A.C.T.S. Retreat Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is an ACTS Retreat?
An ACTS retreat is a three day and three night Catholic lay retreat presented by fellow parishioners. The retreat begins on Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday at a Mass celebrated with the parish community. Retreats for men and retreats for women are given separately. Talks and activities during the retreat focus on
Adoration, Community, Theology and Service, from which the ACTS program acronym is derived. Holy Scripture and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are the guides for the retreats. The retreat takes on the traditions and atmosphere of the parish community sponsoring it. The retreat facilitates the attainment of a new or deeper relationship with the Lord through:
Adoration – the call by, acceptance of, and response to God,
Community – the love and caring of each other,
Theology – the study of God through scripture and the Catholic Faith,
Service – to God and his people.
Each retreat is conducted by a retreat “team” composed of individuals who have attended prior ACTS retreats. Chosen by the retreat Director, the team organizes the retreat, conducts the retreat talks and activities, and ministers to the needs of the retreatants during the retreat weekend.
What is the purpose of the ACTS retreat?
An ACTS weekend is designed to help the retreatants enter into a new or deeper relationship with our Lord and fellow parishioners. This is accomplished through Adoration and daily prayer, the call to Community in one’s parish as a member of the Body of Christ, and Theology in encouraging the study of scripture and our Catholic Faith. All of these which emphasize and encourage the virtue of Service to our Lord, our parish and one another.
What is the goal of an ACTS retreat?
A parish ACTS retreat strives to achieve the directives of Vatican II and goals of the Revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 which emphasize “community and pastoral care” within a parish. The weekend allows the retreatants to experience God’s love and joy. They return to their parish with a deeper love for each other and a desire to become more involved in their parish community.
Why attend an ACTS retreat?
The weekend is a powerful and e nduring personal conversion experience. Talks, which draw from the personal experiences of team members focus on Adoration, the need for prayer and meditation on the word of God, Community, the importance of community built on faith and love, Theology, the need to read and understand scripture and our Catholic Faith and Service, the need to answer Christ’s call to servanthood. Activities conducted during the weekend give retreatants a better understanding of the significance and importance of prayer, liturgy, the sacraments, scripture, community and service. Retreatants are also given guidance to help them in their faith journey. It is a powerful community building experience. The ACTS weekend brings the retreatants to a better understanding of God’s love for them and also develops their need to share that love with others through their involvement in a faith-centered parish community. The retreat emphasizes our call to service, service to the parish community and to our world community. There results a new or renewed dedication to the life of the parish community and a new recognition of the needs of those around us and of our obligation, as followers of Christ, to help meet those needs.
From one of our parishioners, Bob Tortajada:
” I am a member of St. Paul Parish and I went on the ACTS Retreat in Denton, Texas two years ago. I thought it was going to be a lot of praying and someone preaching at me. I made excuses for a year before I went on that first one. At that time, I was dealing with many family issues and everyday was such a struggle. I was just trying to cope, trying to get ahead. I was just depending on myself and not on GOD. My life was not joyful and I did not have peace. On this retreat I learned that none of us are in total control of our lives. I found such peace and happiness when I finally listened to what GOD wanted me to do. I think we are all looking for peace and happiness in our lives.
All those people sitting next to you that you see each week, but may not know or talk to, simply give that little nod to, well they are all good people from St. Paul’s that you can get to know personally and really well by attending the ACTS Retreat. I guarantee your life will be transformed by attending this retreat.”