International retreat for priests

This retreat is for priests who wish to give life to their priestly consecration and renew the sacramental grace of Holy Orders in their lives. It is meant to help them respond better to their priestly vocation by bringing to greater perfection their human and spiritual existence in light of their participation in the life of Christ.

The retreat is held in Rome in order to experience life in the capital of Christianity. Visits to the tomb of St. Peter, the Catacombs, the Seven Basilicas, the Vatican, as well as an encounter with the Holy Father are some of the intense spiritual experiences that help enrich these days. These trips will be healthily balanced during the retreat with moments of silence, prayer, and meditation.

Retreat goals

  • Offer a moment of pause to cultivate interior silence in order to maintain one’s life centered on Our Lord in the midst of intense apostolic activity.
  • Offer a privileged moment of spiritual discernment to be able to hear and understand the will of God in the present moment of one’s life, and act upon it.
  • Renew one’s priestly vocation by deepening in the meaning of one’s consecration and giving new life to the grace one has received in Holy Orders.
  • Deepen the roots of one’s faith by means of the pilgrimage to Rome, capital of Christianity, close to the Holy Father and 2000 years of tradition.

Organization

Themes 

The retreat proposes one theme per year in an effort to give all the meditations and activities a common focus. These themes seek to favor growth in the spiritual life, pastoral formation, and sensus Ecclesiae of every priest.

Preacher 

The retreat seeks to provide a qualified preacher capable of engaging the participants, with ample experience in preaching retreats and spiritual exercises.

Schedule

The schedule is designed to help the participants to reach the goals proper to the retreat, giving sufficient time to the following activities. 

Activities

  1. Preaching
    The preaching dynamic is meant to accompany the priests in their spiritual exercise. Every preached meditation is based on the Holy Scriptures and includes an introductory prayer, points for reflection during personal prayer and a colloquy with the Lord in order to reach the resolutions of the spiritual life.  
  1. Personal prayer time
    prayer is a time to speak with God, to be with God; it is an intimate dialogue with Him in which He speaks to our heart. The retreat offers ample times of silence and recollection in order for each priest to deepen in his relationship with God. This time of meditation is also an ideal moment to examine one’s own conscience in light of the themes of the retreat. 
  1. Concelebration of the Eucharist
    The Eucharist is the sacrament that makes Christ’s Person and redemptive sacrifice present in the Church’s liturgical celebration. The Holy Mass is the central part of every day of the retreat and all priests are invited to concelebrate, whether in the retreat center itself or in the churches that we will visit during the pilgrimages.    
  1. Eucharistic adoration
    The Real Presence of the Lord is the basis of our devotion and worship of the Blessed Sacrament. During the retreat there will be Eucharistic adoration and benediction as an expression of our faith in the sacrifice of Christ whose memorial we celebrate in every Mass.
  1. Liturgy of the Hours
    the retreat schedule includes times for the participants to pray the Liturgy of the Hours together, particularly Morning (Lauds) and Evening Prayer (Vespers). Since it is the official prayer of the Church and a participation in Christ’s own prayer to the Father, it is a privileged moment of priestly communion.
  1. Spiritual accompaniment
    There will be a priest available for personal dialogue in order to discern the interior motions of the Holy Spirit, one’s personal prayer and interior life, integration with the vocation and transformation into Christ through the evangelical counsels.
  1. Pilgrimage
    Rome, along with Jerusalem and Santiago Compostela, is one the three major pilgrimage sites of the Catholic world. Within this holy city there are many places to visit in which one can touch Rome’s Christian soul. During the retreat there will be several such occasions to enter into contact with the faith and tradition of Christianity’s capital.  
  1. Audience with the Holy Father
    One will be able to see the Holy Father during the Wednesday general audience. On these occasions the Pope comes out to see the pilgrims, delivering a catechetical discourse, usually touching upon current events, and imparts his Apostolic Blessing.

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