Weekend Plus Silent Retreats

Fr. Tom Bartolomeo

“Freely you have received and freely you should offer”

and so Jesus admonished his disciples, Take nothing with you, no extra clothing or money and go. Wherever you go accept the hospitality of whoever invites you into their homes. ( Matthew 10:8 ). His Apostle Paul put it another way, “Name anything you have which you have not received.” ( 1 Corinthians 4:7 ). All the people and things in this world were here before any of us were born and will be here after we leave this world. Some people may ignore the fact–they are not the final master of their lives and deaths.

We so much admire the Mother Theresa’s or Francis’ of Assisi in the world,
few that they may be, not realizing that they changed their lives’ after making a retreat. Many more of us, however, pursue our own personal ‘needs and wants’ on our journey too often without an end as this popular song describes.

Another song, “We are Family” popular 39 years ago had a different theme. The lyrics in the song asked:

“Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose”.

Was a song enough? A good start at least. The Families For Families Retreats takes up the theme that a retreat is a good place to start. Much like the change Jesus’ disciples realized after they had returned from their retreat when Christ was crucified—they found God’s grace in a world they could journey through to a better life. We all have something to learn from their retreat and learn for ourselves when we retreat and redirect our lives.

Choose a three, four or five day retreat--Friday evening through Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. In individual cases a retreat may begin Friday morning and conclude Sunday afternoon. Should you have any questions email me FatherTomSays@gmail.com.

The Families For Families Retreats are highly personalized and include the oldest tradition of the Church from the time of King David c. 800 BC, the Office of the Hours’ short moments of reflection during the day. No conferences or talks but discussions of the “hours” of the day. Time, too, to be quiet, think, pray and enjoy the surroundings in a National Registered Historic House c. 1709 in the Mid-Hudson region of New York, sixty miles North of New York City.

Mass will be celebrated every morning and all retreatants are asked to maintain silence throughout their stay except for our shared meetings and meals together. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not permitted while on retreat and should be left in your car or with the retreat director which will be returned to you at the conclusion of your retreat. For possible emergency calls advise others that you can be reached at (815) 793-7465 and all messages will be passed on to you.

Expect a telephone call to confirm your reservation. Your reservation must include your full name, address, telephone number and age. The retreat house originally built c.1709 was enlarged over many generations containing within its walls pre-Revolutionary, Federal, neo-Classical and Victorian architectual elements. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places the house was recently featured in the New York Times column, "Great Homes and Designations".

No payment is required to attend the retreat or will be asked for. A modest good-will offering for house upkeeping is acceptable but, again is not required. Personal income should not deter anyone from the retreat.

PLEASE NOTE--My phone number (815) 793-7465 does not accept "unknown callers". You would have to email me at FatherTomSays@gmail.com with your phone number so I may include you in my contact list.


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