live in a world of busy-ness Ė constant noise, activity, distraction,
hurry and stress. God is with
us in the midst of the confusion and hurry, but it is often hard for us to
recognize Him. We are
too busy to fully hear His call or to recognize His presence as we should.
That is why we need
retreats. A retreat is a refreshing experience of withdrawing to a quiet place.
Sometimes we go alone, sometimes
with a friend or with a group of like-minded people.
We want to be in
peaceful surroundings, away from everyday stress Ė a place where we can
take a fresh look at life, sort things out.
How is life going? Where is it going? Where is God in all this?
In the peace of a
retreat we find a heightened awareness of God, renewed energy and
enthusiasm to walk the Christian life.
For nearly a century now, retreat centers have become the symbol
and the setting for our quest for solitude, for union with God, and for
communion and compassion for others.
Sometimes a retreat
is private, where the
Christian communes alone with God in a place of solitude through prayer,
reading of Scripture and spiritual books.
At other times, the retreat is guided by a Spiritual Director.
Most common are group retreats where like-minded people gather in a
place of beauty and quiet and are guided in prayer and reflection by a
Retreat Masterís conferences and talks.
Retreats can be as short as a few minutes or day, or they can be
long, such as the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises which usually take at
least thirty days.
Each person must ask
God for guidance in selecting the retreat mode best for him or her, and
then step out to experience the wonderful blessings awaiting.
At Our Lady of
Refuge parish, members of the community have numerous opportunities open
to go on retreats. (See the
listings on the Retreat Center page of this web site.)
However, the parish offers two special opportunities for group
retreats. Each year over more than 50 years, the parish has sponsored a
Menís Retreat and a Womanís Retreat weekend.
The men make a three day retreat each year, usually at the Franciscanís
Serra Retreat House in Malibu. The
women make a three day retreat at the Carmeliteís Sacred Heart Retreat
House in Alhambra.
Other parishioners make private retreats at these locations or at other
retreat centers in Southern California. For more information about retreats, click on the following
34 Week Retreat
SPIRITUAL GROWTH MINISTRIES