Frequently Asked Questions
What is a family
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
What about activities for the
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
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.