Retreat – privileged form of spiritual exercises

Other important part of formation are summer and winter retreats. Retreats are privileged form of spiritual exercises, during which opening to the experience of God who comes with great healing and freeing power yields supernatural bonds within the community, strengthens everyone in faith and enables to experience God’s leadership. Every candidate and member of the Community is bound to participate in at least one retreat every year.

Summer retreats

In summer the formation retreats are arranged for people from the Community in order to continue progress in spiritual life according to set programme:

1° Evangelisation retreat based on St. Luke’s Gospel -  the main purpose is to bring people to personal encounter with living, risen Christ, who calls us: “Repent, and believe the Gospel”. Furthermore, accepting the Lord as the only Lord and Saviour, consisting in not only theoretical recognition but trustful entrustment of life to Christ and in dialogue with Him, openness of the whole life to His dominion, which in turn is a starting point in deeper and more conscious Christian life.

2° Post-evangelisation retreat based on The 1st Letter to the Corinthians – is for those who took part in 1° retreat and experienced the outpouring of God’s gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit. The retreat aims to help in understanding the actual meaning of this experience, deepening Christian identity as well as knowing rules of discernment of ones vocation in the Church and in the world; it leads to strengthening of faith, rooting it in sacraments, especially Eucharist.

3° retreat based on The Book of Exodus is for those who eagerly want to answer God’s calling to live in the covenant that He offers. It is achieved by observing exodus of Israelites from the faith of God of the Fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) to a deeper faith in God who revealed His name (Jahwe) to them, then led them out from their slavery and entered in the covenant under mount Sinai. The transition to more conscious and profound faith happens by the “exodus” of participants from their bondage, enslavements to the state of a greater freedom, which leads to internal healing that opens them to genuine relation (covenant) with God.

4° retreat based on The Book of Numbers is a preparation for becoming a member of the Community by entering Mamre Covenant . The main  themes of the retreat are: unfaithfulness of the chosen nation as well as enhancement of priesthood and its role in the nation. It is done by contemplating the way Israelites behaved during their journey through the desert in The Book of Numbers. 

5° retreat based on The Book of Deuteronomy is for those who already entered the Mamre covenant and became members of the community. It is a continuation of 3° (Exodus) and 4° (Numbers) stage. It encompasses revision of life based on the blessings and curses (see Deut 30:15-20).

Apart from that community organizes retreats for young people based on The Book of Wisdom, The 1st Letter of St. John, The Book of Revelation, The Letter of St. Jude aiming for formation of  mature Christians in their everyday life.

Winter retreats

In winter the Community has its own one-week workshop retreats.

There are four stages of winter workshop formation:

1° “Gamaliel” – aiming for personal and communalopenness to God’s Word, that bring faith and calls to respond in the dialogue with God. It also prepares animators for leading biblical small groups. 

2° “Ananias” – aiming for personal and communal openness to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and its gifts. Therefore its main purpose is to get to know charisms theoretically and practically (discernment of each charism). Moreover, it prepares participants to intercessory prayers with charismatic service.

3° “Barnabas” – aiming for personal and communal openness to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who constitutes missionary church able to practice virtues and active love, also its charity character. Thus the secondary topic is charity service.

4° “Stephen” – aiming for becoming a witness of faith. Thus, the purpose is to learn how to evangelise and give a testimony, organize personal and community evangelisation. All that is based on the eight Beatitudes, which in turn should lead to properly understood renewal and revival of the church.

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