WHAT HAPPENS ON A CATHOLIC RETREAT?
Retreats take a variety of formats, but one element is true for all of them. We leave our everyday life behind (as far as possible) and try to give focused time to our relationship with God and with our faith.
How we do that will depend on whether we attend an organised retreat with other people, probably with a number of talks as well as time for prayer together and alone, or whether we book a room in a monastery for an individual retreat.
At Downside Abbey most guests attending our Catholic retreats come alone. They attend the Divine Office and Mass in Downside Abbey Church with the monastic community, join the monks for silent meals with reading and are able to fill their time as they wish. Sometimes they ask to speak with a monk individually in order to seek advice.
Group Catholic retreats normally use the Divine Office and Mass as the structure for the day, but there will usually be talks around a specific theme, given by a Downside monk or another speaker. There is time to be alone and to pray, but these are also times to be part of a Catholic community. We see this especially in the retreats we hold at Downside Abbey for young Catholic adults. A retreat is a valuable time to recoup our spiritual energy and prepare to move forward as we live our everyday life as Catholics in the modern world.
Father Anselm, Downside Abbey
Click here to find out about our upcoming Catholic retreats.