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  #16  
Old Sep 30, '13, 8:17 pm
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kcbk kcbk is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

*Disclaimer: I have never been to an ACTS, Cursillo, CRHP or anything like that before.*
I have however witnessed folks' behavior when they are involved in these type of movements.
I think it is a natural occurrence that they seem withdrawn or cliquish with their pals who went through the same retreat or whatever.
I think it is because they are working hard on clinging to whatever they learned, experienced or felt from said movement.
I have a great group of guys I am friends with. Most of them have done Cursillo. When they get on their Cursillo kick...I avoid them. Their behavior is almost...ummm...school girl-ish???. They are secretive and giddy....Especially when they are recruiting a new victim...errrr.....member.
But, we can't judge the movement on a small sample size of folks in our given church parish. We have to have faith that the movement was well intentioned and these folks are just going rogue with their zeal.
The Libertarian in me says, "Let them have their cliques. I'll continue on being a One Man Wolf Pack."
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  #17  
Old Sep 30, '13, 9:44 pm
angieAugustina angieAugustina is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

So by their fruits you will know them...
regarding the "secrets"--would you deny a child the surprise and delight of unwrapping their own Christmas or birthday gift? the retreat is full of gifts of the Holy Spirit. Do we not have certain people we tust and share confidences with, and those we love yet it may be inappropriate to share in that way? that is the community that is offered (Never Forced!) through the retreat.
ACTS is endorsed and encouraged by the Bishop of my diocese; any Catholic Priest (who always serves as Spiritual Director at an ACTS retreat) is under his obedience. i was extremely skeptical, until i repeatedly saw that when my ministries needed volunteers to serve, new faces most often appeared from those who attended ACTS--and these volunteers have lasted over time, unlike so many who say "yes," but do not follow through or stick around over the years.
Teen and Young Adult/College ACTS is bearing fruit where our Church has been dwindling.
Perpetual Adoration is largely accomplished by committed souls who came to know the value of Jesus Present in the Eucharist through ACTS--because practically speaking, you need robust folks who will venture out for this most worthy purpose in the middle of the night...enough adorers to be with Him every night of the year (except triduum).
i will agree we humans are prone to tribal behavior. it can result in inaccurate perceptions as well as hurt feelings. this is sad. let us all try to be as charitable when we pook at others as Christ!
regarding the "trinkets," maybe you had a grandmother or great-aunt who piously foisted a scratchy green scapular over your neck at every visit...you didn't realize til years later it was a meaningful way for her to show her love for both you and the Church. as far as i know the bracelet is only meant to be a personal "holy reminder."
just my take on it. yes i have been on retreat and the lay team which presents the retreat. the level of discernment through the Holy Spirit, commitment of prayer, effort, coordination, time, etc. is all within a structure that works to only glorify our Lord and bring souls to Him.
approach or avoid as you see fit, but you wouldn't be the first to change your mind and attend an ACTS retreat, and see through the eyes of Christ.
So by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:15-20 speaks volumes.
if the fruit you see is spoiled, maybe you could contact your local ACTS core group, i'm sure they would welcome constructive criticism.
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  #18  
Old Oct 1, '13, 6:15 am
maryjk maryjk is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by angieAugustina View Post
So by their fruits you will know them...
regarding the "secrets"--would you deny a child the surprise and delight of unwrapping their own Christmas or birthday gift? the retreat is full of gifts of the Holy Spirit. Do we not have certain people we tust and share confidences with, and those we love yet it may be inappropriate to share in that way? that is the community that is offered (Never Forced!) through the retreat.
Many of us have already discussed the secrets of Cursillo, which sounds very similar to an ACTS "not a retreat."

