Retreating Forward

Show your kids you’re serious about their spiritual success

Tim Chik is the director of Savior Pastoral Center, a retreat and conference center for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

by Tim Chik

Have you ever taken your entire family on a retreat? Perhaps the very idea of it seems daunting.

However, many of us will take a family vacation in 2017. I propose that you consider making a family retreat as well. Take time to make time for this goal for your family this year.

A retreat allows you to refresh your soul and reset your spiritual goals and priorities. It can allow you to take time to listen to God. What is better than doing this as a family?

No matter how big or how small, and no matter how young or how old, a family that makes a retreat together can share a lasting bond with one another, in the Lord.

Perhaps in your family an overnight retreat is impossible. So, could you simply go on a one-day retreat? Attend Mass, take a walk, spend time in eucharistic adoration, play a game together, break bread together — all that matters is that you are present to one another and the Lord.

The real key is taking the time away from the usual activities: Put down the phones and the iPad, unplug the DVD player and turn off the TV. Then, grab a Bible or good spiritual book, a deck of cards and clear your schedule for one another.

Perhaps you have another family with whom you are very good friends. Ask them to join you for the retreat, and then the kids (and adults) might be even more blessed.

We recently did just that. We made a mini-Advent retreat on a snowy weekend in December with our close friends. Four adults and 12 children made for a lively 36 hours. We shared family meals, played a two-family basketball tournament and enjoyed laughter, prayer, good coffee and discussion. It was a perfect way to set aside time to focus on the reason for the season.

Whatever you choose to do, taking a family retreat shows your kids that you are serious about spirituality, for yourself, for them and for your family.

If you are struggling to figure out what to do or where to go, give us a call at Savior Pastoral Center at (913) 721-1097. There are a lot of options out there for families in our area and we can help you plug into them, or at least give you some good ideas.

Remember that a family retreat does not necessarily mean heads bowed in prayer and silence; it can incorporate both prayer and fun.

Every retreat will look just as unique as the family going on it, branded with the stamp of your family’s personality and mission.

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Tim Chik

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