For the past nine years, the Brothers of St. John have held a family retreat in Buda, TX at the Onion Creek Ranch. My family has attended all these retreats except for the first one. We have enjoyed them so much that last year we accepted an offer to organize it.
As a Catholic father, I am always looking for ways to pass on the Faith to my children. Religious Education and a systematic program of education in the central tenets of our faith is an important component of the faith formation of a child, I would propose that equally important is a lived experience of the faith. We can accomplish that through Sunday Mass and activities at our local parish, but there are times when we also need to leave our normal routines and retreat for a period of time to strengthen us for ministry within our communities.
The annual Brothers of St. John family retreat, which will be held on the weekend of October 4-6th, offers such a opportunity to immerse your family into a lived experience of the Catholic Faith by escaping from the world for a few days and surrounding yourselves with other people who share your faith. What is unique about this retreat is that it is not for the individual or the couple, it is for the whole family. The Christian family is under attack, the very foundation of our society is being questioned. Some voices in the public square have said that the family is an irrelevant entity that may even being causing harm to our modern society. As John Paul II said, “The future of the world and of the church passes through the family.” – Familiaris Consortio
We as parents have a sacred duty to pass on the Faith to our children and we can only do that with the help of our heavenly Father. The task is too large, the opposition too strong for us to be successful on our own. We need to educate ourselves about the challenges we face within our society, the tools we have at our disposal to raise holy children and work with other families who are striving to raise holy families. There is also the added benefit of having the brothers and sister of St. John conducting the retreat. The Prior of the Laredo monastery, Fr. Nathan Cromley, has an impressive list of accomplishments and he is a favorite among the adult attendees as well as the youth. In addition to Fr. Nathan, there will be other priests, brothers and apostolic sisters in attendance.
The benefits of spending time as a family are many, but spending time as a family praying with the Congregation of St. John, playing with each other at a beautiful Central Texas ranch, and learning about God’s Plan for family life from an outstanding priest make such a weekend even more extraordinary. Please consider joining my wife and I and our nine children for this amazing retreat. If you are not the outdoor type, consider coming out for just the day on Saturday.
All retreat talks will take place on Saturday and the day will include daily Mass, adoration, family games, a catered dinner, and a family talent show featuring Brother Bear (back by popular demand) on the banjo as Master of Ceremonies. This retreat always sells out, so talk with your spouse and be ready to register on September 1st at retreat4family.com. Also be sure to like our Facebook Page.