The weekend can be a powerful and enduring personal conversion experience. It is also a powerful community building experience for a parish. 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.
Each retreat is conducted by a “Retreat Team” composed of 20-30 individuals who have attended prior ACTS retreats. The team organizes the retreat, conducts the retreat talks and activities, and ministers to the needs of the retreatants during the retreat weekend. They spend time prior to the retreat meeting weekly and preparing spiritually for the retreat, as well as handling most all the planning and logistics for the weekend. The Retreat Team relies on the prayers and support of the Core Team and greater ACTS community.
This isn’t a silent retreat; it is participative. While the retreats are planned around the same format, they all happen a little differently and part of the blessing (and enjoyment) of the retreat is discovering what it means to you as it happens. For this reason, it is hard to get into specifics. There is prayer, reflection, liturgy, and discussion. You can choose to participate in the discussion as much or little as you like. People are different, so their experiences and reactions to the retreat differs, but if you talk to men and women who have been on the retreat, you ‘ll see that responses are typically very positive.
St Louis ACTS retreats are held at a few different locations depending on availability. St. Louis parish ACTS retreats are usually held at Down Home Ranch, Camp Buckner, or Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center. All of these venues offer beautiful views of Central Texas’ landscape and comfortable facilities for a retreat weekend.
To ensure a spot on the retreat, register on our parish website. A deposit must be made and the remaining balance is due by the departure date of the retreat. Checks may be brought to the Parish Education Center or mailed to: St. Louis Church, 7601 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78757. Make checks payable to: St. Louis Church – ACTS.
An ACTS weekend is designed to help the retreatants enter into a new or deeper relationship with our Lord and our fellow parishioners. This is accomplished through fellowship 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 actions encourage the virtue of service to our Lord, our parish, and one another.
ACTS retreats are open to everyone. Friends, family, and coworkers are all welcome. While ACTS is a Catholic retreat, it is open to others who are open to learning about the Roman Catholic faith. Our retreats usually include parishioners from St. Louis as well as several Austin-area churches.
Prior to your retreat you will receive information about suggested items to pack. Take into consideration the time of year and pack appropriately. While most of the activities take place indoors, you will likely spend some time outdoors. Also, pack things you would typically bring for a short trip: toiletries, medications, etc. Bring clothes appropriate for Mass on Sunday.
The retreat team will take care of you. The food is great; three meals are served each day and the retreat team makes certain that snacks and non-alcoholic beverages (water, soda, coffee) are available during the day. If you have special dietary needs, it is helpful if you note them on the registration form when you sign up for the retreat.
The short answer is no, you don’t have to do anything after the retreat. Hopefully, during the retreat you learn things about your faith, yourself and the way others practice their faith. The goal isn’t more members for a group, it is a better, stronger relationship with the Lord. If that relationship moves you to also become more active in our parish community, that’s great!