The first time I went to a spiritual retreat was during my freshman year in high school. We all crowded into the basement of the church near our school and held forced conversation with classmates we barely knew. What I thought was going to be a dreadful day ended up being a wonderful experience and helped me to grow not only in my social life, thanks to my newfound forced friends, but also helped me to grow in my spirituality. Since then, I have attended numerous retreats throughout my life, but some of my most memorable ones are those which were in a new space.
Later in my high school career, I joined a Life Teen group which went on off-site retreats twice a year, around Thanksgiving and Easter. These retreats held about sixty high school students from our group, and we would gather at local retreat houses for a weekend retreat. It was here that I really began to learn the importance of these off-site retreats and enjoy these new moments in new places. There was something so special about praying together, eating meals together, and spending quality time with the same group of people that really made me appreciate these experiences. I remember dreading the bus ride back to the church, because that meant that our time together was coming to a close. Personally, I found that I was much more keen to speak up and converse in deep conversation, and feel vulnerable in these retreat settings. In a way, it felt as if being in a new space felt like a new start.
Similarly, my first weekend of college, I went on Freshman Retreat. I remember all the retreat leaders coming to the dorms and my parents encouraging me to sign up. I was terrified! I had no friends going on the trip, I was away from my roommate for the first time, and I had no idea what to expect. The weekend ended up being fantastic! We went kayaking, I made new friends, shared a cabin with classmates I’d never met before, and we ended the weekend with a beautiful eucharistic adoration and Mass. What I thought was going to be the most awkward and unfamiliar experience, ended up being filled with joy, laughter, and only falling into a lake once (that was the real miracle of the retreat!).
Here at the Pallottine Seminary at Green Hill, we offer a full events facility for day events and can accommodate groups (smaller than thirty-five adults) for retreats, board meetings, or other similar group meeting needs. Additionally, there is a chapel for Mass, prayer, and adoration, a dining room for group meals, and several outdoor locations for break out groups or just to walk around our manicured fourteen acre landscaping. Just walking around Green Hill is such a relaxing experience; it is so quiet and serene, and such an enjoyable place to visit. Green Hill is even fully equipped with an audio / visual studio! Here, guests can record podcasts, film videos, and even host webinars from our studio space, which includes a teleprompter, lighting, microphones, and other items you may need. Our dedicated meeting space, the Queen of Apostles Room, was recently renovated to include a brand-new camera, microphone, and speaker system allowing for ease of use for events with virtual participants. Truly, most any amenity you may need for your group, you can find here. It is our hope that Green Hill can help to facilitate all your needs and enhance any retreat or group meeting experience.
Retreats have the ability to be an experience that can be both connective and solitary. Through retreats, I found my spiritual life growing not just through my own words and thoughts, but through those of whom I was journeying with. We hope that Green Hill can be the backdrop for your next group meeting space and facilitate all the meaningful conversations to come for you and your ministry.
To learn more about Green Hill, click here: https://www.catholicapostolatecenter.org/green-hill.html