Secrets from loved ones and friends are very different than secrets from people you don't know. And although you might want to call the gifts as being from the Holy Spirit, we already know the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit. And we know that the Holy Spirit doesn't give trinkets (fishing lure bracelets.)
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  #19  
Old Oct 1, '13, 7:44 am
johnnyc176 johnnyc176 is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by angieAugustina View Post
Perpetual Adoration is largely accomplished by committed souls who came to know the value of Jesus Present in the Eucharist through ACTS--because practically speaking, you need robust folks who will venture out for this most worthy purpose in the middle of the night...enough adorers to be with Him every night of the year (except triduum).
We have Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at my parish and we do not have the ACTS program.

Quote:
just my take on it. yes i have been on retreat and the lay team which presents the retreat. the level of discernment through the Holy Spirit, commitment of prayer, effort, coordination, time, etc. is all within a structure that works to only glorify our Lord and bring souls to Him.
So can you tell me if the Mass is celebrated on this retreat?
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  #20  
Old Oct 1, '13, 11:08 am
angieAugustina angieAugustina is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

yes. the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is an important component of the retreat.
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  #21  
Old Oct 6, '13, 8:25 pm
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Corki Corki is online now
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maryjk View Post
Many of us have already discussed the secrets of Cursillo, which sounds very similar to an ACTS "not a retreat."

Secrets from loved ones and friends are very different than secrets from people you don't know. And although you might want to call the gifts as being from the Holy Spirit, we already know the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit. And we know that the Holy Spirit doesn't give trinkets (fishing lure bracelets.)
Now would the Holy Spirit reserve the gifts only for those who have attended some particular retreat. The teaching of the Church is that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit flow to ALL the baptized, and more clearly with the graces received in the rest of the Sacraments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc176 View Post
We have Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at my parish and we do not have the ACTS program.

I have known a few parishes that have both Perpetual Adoration AND ACTS retreats but in every case (in my very limited experience) Adoration came first.
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  #22  
Old Oct 7, '13, 4:55 am
Lewiston Lewiston is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

I'm surprised at the hostile tone of this thread. TX_Knight , it sounds like you have been deeply hurt by someone who has attended an ACTS Retreat. I only wish you peace.

I can not speak for the 500 parishes and thousands of retreats held in the US but I can speak to my own experiences and what I do know and perhaps clear up some comments with some additional information.

The ACTS Retreat is a lay apostolate, priests do attend and serve several ministerial functions.

The Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston (Cardinal Daniel DiNardo) as well as the Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, TX (Bishop Joseph Strickland) have formally endorsed the ACTS Retreat.

http://sjvacts.org/wp-content/upload...l-DiNardo1.pdf


http://bishopstrickland.com/index.php?id=643

The suggestions of "breakaway movement" are misguided and inaccurate. What many see as secrets I view as confidences. There are no deep dark secrets of the faith nor is anything counter to the faith in an ACTS Retreat. In fact it is open to non-Catholics. How un-secretive is that? Talk of trinkets cloud the discussion. Perhaps the fishing bracelets have something do with some of our first Apostles? Perhaps found in the Bible?

ACTS is NOT a requirement of our faith. ACTS is NOT a cult.

Of course The Holy Spirit doesn't reserve the gifts only for those who have attended some particular retreat. Nor does every understand these gifts nor is everyone open to receive these gifts.

We are all in a Faith Journey, for me ACTS made me more receptive to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.I am grateful for having attended an ACTS retreat. For me it has strengthen me for my faith journey. I am not a Charismatic. I'm basically a parishioner trying to deepen my faith and serve God better.

If you are considering an ACTS Retreat, I would recommend beginning with a conversation with your parish priest.

God Bless.
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  #23  
Old Oct 7, '13, 8:27 am
Jessie5000 Jessie5000 is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

After some reasearch, I was very impressed with what I saw. I even send a video to the Bishop about it. The retreat looks good to me.
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  #24  
Old Oct 7, '13, 9:57 am
TX_Knight TX_Knight is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic Maiden View Post
Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good.
Thank you. :-) I don't remember the exact quote, but someone once said that the best way to allow evil to win is for good people to do nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc176 View Post
That's a fair question. If you wanted to improve Cursillo then why not stay and improve it. Unless their ideas were not considered improvements.....


hmmm.....


Is the Mass celebrated at these retreats?
I've always felt that the best way to fix any organization of which I was a member was to fix it from within. I am not a member of ACTS, so changing it from within is not an option. I could join, but would I also be brainwashed to think wearing that fishing swivel bracelet makes me a better person than everyone around me and trumps the need for me to act like a Catholic Christian?

I have never heard mention of Mass being celebrated "at" the retreats (which could be due to the secretiveness of the group) but I have heard mention of the attendees going as a group to a Mass at a local parish at the end of the retreat.
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  #25  
Old Oct 7, '13, 10:33 am
TX_Knight TX_Knight is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewiston View Post
I'm surprised at the hostile tone of this thread. TX_Knight , it sounds like you have been deeply hurt by someone who has attended an ACTS Retreat. I only wish you peace.

The Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston (Cardinal Daniel DiNardo) as well as the Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, TX (Bishop Joseph Strickland) have formally endorsed the ACTS Retreat.

The suggestions of "breakaway movement" are misguided and inaccurate. What many see as secrets I view as confidences. There are no deep dark secrets of the faith nor is anything counter to the faith in an ACTS Retreat. In fact it is open to non-Catholics. How un-secretive is that? Talk of trinkets cloud the discussion. Perhaps the fishing bracelets have something do with some of our first Apostles? Perhaps found in the Bible?
Hostile? No. Warning fellow Catholic Christians? Yes.

Yes, I have been hurt -- by my own brother that chose a social outing (not a retreat) with his "ACTS buddies" rather than spending time with our dying father in the hospital. Those same "ACTS buddies" promised to help with what our family was going through, but it was all talk. Not one single "ACTS buddy" kept his promise. (But I guess that if my father and I had succumbed to the ACTS pressure recruiting, we might have gotten some help, but we weren't good enough for them.) Since becoming involved with ACTS, my brother does not even help with our mother, who is disable. We are not good enough for him.

Looking around at not just those in my parish, but also those in neighboring parishes, that have attended an ACTS retreat, I have not seen one come out a better person. At best, I have seen some come out the same they were before. Far too many take on the "I'm better than you" attitude.

Why is it that the only people that speak favorably of the ACTS retreats are the ones that have been indoctrinated into ACTS?

I find it interesting that Cardinal DiNardo's "endorsement" of ACTS does not appear on his arch diocese's website. Not once in his letter does he "endorse" ACTS, but rather he encourages ACTS. Didn't Jesus encourage all people to do good, whether they were evil or good people? Additionally, his letter is only to one local ACTS group, not ACTS in it's entirety. As the head of the Catholic Church in Texas, don't you think he'd support the entire ACTS community in Texas rather than just one ACTS group in Houston? Maybe that one group is getting it right while the other groups are getting cultish.

I have written Bishop Strickland asking him to reconsider his comments about ACTS.

Opening the retreats to non-Catholics does not mean it is not secretive. If it is not secretive, why won't the indoctrinated discuss ANYthing from the retreats? What are they hiding? I can understand ceremonial aspects being confidential, but when someone comes out of it being materialistic (the bracelets) more than enlightened and won't discuss why, then I have to ask "why?".

I have been told that the fishing swivel bracelet symbolizes they are "fishers of men". Is that why they come after us like stereotypical Amway sales reps trying to build their downstream levels of sales reps and therefore increase their profit margin? Do ACTS attendees get points for the number of people they lure in?

If ACTS really is a Catholic Christian group, it's members need to take lessons from the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Daughters, the KJT, the KJZT, etc., rather than putting themselves on a pedestal and shaking their trinket bracelets at us.

