If the word 'retreat' conjures up a vision of tranquillity broken only by the murmur of gentle prayers the idea of a 'family retreat' may be hard to imagine!
Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer in Argyll, Scotland is well known for offering a whole variety of retreats but bringing young families together for a retreat experience has become one of its hallmarks.
Ruth Black, who manages the retreat centre, says that the Community wants families to feel welcome and at home so that they leave encouraged and refreshed. "Prayer is still at the heart of these family retreats but in the mix are games, noise and a lot of food squished into carpets".
One feature always appreciated by parents is the chance for a time of private adoration of the Blessed Sacrament while the children are looked after by members of Craig Lodge Community. All the prayer times, which include a Reconciliation service with Confession available, praise and worship and the rosary, are made as family friendly as possible. This might mean a mystery of the rosary is dramatized by the children or the Community perform a sketch about going to Confession. Families of all shapes and sizes come on these retreats - grannies happy their grandchildren whose parents are not practicing gain some understanding of the Catholic faith or a single parent glad to find fellowship and support.
The retreats are a hit with parents and children alike with many families returning year after year. As one family explained the retreats are a chance to, "stop and jump out of life and re-establish what is really the most important focus for our family - God."
For more information on all forthcoming retreats see: www.craiglodge.org
Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer, Dalmally, Argyll, Scotland, PA33 1AR
Tel: 01838 200216 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The retreat dates are: