The vision for our retreat programs at AMU are best described in this quote from Pope Benedict:
"People need to be constantly reminded to cultivate a relationship with him who came that we might have life in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10). The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work, the object of our preaching, and the focus of our sacramental ministry should be to help people establish and nurture that living relationship with “Christ Jesus, our hope” (1 Tim 1:1).”
In response to this call, our major retreats are themed ENCOUNTER and TRANSFORM. ENCOUNTER is in the Fall semester on campus each year, and every ENCOUNTER retreat's goal is to establish or reestablish a living relationship with Christ. TRANSFORM is held in the Spring semester off campus at a scenic retreat location in Lake Placid, FL. TRANSFORM is about living the Christian life, about nurturing that relationship with Christ that we have, and in doing so, being transformed by him.
The content of our retreats is largely taken from the experiences our students have had in their faith. Most of the talks are testimonies, and most of the discussions are in small groups. We believe retreats are about stopping your life and reflecting on where your relationship is going with God. Hearing someone else share about their relationship with Christ is sometimes better than a theological treatise, because it reveals the living out of faith in real time, and allows the listener to apply the theological principles to circumstances in time and space, thereby solidifying their understanding of how to do the same in their lives. All retreats include Mass, Confessions, and Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Here are the dates for this year's ENCOUNTER and TRANSFORM retreats:
ENCOUNTER - November 7-9, 2014 On campus with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
TRANSFORM - February 6-8, 2015 Off campus in Lake Placid, FL