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  #1  
Old Mar 6, '08, 9:36 am
garden garden is offline
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Default ACTS retreat

I will going on an ACTS retreat and have never been on any retreat. Could I get some feedback on this retreat and any others.

Thank You
  #2  
Old Mar 6, '08, 9:48 am
agapewolf agapewolf is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

There are many different kinds of retreats....some with focus such as a vocational retreat. Some with lots of silence. And a process retreat such as ACTS, CRHP, TEC, etc.

These process retreats have an amazing effect on people....opportunities for great conversion. One of the major workings though, is that the retreatants are open, and are vulnerable. The less you know going in, the more effective it will be for you. Let the people staffing the retreat care for you and take care of you and enjoy the experience.
  #3  
Old Mar 6, '08, 11:36 am
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

I went on a Search retreat as a youth and it completely changed my life. It really opened my eyes and was the catalist of my journey through our faith.

Every retreat experience is different. I was on team for several of those retreats afterward and each time the Spirit opened my eyes to somthing new.

Just be open to what He has to say.
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  #4  
Old Mar 6, '08, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

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Originally Posted by garden View Post
I will going on an ACTS retreat and have never been on any retreat. Could I get some feedback on this retreat and any others.

Thank You
has been discussed widely on the spirituality forum, altho not recently. yes, depending on who is running it, can be a lifechanging event, but also calls for commitment after the retreat, it is not a feel-good one time event, it has as one of its aims to prepare one for service to the Church and God's people.
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  #5  
Old May 1, '08, 7:27 am
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

I'm not sure what I am doing. I am a new member and I submitted this as an Apolgetics question yesterday. After submitting it I realized my question was way too long and likely will not be answered because I didn't follow the rules. So, I will try again here.

Does anyone know anything about ACTS retreats? Do Catholics recommend this? What are the long-term effects of attending one? My husband went on one in mid-April. I thought it was a good thing. I thought it would help him have a stronger faith, a better relationship with our Lord and maybe help him develop friendships among the guys he went with. Those might be possible outcomes (I don’t know because we haven’t spoken much), but there is another outcome that is certainly not good, at least not thus far.

He won’t talk to me about the retreat because that is a rule. That was a great big red flag for me, but apparently, secrecy is part of the whole experience. What happened there cannot be shared except with the ~30 guys he went with and their wives that have also gone on an ACTs retreat. I’ve asked him several questions and he has answered them in vague ways. I know there were talks and discussions. I know there was Mass and Reconciliation and Scripture study. I know it was a profound experience. I know he shared personal things with the guys he went with. I know he even cried. I sent him a letter and also went to “Candle Light” as requested by the retreat organizers because I was told it was a supportive, good thing to do. That is about all I know. His responses to my questions were vague, followed by: “You need to find out by going on an ACTS retreat yourself.” Since I’ve told him I didn’t have an interest in going myself, he has stopped saying that. So, we have this wall between us now. I find the whole thing a bit disturbing, a bit cult-like. Is the secrecy a way to generate attendance at these things? He says it is important to find things out only by experiencing them personally. He gave his word that he won’t share the secrets, so I will never find out what he experienced on his retreat. I have no problem with him keeping his word and keeping his secrets. But, I do wonder what the future holds for us. With the lack of communication between us now, I can’t see it as good.

We’ve barely spoken at all during the time that he has been back partly because life is busy but also because I keep running into this “wall” relating to his “secret society.” I thought distractions and time would help me get past this, but now I am not so sure. I am hurt, angry and bewildered by the whole situation. I thought things would be fine as we got back to life post-retreat and keep up with our three children, but instead I keep getting reminded that maybe life post-retreat can’t exist since it seems the retreat will continue with follow-ups. I’ve been reminded constantly since his return that he is keeping secrets from me and that the wall remains and may be getting higher. He has received many e-mails from his new buddies and he went to a 3-hour meeting with them on Wednesday evening. Then he went to Mass with them on Saturday morning and had another meeting. Apparently, he is going to be meeting with these guys on a regular basis because meetings/Mass are again scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday. It is ironic to me that in my letter to him, I affirmed our wedding vows and my commitment to him, but now I feel so lost and he feels so removed from me. It seems that while I was affirming our marriage, he was committing to this group of guys and the “secret society” they formed on the retreat. I find it disturbing that he went off with a bunch of strangers for a couple of days. They asked him to keep secrets upon his return and he acquiesced quite readily, apparently.

Some of the other wives have acted like I should be thrilled that he went on this retreat, that this is an amazing thing, that this is good for our marriage, good for our family, good for our church community. Maybe it is good for THEM and they are sharing more with their husbands since most of them have also gone on an ACTS retreat, but that is not the case for US and I’m really having a difficult time seeing how that will ever be possible. How do I get past this? How can I see it as a good thing? If he has a better relationship with God, then that is a good thing, and I guess that may yet be the case. But, I hadn’t counted on the destructive effects on our marriage, though, and I am not liking what I’ve experienced so far. Communication is pretty much gone.

Can you help me or offer me advice? There is another ACTS retreat offered for the ladies again in September, but I really do not want to go. To be honest, I do not want anything to do with it, but even so, I am living with the effects daily now. Is my only recourse to go on an ACTS retreat myself in order to reestablish communication with my husband? Can something be a good thing if it puts a wedge between husband and wife and encourages (demands?) that someone keep secrets from their spouse? Am I overreacting and being too sensitive? Am I wrong to have this reaction and feel the way I do?
  #6  
Old May 1, '08, 9:18 am
agapewolf agapewolf is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

Dear Swizzle,

I am so sorry this has been the affect for you. I am not married, however, when I was in college, when friends went on the awakening before I did, I felt a similar way. I felt left out in a way, because they wouldn't tell me what they did. Because of that, out of spite, I didnt' want to go. It was simply pride that kept me from signing up for awhile. Finally, I decided to go anyway, and I found out that there were reasons that they didn't tell me. Not to be secretive, but so that I could experience it myself! It was out of love that they didnt' tell me.

Please understand, it is not "secrecy" as you put it. There are 2 main reasons things cannot be shared:

1-the personal nature of the talks. It is a confidentiality agreement not to share the speakers personal lives with the rest of the world. If your husband was a doctor or psychologist, or counselor he couldn't tell you about the patients he sees. A spiritual director, whether a priest or not, does not share the personal nature of their "clients" with anyone else. Policemen can't talk about their jobs in detial. This is a similar idea.
It is out of respect for them that he doesn't tell you about their lives.

2-So that you may get to experience it yourself. Trust me, he could tell you what happened, and you'd think "Why is that a big deal"? It doesn't make sense until you experience it yourself. You have to experience it in order for it to make sense. If he told you what happened he would rob you of the joy of it someday. Even if you did not go, telling you might lead to you accidentally sharing with someone else, which would spoil it for someone else. Because you didnt' experience it, you wouldn't understand the nature of it, and therefore not comprehend why it shouldnt' be shared with someone else.

This experience might not be for everyone, however, please consider going so that you can share in it with him. Please understand, it isn't about YOU at all. This is him loving you and not wanting to spoil things for you or others. This is him not blabbing other people's lives when he has been trusted confidently. Do not let this be a wedge. That is your choice to be bitter about it. Please do not be. Don't let pride or spite get in the way of going yourself.
  #7  
Old May 1, '08, 10:47 am
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idrum677 idrum677 is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

Yes and yes!

When my friend talked me into going on a similar retreat in college. Shecould not tell me what to expect no matter how much I bugged her.

I can basically relate it to "letting go and letting God" as you do not have any temporal worries on this type of retreat.
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  #8  
Old May 1, '08, 10:50 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

one of the things that happens at an ACTS retreat is a deep level of sharing on a spiritual level with the other participants, something that would be impossible if all did not agree that "what happens at ACTS stays here." It is a matter of confidentiality and must be respected.
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  #9  
Old May 1, '08, 9:24 pm
garden garden is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

Dear Swizzle,

I agree with agapewolf.

Here is my story.
About a year ago, I had 4 different people tell me that they had just returned from an ACTS retreat. They all had the exact same response.
It was wonderfullll! I also had a teen tell me that she had been on one last summer and that it changed her life. I never even heard of it before this.

After hearing all of this, I decided that maybe I should go and find out what it was all about. I wanted to know what the BIG deal was that people were talking about. I will also mention that it also seemed very secretive to me. I questioned others who had been on this retreat. The response was always the same. "It's wonderful and you will find out when you go." Because I had already registered, I decided to stop asking questions and to just wait to see what it was all about.

Well, I attended my retreat about a month ago. NOW, I can say it was absolutely wonderful! It has definitely changed my life. If you know exactly what is planned, then the experience will not be the same. This is why your husband doesn't say much to you. It will spoil the entire spiritual experience. Please don't let this be a barrier between you and your husband. Please, please think about going to the one in September. At least you will be able to experience what your husband has experienced. I will also say that quite a few ladies who went on the same one as I did were asked several times in the past by others (relatives or friends) to go to one, and they finally said "yes" now they are happy they did.
They do have a follow-up group that meets once a week for the ones who are interested. We started our follow-up group today and it was great.
Remember, every lady who goes on this retreat will be in the unknown. If you decide to go, just go without any expectations and let the Lord guide you.

Good Luck!
If you do decide to go, if you don't mind, then let us know what your thoughts are. Who knows, maybe you will be encouraging others to go as I have done.
  #10  
Old May 1, '08, 9:31 pm
garden garden is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

Dear SwizzleStick,

Sorry, but I accidently referred to you as Swizzle. Please accept my apology.

Garden
  #11  
Old May 1, '08, 9:54 pm
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cecilia97 cecilia97 is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwizzleStick View Post
He won’t talk to me about the retreat because that is a rule. That was a great big red flag for me, but apparently, secrecy is part of the whole experience. What happened there cannot be shared except with the ~30 guys he went with and their wives that have also gone on an ACTs retreat. I’ve asked him several questions and he has answered them in vague ways.
Same thing happened after my father attended ACTS at his parish. My mother has trouble traveling and could not attend a similar women's ACTS retreat. She felt very left out.

After the retreat, the men's ACTS group got together and started a choir singing terrible popular Chirstian music that is not Catholic or even licsensed/purchased by the parish...i.e...they didn't buy sheet music, just ripped the music off! The spouses/families of the men were only invited to sing with the choir is they had also been to an ACTS retreat. (my mother has been very active in music ministry at that parish for years and is the one who got my father involved in the first place...add insult to injury, her choir was sort of "passed over" in favor of the new men's group....and they are not good singers...so we've got bad music, illegally copied, sung badly instead of dedicated people who have given years to the parish but hadn't joined "the ACTS club")

Those rules and the awful music drove a wedge between my parents for a few months! They have a STRONG 40-yr marriage. Dad finally got similarly fed up with some of the personal things going on inside the men's group.

My parish is hoping to have ACTS soon....I'm not sold on them yet. I understand that it is intended to build commitment to service, but in the case I've seen, it did the opposite. It may be because of decisions the pastor made, I don't know.
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  #12  
Old May 1, '08, 10:05 pm
agapewolf agapewolf is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

Quote:
Originally Posted by cecilia97 View Post
Same thing happened after my father attended ACTS at his parish. My mother has trouble traveling and could not attend a similar women's ACTS retreat. She felt very left out.

After the retreat, the men's ACTS group got together and started a choir singing terrible popular Chirstian music that is not Catholic or even licsensed/purchased by the parish...i.e...they didn't buy sheet music, just ripped the music off! The spouses/families of the men were only invited to sing with the choir is they had also been to an ACTS retreat. (my mother has been very active in music ministry at that parish for years and is the one who got my father involved in the first place...add insult to injury, her choir was sort of "passed over" in favor of the new men's group....and they are not good singers...so we've got bad music, illegally copied, sung badly instead of dedicated people who have given years to the parish but hadn't joined "the ACTS club")

Those rules and the awful music drove a wedge between my parents for a few months! They have a STRONG 40-yr marriage. Dad finally got similarly fed up with some of the personal things going on inside the men's group.

My parish is hoping to have ACTS soon....I'm not sold on them yet. I understand that it is intended to build commitment to service, but in the case I've seen, it did the opposite. It may be because of decisions the pastor made, I don't know.
And there were a small number of priests that behaved immorally so we should blame the whole church for it....COME ON!

Obviously things were handled badly, but you cannot blame ACTS for it.

If someone is disabled, then they could go on a similar retreat that has different accomodations...such as CRHP or something. (many similar things happen).
  #13  
Old May 1, '08, 10:15 pm
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

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Originally Posted by agapewolf View Post
And there were a small number of priests that behaved immorally so we should blame the whole church for it....COME ON!

Obviously things were handled badly, but you cannot blame ACTS for it.

If someone is disabled, then they could go on a similar retreat that has different accomodations...such as CRHP or something. (many similar things happen).

Not blaming ACTS, just saying what my experience has been with it. Cool out. Did you see where I said it could have very well been the pastor? So far, I have to say that I haven't seen good come out of ACTS, and that's the truth.

Another type of retreat would not do in this situation, because of the "clique" attitude in that parish acround ACTS. It was basically ACTS or the highway.
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Old May 1, '08, 10:18 pm
agapewolf agapewolf is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

Quote:
Originally Posted by cecilia97 View Post
Not blaming ACTS, just saying what my experience has been with it. Cool out. Did you see where I said it could have very well been the pastor? So far, I have to say that I haven't seen good come out of ACTS, and that's the truth.

Another type of retreat would not do in this situation, because of the "clique" attitude in that parish acround ACTS. It was basically ACTS or the highway.
Thats exactly what you are doing...blaming acts.

Another type of retreat would do...as long as the "encounter" experience is experienced, there is an understanding. She could then approach the acts folks in conversation about her experience, to which they would know that she "Gets it".

I've studied these processes very thoroughly, and I work in parish ministry. They are very similar, and once a person understands that the person they are talking with has experienced the same thing with a different name, then common experience is understood.
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Old May 1, '08, 10:26 pm
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cecilia97 cecilia97 is offline
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Default Re: ACTS retreat

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Originally Posted by agapewolf View Post
Thats exactly what you are doing...blaming acts.

Another type of retreat would do...as long as the "encounter" experience is experienced, there is an understanding. She could then approach the acts folks in conversation about her experience, to which they would know that she "Gets it".

I've studied these processes very thoroughly, and I work in parish ministry. They are very similar, and once a person understands that the person they are talking with has experienced the same thing with a different name, then common experience is understood.
Here's the point....if ACTS is meant to ultimately send people back to the parish to get involved in ministry, it seems very wrong to shut existing ministries down in order to make room for ACTS people to do their thing. Even if that was a decision by the pastor, why would these ACTS people who supposedly "get it" go along with that?

These guys came back from a Christian retreat with the idea that it was OK to steal Amy Grant songs that they learned during the experience and use them in a Catholic Mass. I don't see how that is adding anything to our church.
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