What is an ACTS Retreat?
An ACTS Retreat is a parish-based evangelization tool which offers parishioners an opportunity to encounter the love of Jesus Christ. This in turn fosters a desire for intentional Christ-centered discipleship and building parish community.
ACTS Retreats are given by parishioners for parishioners, and in this way, serve to build Christian community at a parish.
The ACTS Retreat begins Thursday evening and ends with Sunday Mass in the parish. While utilizing prayer and service, the ACTS Retreat meets people where they are in their spiritual journey and invites them to experience God in a manner that is both personal and communal.
The ACTS Retreat experience is rooted in the Pascal Mystery in that retreatants are invited to reflect on the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the weekend, they are invited to prayerfully consider how they can respond to His love by spiritually surrendering to Jesus in order to have new life with Him. This invitation is extended through the pillars of the apostolate:
Responding through prayer and worship to receiving God's gifts of grace, mercy and love.
Living and participating in the One Body of Christ as Church, beginning with the parish.
Deepening our relationship with God through prayerful study to better understand and fulfill His will for our lives.
Answering the call to discipleship by following the model that Christ gave us.
Those who attend an ACTS Retreat share in an experience that has impacted more than one million lives worldwide since the first retreat in 1987. There are numerous testimonies describing retreatants who were evangelized through a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. They witness to becoming better fathers, mothers, husbands, wives and children.
Parishes have been revitalized, diaconate classes have been filled, and all seek to deepen their relationship with Christ through prayer and service.
As a result, ACTS is supported by bishops and priests worldwide as a legitimate participant in the Church's New Evangelization. Through ACTS, the laity respond to their baptismal call and seek to participate in the apostolic mission of the Church to "go and make disciples of all nations."
As of 2018, The ACTS Apostolate is represented worldwide.
- 94 parishes in the Archdiocese of San Antonio
- All 15 dioceses of Texas
- 28 states in the US representing 75 dioceses
- 6 countries including the US: Mexico, Panama, Honduras, South Africa, and Canada, representing 28 international dioceses
- Over 550 parishes worldwide
St. John Paul II
When we at ACTS Missions reflect back on our narrative, we are always happy to mention that the first ACTS Retreat was in 1987, the same year that St. John Paul II visited San Antonio. We see this not so much as coincidence, but as a God-incidence. The herald of the New Evangelization present in the same time and place that ACTS came into being. What better sign could we ask for of the Holy Spirit at work?
From its beginning, ACTS has participated in the Church's New Evangelization by helping others experience God's love, fostering discipleship, and building parish community. In this way, ACTS is answering the Holy Father's call to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to "the new deserts of the world."
Because of this connection, ACTS Missions has asked for St. John Paul II to be our patron Saint and intercessor. His presence is a reminder to us of our mission and we ask for his intercession as we continue the work of building up the Kingdom of God "one soul at a time" through ACTS.
St. John Paul II, pray for us!