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RETREATS & PARISH MISSIONS

 

Retreats & Parish Missions

 

“…Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

—Mark 6:31

The practice of drawing away from the world in order to rest and focus on our relationship with God is an ancient one. Few modern day Catholics would deny that the hectic pace of life often overshadows those very things that they hold most dear. Parish missions and retreats are an opportunity to invite individuals and communities to “come away,” rest and re-connect with the God who loves them and calls them by name.

Retreats

OCP’s composers have developed retreat themes and models that have worked well in parishes. Below is a listing of some of those offerings. Perhaps you see a theme here that would work for your parish? If not, several of our composers will work with you to identify a theme and create a retreat that is specific to your parish’s needs.

Women’s/Men’s retreat: Retreats that are growing in popularity are women’s and men’s retreats. Under the umbrella of a men’s retreat or woman’s retreat are many themes that might resonate well with your community.

Group retreats: Retreats for parish councils, school faculty, Knights of Columbus groups, liturgical ministers, etc., have proven to be rewarding events and opportunities to grow in relationship with God, and with one another.

Youth retreats: Many parishes host confirmation retreats for their confirmandi. Why stop there? Like adults, young people also experience the pressures of a hectic life and can benefit from an opportunity to rest and re-connect with God.

Children’s retreats: We often think of retreats for the high school students in our communities, but what about the children? Children’s retreats can be a wonderful addition to a sacramental program in a parish, providing them with an opportunity to personalize—and even experience—the mysteries that we are teaching them.

Lenten retreats: One of the most popular times to hold a retreat is during the Season of Lent, in which the Church invites us to enter more fully into the Mystery of Christ. “Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects” (Collect, First Sunday of Lent).

Advent retreats: Growing in popularity in the past several years is the concept of a retreat day during Advent. More and more pastoral ministers are telling us that their parishioners are expressing a desire to remain focused on the meaning of Advent and Christmas lest it becomes lost in the busy-ness of the season. An Advent retreat can be a wonderful response to this expressed need.

Additionally, many of our composers have created retreats to address the needs that they have observed as they have traveled about in the U.S. Catholic Church. Grief and healing, our vocation as given to us in our baptism, a retreat focusing on end-of-life issues are just a few examples of themes that have proven timely and effective for parish communities.

Retreat models vary from a single evening or a single day, to a multi-day event.

Parish Missions

There are few things in the world quite like a well-run parish mission! In addition to the spiritual renewal of the individual, entire communities can be transformed by a renewed love of God and neighbor.

OCP presenters incorporate music, teaching, story-telling and personal testimony to present parish missions that touch hearts and change lives.

There is no set theme for a parish mission. Most often, the parish has a particular theme in mind, and the OCP composer will create a mission that brings that theme to life. Off and on, a parish will request that the composer suggest a theme; the composer is more than happy to do so.

Contact OCP to talk about a retreat or parish mission in your community.

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A parish mission model that has proven successful

 
  • Invite an OCP presenter to join the music group for parish weekend eucharistic liturgies.
  • At the time of the parish announcements, the presenter introduces his or herself, gives an overview of the theme and content of the mission, then invites the congregation to attend.
  • The mission begins on Sunday evening, followed by a session on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Each evening is approximately 90 minutes long.
  • Monday morning, the presenter leads a one-hour prayer and reflection for parish staff, focused on their unique needs.
  • Tuesday morning the presenter leads a one-hour session for those who are not able to attend the parish mission.
 

To plan an event

Call OCP Events at 1-877-271-3786 or email events@ocp.org