The spiritual retreats
Why go on a spiritual retreat ?
A spiritual retreat is a break for the heart and the mind. It creates a breathing space for :
- Relaxing, resting and finding comfort in the middle of our very busy lives ;
- Meeting with God in silence, reading his Word and rekindling the fire of our faith ;
- Reflecting on the meaning of our existence, taking a step back before making important choices ;
- Exploring the key questions of life and gaining a better understanding of the foundations of the Christian faith.
Whatever the reasons, the spiritual retreat is a breathing space in a setting that inspires inner reflection. The setting, silence and pace of the retreat give the participants the freedom to open up to themselves and to God.
Why go on a retreat in a Foyer de Charité ?
Each year, the Foyers de Charité welcome more than 50,000 people on a spiritual retreat. All adults are welcome, from the age of 17 years old, whether they are believers or not. Everyone receives the same loving welcome that is respectful of each person as an individual and their own reasons for coming on the retreat. The members of the Foyers welcome them into their community, as in a family. They make every effort to make everyone feel comfortable and free to participate in the activities proposed or not.
What happens during the spiritual retreat ?
The retreats take place in silence. They are led and preached by priests or lay people. During the three daily lectures, the preacher covers the foundations of the Christian faith. Times of personal and community prayer are organised between these periods of teaching. Everyone has free time to rest and be inwardly refreshed. Each person is free to experience the celebration of the Eucharist with the members of the Foyer. A priest or member of the community trained in one-to-one support and spiritual guidance is also available to meet those who request it.
Which spiritual retreat ?
You can choose a spiritual retreat according to your age, profile, a particular theme, a preacher or the proposed period.
Some foyers offer the following two options for the 6-day retreats :
- The fundamental retreat, which offers a complete vision of the Christian faith. We recommend this retreat if it is the first time you are going on a 6-day retreat.
- The theme-based retreat, which looks more closely at a specific point of the Christian faith, based on a book of the Bible, the liturgical time or a particular topic.
I came to a retreat after losing my husband, following a long illness, during which I felt helpless in the face of the suffering and death. One year passed by. Thanks to the teaching received during the retreat, I learned to be a witness to Christ, without shame, in the peace of Christ, in this world of physical and mental suffering that I come across daily through my medical profession.
On leaving, we are all loaded up with the teaching we have received. We are filled with hope, thanks to the opportunity of living like a genuine Christian family during the course of the week. We met people from every walk of life, all gathered together by the same Spirit of Charity that we want to pass on to our friends and family.
After drifting away from the faith during her teenage years, Laure rediscovered Christ as an adult. “Spending a week with the Lord” is now an essential part of her life. She experienced a spiritual retreat in a Foyer de Charité. An annual encounter that is vital for her “to return to the daily routine with a fresh infusion of joy”.
I felt that my work situation was a complete failure. I did not want to hear any talk about the Church.
Having rebelled violently against my alcoholic father who destroyed my childhood and youth through physical and psychological abuse, I could sense how chaotic my life was.
During the retreat, I personally experienced the tenderness and mercy of the love of Christ. I was able to begin a process of reconciliation within myself and with those who hurt me, especially my father, with whom I was able to re-establish relations. Since then, I have been experiencing deep peace and joy. I am born again to a new life. He is the one who leads the way and opens up a real path to freedom.
married with 3 children
Lucile and Patrick go on a spiritual retreat each year in a Foyer de Charité. They appreciate the welcome of the community, the quality of the teaching and the essential break in a very busy life.
After six days of being “waited on hand and foot, and nourished spiritually”, they return from their stay in a foyer feeling pacified, regenerated and reunified… For them, “a retreat in a Foyer de Charité is worth 10 Club Med holidays!”
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