreat or event leader. Some families that practice these types of retreats a few times a year, don’t really need anyone to organize their time during the retreat anymore.
Sometimes spending a weekend in a sacred place together with your family can give a new perspective on family relationships and can help grow the love for the people around you and for and our Lord.
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh
Both Bible and the Holy Church care about marriage. It is the sacred vow between a man and a woman. The Bible has many verses that can be helpful, like a true guide for married couples.
As other journeys, marital one has its ups and downs. Catholic retreats for married couples are great for strengthening the marriage and to enrich and deepen the relationship with God. There are also other reasons to attend.
Many couples who are planning a family, want to learn more about family planning and want to raise their children to be good Catholics attend these kinds of events.
You can learn many good things about the marriage, especially if you are a newly-wed. Marriage retreats are not necessarily only intended for those who have marital problems.
You and your partner will learn about proven techniques to overcome challenges together, to solve differences and misunderstandings, improve communication, serve each other, to honestly say that you're sorry and apologize – to learn things that make a marriage work, with God’s providence.
Spouses are taking part in individual praying, celebration of Mass, group discussions and workshops. A married couple retreat usually lasts for one weekend and can be attended in a group with other couples.
As you can see, the benefits of catholic retreats for couples are numerous. Spent one weekend with your loved one away from all the tensions and make your marriage conflict and tension-free.
Catholic Retreat Centers
Since Catholics are a dominant religion in the U.S. there are many catholic retreat centers across the country. Many of them organize retreats according to religious order or tradition like Franciscan, Benedictine, Dominicans, Jesuit, Carmelites, Cistercians or other.
Although you may have already found a catholic retreat center that offers retreats that fulfil your spiritual goals, have a look at a few practical things that you should pay attention to.
- Cost – retreat centers that follow catholic tradition don’t charge much for catholic retreats. Prices are affordable for everyone. A single-day retreat costs around $35. Family and couple retreats cost more. Reservations are made by a credit card. Cancelation policy can vary, but full refund is usually possible if the cancellation is received three days before the date of arrival.
- Spiritual direction – if you are going for an individual or private catholic retreat it would be good to schedule one or two-hour session with a spiritual companion. He or she will listen to you, listen about your experience with God and help you understand that experience more clearly.
- Private room – If you are staying for a few nights, consider the option of booking a single bedroom. Spiritual retreats usually require silence. Although other retreatants are on a same “inner journey” as you, a place where you can sit alone and be with God in your thoughts will have great impact on your focus, especially if it's your first time at the retreat. Of course, this won't apply if you are on a family retreat.
- Meals and special dietary needs – all retreat centers prepare food for their guests. Even the one-day retreat includes at least lunch. Retreats for two or more days include usually two meals per day. Upon your arrival and check-in, let the retreat center staff know about your special dietary needs.
- Wheelchair access – For guests who use wheelchairs, retreat center needs to provide ramps and make every part of the retreat center accessible – church, meditation room, workshops, etc. If information about mobility users could not be found on the website, call the retreat center before you make a reservation.
- Pets friendly – some spiritual retreat centers are pet friendly but reconsider the decision to take your pet with you. Catholic retreat requires full focus and time in solitude. You should leave your pet at home and take a few days off to be alone. You don’t need any distractions. Days at the retreat are going to be filled with prayer, mass time, reading Scripture and meditation. It is hard to expect that you will have time for a pet.
Catholic Retreats in California
Is there a better place for a catholic retreat but in sacred California place and history landmark – Old Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California? One of the most beautiful architectural wonders of California opened the doors for all Christian souls who want to hear the voice of God and strengthen their relationship with our Lord.
Organizing hundreds of retreats and religious events throughout the year, Mission’s staff has the experience to recommend the right religious program for everyone who is looking for an opportunity to spend a few days in prayer and contemplation.
Old Mission San Luis, King of California Missions, has many clear advantages over other catholic retreat centers in California.
- Mission’s ground of 56 acres is perfect for long walks, outdoor meditation and prayer,
- All guests have access to history church and St. Clare Chapel for prayer and meditation,
- Mass is celebrated Monday to Saturday 7.30am in Parish Church and at noon in historic mission church,
- Retreats are based on Franciscan Catholic order
- Affordable prices. Quite day fee per person is $35 (private room and boxed lunch are included)
- Spiritual direction is available with spiritual director, Pat Julian. Pat is a spiritual companion for more than 20 years with a focus on contemplative prayer.
To get better insight about this marvelous place, Old Mission history and heritage, Franciscan hospitality and to learn just some of the advantages, watch this short video.
Check retreat and program calendar HERE, make a reservation online or call the retreat center staff at (760) 757-3659 for more information.