“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them. I ask all of you to do this unfailingly every day.” – Pope Francis
Silence. Stillness. Solitude. These qualities seem to be in short supply today. Author Thomas Merton wrote “All … need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard.” Retreats allow us to find that silence, stillness, and solitude and to reflect on and deepen our relationship with God. Jesus modeled this pattern of engagement and withdrawal, and it is instructive for contemporary disciples as well. Retreats strengthen our fellowship through shared experiences and help focus the group on issues and questions through reflection and meditation, discussion, and dialogue with others.
To retreat means leaving your usual location and activities and going to a place of quiet and seclusion. By going to a retreat, we physically remove ourselves from life’s distractions, the call of chores, and the demands of people. Computers and cell phones leave many of us tethered and continuously stimulated. Taking some time to unplug and walk along a beach or through a forest makes all the difference in the world. There is nothing like staring at the stars in the night sky to gain some perspective. Inspiration comes while sitting around a fire pit sharing stories or enjoying a quiet moment of reflection while listening to the rhythmic sound of the waves.
Where can you find these opportunities? Camp Casey’s Church Weekend Getaway Package is popular with youth groups, church groups, and prayer groups. The package offers lodging and meals. This affordable package provides the opportunity to connect with your faith in a beautiful and spiritually stimulating environment. Access to A/V equipment and resources allows for special programming and music. Guests can also engage with the fascinating history of the region while sleeping in Camp Casey’s historic barracks and exploring nearby Fort Casey and Admiralty Head Lighthouse.