ACTS is a weekend retreat patterned after the description of the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles—
breaking bread together, worshiping together, receiving instruction together, sharing in common, and reaching out in loving service.
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|Mary Ann Mazouch||620-792-3315|
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History of ACTS
ACTS came to birth from the Cursillo Movement through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. ACTS started in 1987 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, Texas, a small suburb of San Antonio.
ACTS shall always be grateful to the Cursillo Movement for its beginnings and its foundation. ACTS Missions was founded in 1997 to take the ACTS Retreat to new Parishes all over the world so that the ACTS Community would be alive in all parishes and dioceses. ACTS has grown much since 1987, and is now in at least 26 states, 7 countries.
People have credited ACTS with saving their lives, saving their marriages, convincing them to be ordained as priests or deacons, leading them to become nuns, by simply opening their eyes and their hearts to God’s word. Pastors have praised its positive effects on their parishes, leading to highly invigorated parish life. Bishops and other church leaders have called it the most important movement in the Catholic Church today; all this from a handful of faith-filled people with the courage and perseverance to be led by the Holy Spirit.*
*ACTS Missions website: actsmissions.org
What is An ACTS Retreat?
An ACTS retreat is a three-day/three-night Catholic lay retreat presented by fellow parishioners. The weekend retreat begins on Thursday evening and ends the following Sunday at a Mass celebrated with the parish community. Retreats for men, women and teens are given separately. Talks and activities during the retreat focus on Adoration, Community, Theology and Service, from which the ACTS acronym is derived. Holy Scripture and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are the guides for the retreats.
The retreat facilitates the attainment of a new or deeper relationship with the Lord through:
Each retreat is conducted by a retreat "team" composed of 20-30 individuals who have attended prior ACTS retreats. Chosen by the retreat Director, the team organizes the retreat, conducts the retreat talks and activities and ministers to the needs of the participants during the retreat weekend.
What is the purpose of an ACTS retreat?
An ACTS weekend is designed to help retreat participants enter into a new or deeper relationship with our Lord and fellow lay persons. This is accomplished through adoration and daily prayer, the call to Community as a member of the Body of Christ and Theology in encouraging the study of scripture and our Catholic Faith—all of which emphasize and encourage the virtue of Service to our Lord, our parishes and one another.
What is the goal of an ACTS retreat?
An ACTS retreat strives to achieve the directives of Vatican II and goals of the Revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 which emphasize "community and pastoral care" within our parishes. The weekend allows retreat participants to experience God's love and joy. They return to their parishes with a deeper love for each other and a desire to become more involved in their parish faith communities.
Why participate in an ACTS retreat?
The weekend is a powerful and enduring personal conversion experience. Talks, which draw from the personal experiences of team members, and activities conducted during the weekend give participants a better understanding of the significance and importance of prayer, liturgy, the sacraments, scripture, community and service. Participants are also given guidance to help them in their faith journeys. It is a powerful personal, spiritual and community building experience.
|ACTS MISSIONS Vision|
|Through the ACTS retreat, ACTS Missions provides a spark that ignites Catholics world-wide with the eternal flame of the Holy Spirit. As an instrument of God, ACTS is a light that will help bring about the New Evangelization by fostering love and true discipleship, leading others to a commitment and obedience to Our Lord Jesus Christ by our every word, action and thought.*|
Comments from people who have attended an ACTS Retreat
*ACTS was a powerful experience of the Spirit at work in me and each participant. I thank God for being totally wrapped in prayer and renewed in faith!
*I can never praise the ACTS Retreat enough. I was in a period of my life mourning four deaths, one was my husband of sixty five years, and three sisters all in a period of eight months. I was in need of a prayerful weekend and fellowship. The ACTS Retreat fulfilled both. I went home from the Retreat feeling the Holy Spirit was with me. I know other ladies had different reasons for making the retreat but that was mine and I can say I honestly say my life was changed and felt very close to the Lord and always will.
*I would recommend the ACTS Retreat to everyone who wants a spiritual and life changing experience.
*In my experience, my table leader was such a down to earth, relatable, kind person that I felt she was holding my hand through the deep insights God was giving me. God was opening me to a new level of love from Him and my sisters in the Lord. My view of God's family and my future as He directed was clearer.
*If you are on a journey to get closer to Jesus which we all should be this is the retreat for you. I loved the ACT’s retreat, everyone so full of the Holy Spirit, even when we visited weeks later. Would love to tell you all about it but can’t spoil the surprise it was awesome! Don’t miss the opportunity now that we finally have in Kansas.
*Dear Friends and fellow Christians, My summing up of my experience at the Retreat I took part in on September 29th, 30th, 31st and November 1st, 2015 should be stated that for me it was three whole complete retreats all wrapped into one. I was looking forward to elevating (or raising) my spiritual level, I can not really say that my spiritual level was raised. As time has went on, I concluded that spiritual level did not exist, possibly spiritual cloud or mass of fog was really spiritual activity. I am positive that my spiritual cloud and/or mass of fog increased considerably and still continuing to this day. I am also hoping that my spiritual cloud will continue and more and more graces I will be receiving in and to me. I am firmly convinced that I am a different and more comprehensive person. I was more that highly impressed by the volunteers and were present conducting and introducing the spiritual activity to us retreatants. I am also very convinced besides, the outside fellow Christians were very passionately praying for us, including former ACTS retreatants who have proceeded us into Heaven were contributing spiritual graces to us and for us. I am very pleased that the volunteers introduced us to Saint Bernard of Clairveaux and informing us that he was the author of the prayer, "The Memorare." May God bless us all and love and prayers from Chris Leiker, Great Bend, Ks.
*It is hard to use words to describe to you what this retreat is like, it is that powerful!
*When I heard that the men’s ACTS retreat was to be held October 23th-November 1st here in Great Bend. I knew that my wife, Cathy, would want me to go. She had attended a women’s ACTS in Amarillo in 2009 and I could tell that it made a deep spiritual impression on her. I was reticent, however, not being one to dive headlong into such activities, but I thought it over, prayed about it, and, as usual, I found the Holy Spirit has good ideas for me, so I signed up. What I found at the ACTS retreat was a leadership team from Tulsa who had a well-planned, organized program of deep spiritual meaning for my life. It was lead entirely by men, and was geared to the male Catholic’s sensibilities and needs. The facilities provided by the Dominican Sisters were perfect for our needs, and the meals they provided, and the snacks by the ACTS volunteer staff, kept us well fed. There is an old concept called muscular Christianity, and the ACTS retreat certainly let me exercise my spiritual muscles and rejuvenate my own Catholic faith and my spirit of stewardship toward others. I left the retreat a “lean, serene, Catholic machine”, and that serenity and strength has followed me since the ACTS weekend. I would certainly recommend that every Catholic man in our area strongly consider attending and ACTS retreat.
* I attended my retreat in 2012 in Amarillo. It was a weekend filled with laughter, prayer, and beautiful moments. To be surrounded by so many women who were on the same journey as me, was a gift. It was an experience that has added so much to my life.
*I had a very positive experience at the ACTS retreat,and I would tell someone that they should go because I know what they can get from the experience.
*An ACTS retreat is a special gift of grace. It was so nice to spend time with God to cast my worries, problems and cares away and to be renewed in my relationship with him. This retreat is amazing. I was lead to a deeper level of intimacy with my Lord and felt the Holy Spirit guiding and working on my thoughts and heart like I had not experience before this retreat. It's a weekend to bask in his presence of his abiding joy, a weekend I would highly recommend to others. It was so nice to get away for the hustle and bustle of life and to re-center on what's important. What an amazing gift Paula, Carol and Kathleen gave me in the invitation to be part of this retreat and then to personally escort me and other retreatants to Texas. This commitment speaks volumes to what kind of faith experience this is. They are certainly sisters in Christ. TRUST.... SURRENDER.... BELIEVE... RECEIVE a mantra I learned on retreat and I still reflect on to this day. When I got back from the retreat I learned that we had an offer on our home in Great Bend and we would be moving forward with relocating my family to Hoisington. A job offer for me in Hoisington shortly followed. I found so much peace in all the changes when I would say this mantra to myself. I knew that God was calling us to these changes and I trusted all would work out.
*The Acts Retreat was a great time for prayer and reflection. I would recommend it to anyone. It`s not often in the business of our lives can we spend an entire weekend in a quiet peaceful environment. The leaders were wonderful.. A week-end well spent . A time to re-connect with God and our Catholic faith. Leona Prosser
*It still warms my heart as I remember my weekend there.
*ACTS was everything I hoped it would be, and needed it to be.
An excellent weekend to focus and reflect on how we as men can place Christ in the center of our life and family. Thank You Jesus for the sacrament of Reconciliation, what a spiritual cleansing! Simply put, besides my marriage day and the births of my 3 children, ACTS was one of the best weekends of my life.
*ACTS was an unbelievable experience--how can I begin to describe it? It brought me closer to my faith than I had ever been before. I have always been active in my youth group and church, but something about ACTS lit a fire in me--a fire to follow, share, live, and deepen my faith. It brought me closer to God, and there is nothing more amazing than finding the light that will lead you to your heart--our Lord. Thank you to everyone who made ACTS possible for me. You changed my life. You helped me to see who I can be. I can be a child of God. I am a child of God. And I will be forevermore.
*I found renewed faith through the example of the women who were LIVING their faith and giving so much in the retreat. There was true joy in the faces of the retreat team….even at the end when they were very tired. There was joy in the faces of the musicians and the folks who were there for send-off and other activities –it made faith come seem to come alive. The nuns who were participants touched me, and to this day I continue to communicate with them. Hearing the stories and hurts of the other participants (and not just the ones who spoke “officially” at the retreat!! ) helped me see how their faith gets them through difficult times. I found this inspiring, plus it gave me a perspective on the troubles in my own life. I also learned how much I want to control things, and that sometimes it’s best to give up that control. I guess that the lasting effects of the retreat have been to make God a part of my everyday life, not just on Sundays for an hour. I still need to do this more, but I am working on it.
*ACTS retreat is an experience that is beyond words. But here's my attempt to put what I felt into words: Going to the ACTS Retreat changed my life. It made me see my faith through new eyes and opened up my ears and heart to God's call.
*What an incredible weekend! It was beautiful, peaceful, faith-filled, inspiring and fun all at the same time. I didn't want the weekend to end. The Holy Spirit grabbed ahold of me and hasn't let go. We need ACTS in Kansas!
*ACTS was one of the most rewarding, enriching,and special gifts to my faith. ACTS is a beautiful, cleansing, holy time with the Lord and with women who love and serve the Lord during that weekend. I pray that one day, ACTS will come to the Dodge City Diocese to serve the men, women and teens of Kansas. I am so very thankful my sister-in-law loved me enough to take me to ACTS. I, too, have passed the spark of passionate love for our Lord to friends by taking them to an ACTS retreat. May the fire of the Holy Spirit enrich each one of us as we strive to know, love and serve Jesus each day.
*My experience at an ACTS Retreat was JUST WHAT I NEEDED! And as the retreat continued I realized it was just what each and every other person needed also. Who but God through the Holy Spirit could arrange such an incredible feat! The ACTS Retreat provided a time of immersion into a relational experience with God, my Father; Jesus, my Brother; Mary, my Mother and the Holy Spirit, my Comforter and Guide. Throughout this retreat I was able to “feel” God’s unconditional love for me through my fellow retreatants and the retreat staff. Their love for God and each other was palpable. The time away from family, home and work allowed me a space to contemplate what’s important in life. What areas of my life need more attention and what activities or worries I could let go of or turn over to the care of God? More importantly it provided an opportunity for me to RELAX into God’s care God’s Grace. The ACTS Community that you become a part of is also incredible. The people’s faith and commitment to encouraging their friends and loved ones to have this same experience proves the power of the ACTS Retreat and I give thanks to Paula Brozek, Kathleen Stacy and Carol Dellinger for their love and support throughout my time of preparation and the retreat. I would highly recommend this retreat to anyone and everyone as the people who work together to support the retreat open whole heartedly to the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout the planning process. GOD’S HANDS ARE SO VERY ACTIVE THROUGH THESE PEOPLE AND THE RETREAT.
*I absolutely enjoyed the weekend. It confirmed a lot of things I had been discerning over the past couple of months. I needed to put more of God and prayer in my life. I had been out of balance regarding a few matters and kinda of all at once it came back to center and I feel so much better and I no longer have to put that smile on each day, it's just there. I would suggest this retreat to many people. Do you need some healing, forgiveness, reassurance, and don't know where to start, we'll let it begin by saying "YES" to an ACTS retreat.