Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a family retreat?

A family retreat is an opportunity for a family to get away together for a weekend, to spend time alone as a family, to come closer to God as a family, and to meet others with the same interests and values. This is a Catholic retreat, so the talks and activities are based on the teachings of the Church; however, everyone is welcome to come and be part of “our family of families.”

What do we do there?

You can do as much or as little as you like. Everything is voluntary. The spiritual exercises include talks by our retreat director (a Catholic priest, who specializes in giving retreats); celebrating the Eucharist; discussion groups; a reconciliation service; private adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; praying the Rosary; and trips to the outdoor shrines. The social activities include sports; coffee and cake; live contemporary music; and meal time!

What do we need to bring?

Pack as if you were going to a hotel for the weekend. Each family receives a private room, or two rooms for larger families, at no extra cost. Linins and towels are provided. You may want to bring special soaps or other personal items that you may need. Anyone needing to refrigerate items, like milk or medication, can use the large refrigerators in the break rooms.

What about the food?

For some, this is the highlight of the retreat. You will not be hungry this weekend. As you arrive, snacks await you at the registration desk. Shortly thereafter, dinner is served. In all, there are five full course meals during the retreat, and some snacks in between if you like. The coffee pot is on at 5:30 am. Malvern prides itself on the quality of their food. They employ at least two professional chefs, and several other experienced staff members. The meals are “family friendly” such as pizza on Friday night, pancakes and French toast on Saturday morning, and an indoor barbeque on Saturday night, with an ice cream sundae bar to finish things off. If you have special dietary needs, the capable staff can and will accommodate you. Meal time is a social event at Malvern. We sit at large round tables and enjoy each others company. The kids make life long friendships too.

Is there entertainment?

This retreat is spiritual as well as entertaining. Aside from inspiring talks, and sports out on the lawn, we will have a contemporary Catholic/Christian band play at Mass, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and later at Eucharistic Adoration. These musicians and singers are fantastic, and they add a special dimension to the retreat experience. Later on Saturday evening, a family-friendly movie is usually shown in on of the conference rooms.

What about TV and radio?

There is no TV or radio in any of the rooms. There is a TV/VCR in one of the break rooms for the kids to watch family-friendly videos that they have brought from home (in case of rain). During our first retreat in 2003, a truly amazing thing took place during Our Lady of the Rosary Family Retreat. There were approximately 25 children in attendance and not one of them…even once…asked to watch TV the entire weekend! We all had that much fun!

What are the rooms like?

This is a brand new facility, which opened in the Fall of 2003. All rooms are private. Each family is assigned their own room. Larger families are assigned two or more adjoining rooms if needed. The rooms have a private bath and air conditioning/heating unit. Each room contains a full and a twin bed. Cots are available also.

What about activities for the kids?

The morning begins with a Bible prayer service around the fireplace. Later that morning, arts and crafts class is held. This usually takes place during one of father’s talks; however, your children are more than welcome to stay for the talk. After lunch it is outside play time. This could include walks; parents verses children wiffle-ball game; tossing a football, or kicking a soccer ball.

What age group is appropriate for a family retreat?

Any age is appropriate. The youngest child so far, was six months old, and the oldest adult (a grandparent), was…old enough to see Babe Ruth play as a rookie.

How much does all of this cost?

Everything from your room(s), meals, snacks, and all activities for a family is set at a flat fee. Please see the registration form for this year’s prices. This fee includes parents and children. Grand parents, aunts and uncles are also welcome and are charged a reduced rate. A $100 deposit (refundable up to two weeks prior to the retreat) is required at the time of reservation, and the balance is due upon arrival. You can pay by check or credit card. Unless you wish to purchase items at the gift shop, you will not need to take out your wallet the entire weekend.

What else do I need to know?

This family retreat is a way for you to connect or re-connect with your spouse and kids. We come together as strangers to one another, but leave as a family of families. How does this happen? It happens because at the center of everything we do is Jesus Christ! He is with us on this retreat, and he is directing us to the Father, through the Holy Spirit. One of the most profound experiences during the retreat is the private adoration time that each family has before the Blessed Sacrament…just you and your family before God alone. It is truly amazing.

Please give serious and prayerful consideration to joining us this year.