Last edited by TX_Knight; Oct 7, '13 at 10:34 am. Reason: missing a line
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  #26  
Old Oct 7, '13, 1:17 pm
TX_Knight TX_Knight is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcbk View Post
They are secretive and giddy....Especially when they are recruiting a new victim...errrr.....member.
But, we can't judge the movement on a small sample size of folks in our given church parish. We have to have faith that the movement was well intentioned and these folks are just going rogue with their zeal.
My observations are not based on attendees from only one parish.
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  #27  
Old Oct 7, '13, 1:19 pm
TX_Knight TX_Knight is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

For those that are supportive of ACTS, let’s take a look at a few of the Ten Commandments.

“1. I am the Lord, thy God. Thou shall not have other gods before me. “
I hope you remember the story of the golden cow and those that worshipped it instead of God. Why do those that attended ACTS retreats treat their fishing swivel bracelets like the golden cow? If they want a reminder of their faith, why not wear a crucifix?

“4. Honor thy father and thy mother.”
Why do those that attended ACTS retreats place other ACTS attendees ahead of their own families?

“5. Thou shall not kill.”
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus recalls this commandment and then adds to it the proscriptions against anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to love their enemies. If ACTS attendees believe the Ten Commandments, why do they treat those that have not attended a retreat as second-rate, sometimes despising them?
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  #28  
Old Oct 7, '13, 1:20 pm
TX_Knight TX_Knight is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Accodging to www.dictionary.com, the Random House Dictionary defines “cult” as follows:

noun
1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7. the members of such a religion or sect.
8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.
adjective
9. of or pertaining to a cult.
10. of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees: a cult movie.

Can any ACTS retreat attendee truthfully deny that ACTS meets definitions 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7?
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  #29  
Old Oct 8, '13, 2:51 pm
UbiCaritas UbiCaritas is offline
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

[quote=TX_Knight;11276101]

I find it interesting that Cardinal DiNardo's "endorsement" of ACTS does not appear on his arch diocese's website. Not once in his letter does he "endorse" ACTS, but rather he encourages ACTS. Didn't Jesus encourage all people to do good, whether they were evil or good people? Additionally, his letter is only to one local ACTS group, not ACTS in it's entirety. As the head of the Catholic Church in Texas, don't you think he'd support the entire ACTS community in Texas rather than just one ACTS group in Houston? Maybe that one group is getting it right while the other groups are getting cultish.
QUOTE]

I can't comment on the rest of this, having had no experience personally with ACTS or any of its similar groups, though I believe that some people from my parish have attended retreats run by ACTS. I am sorry to hear about how your brother has behaved after this retreat.

However, I live in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Cardinal DiNardo is the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston. He is not "the head of the Catholic Church in Texas." He holds this position of authority only in his own archdiocese. It would hardly be appropriate for him to comment one way or the other on retreats held in other dioceses (and there are many others in Texas!) unless they posed a direct threat to some of the souls under his care.

Furthermore, the fact that ACTS retreats aren't mentioned on the archdiocesan website is hardly surprising. Neither are, I presume, many of those run by local churches, by certain religious orders, or by the local Fraternity of Saint Peter apostolate.

Again, I know little about this group except for what has been posted here and that some people at my church have attended this retreat. I merely offer this information for what it's worth.
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  #30  
Old Oct 8, '13, 3:51 pm
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Allegra Allegra is online now
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Default Re: Are you considering participation in an ACTS retreat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc176 View Post

Is the Mass celebrated at these retreats?
My parish participates in ACTS, and it always ends with a Mass which is celebrated with family members. From what I've heard, it sounds like the process is similar to CRHP, which I have done before and really recommend. I personally think that the CRHP model is better because it doesn't cost anything to the participants and is held at the parish level, rather than going outside of the parish. It also doesn't require taking a weekday off from work, so it is more accessable. I haven't seen people come out of either program with the attitude the OP is describing, other than the fact that they usually encourage others to go. I haven't seen any bracelets. The women who come back from CRHP hand some handmade rosaries though. Perhaps the OPs observations aren't a problem with the program itself, but more with the individuals who are running it in his parish/area. I also don't feel that the process at the retreat has been kept secret, though obviously who-said-what should be kept confidential since it involves individual witnessing.
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