What is a Retreat?
The word "retreat" is an ambiguous word in current English. Even businesses have retreats for their staff, but with a different meaning and method. For many, the word “retreat” means conferences, church camps, seminars in the morning and free time in the afternoons and evenings, etc. Even if there is a spiritual context to the “retreat”, people take it for granted that there will be plenty of time for group interaction, friendly conversation, and relaxation.
This is very different from the kind of retreat that Seven Fountains is meant for. Here, “retreat” means what Jesus said one day to His disciples: "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31 This is the atmosphere that we wish to create at Seven Fountains: a place where people can get away from their busy lives, have time and space to be quiet, and be with the Lord restfully, silently, and with devout intimacy.
Consequently, a retreat for us means a time of personal prayer, in an atmosphere of genuine silence, with a single-minded purpose: to seek and find the Lord.
Surely this style of retreat is not the only one! In the Church, and in modern society, there are many types of retreat; many styles; many purposes. We have chosen one definite style that, in the tradition of St. Ignatius of Loyola, has helped bring people closer to Jesus Christ.