What is ACTS?
The ACTS retreats focus on the life and joy of the early Christian communities, as described in ACTS 2:42 – “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to prayers.”
ACTS is also an acronym for Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service; and there are Masses, Adoration, and several very practical, heartfelt presentations on these subjects given by lay parishioners during the weekend.
These retreats are for all adults of all ages, whether new converts, RCIA candidates, or cradle Catholics. The warm, faithful, welcoming environment supports and teaches all of us wherever we are in our faith. We all grow; and with this, the spiritual life of the parish community grows. There is something powerfully different in the heartfelt unity among participants at the end of the retreat.
ACTS retreats started just 24 years ago, and are enormously popular in over 600 parishes in seven countries. Pastors have praised its positive effects on their parish life. Bishops have called it the most important movement in the Catholic Church today.
Each retreat starts on Thursday evening with check-in, and continues into Sunday with a pot-luck lunch after the 11:30 am Mass. The retreats start and end at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, but the main activities and lodging will be at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
ACTS retreats have enriched the lives of more than one million people. They witness that their ACTS retreat was instrumental in changing their lives, making good decisions, and leading them to become better friends, spouses, and parents. Many talk of their personal encounter with the love of Jesus.
Some Comments from Recent ACTS Retreats
“It was amazing to be able to experience the love that was present from the 45 women that I had just met that weekend. To have that much love and acceptance in one room was very humbling. No one can leave something like this being unchanged. The Holy Spirit was definitely at work!"
“The hospitality of the team immediately put me at ease. I was greatly impacted by the retreat and am thrilled to have met a wonderful group of men I am honored to call my brothers"
“The ACTS Retreat was a very powerful awakening full of inspiration, friendships, spirituality, humor and fellowship! It’s something you can only experience not explain! I highly recommend it!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Who presents the retreats?
Presenters are men and women of St. Francis of Assisi Parish who have been on a prior retreat (by women at the women’s retreats, and by men at the men’s retreats). The names of directors for upcoming retreats can be found listed on the registration form.
Who can go to the retreat?
The retreats are directed primarily toward the men and women of St. Francis of Assisi Parish; however, people from other Catholic parishes are welcomed; and retreats are also open to Christians from non-Catholic traditions who are open to learning about the Roman Catholic faith. You must be over 18 years of age.
What will happen at the retreat?
Prayer, spiritual reflection, talks, and discussion. These are not silent retreats, they are more participative; but we will provide breaks for personal prayer and meditation. There will also be time for entertainment and getting to know the other people on the retreat.
While the retreats are planned around the same format, they all happen a little differently and part of the blessing (and enjoyment) of the retreat is discovering what it means to you as it happens. For this reason, it is hard to get into specifics. There is prayer, reflection, liturgy and discussion. You can choose to participate in the discussion as much or little as you like. People are different, so their experiences and reactions to the retreat differ, but if you talk to men and women who have been on the retreat, you will see that responses are typically very positive.
The warm, faithful, welcoming environment supports and teaches all of us wherever we are in our faith. We all grow; and with this, the spiritual life of the parish community grows. There is something powerfully different in the heartfelt unity among participants at the end of the retreat.
What is the nature of my participation in the retreat?
The retreat is a time of prayer, reflection, listening and discussion. You participate and contribute to these activities only to the extent that you are comfortable. Strict confidentiality is the number one rule of the retreat. What happens or is discussed at the retreat…stays at the retreat!
Why attend an ACTS retreat?
The short answer is that it is “Significant-Powerful-Meaningful-Enlightening-Spiritual & Fun - truly a life changing weekend!”
Retreatants are also given guidance to help them in their faith journey. We all come to the retreat with different spiritual strengths and needs. We see that we are not alone in the trials and challenges of life and faith. The retreat provides many ways for The Holy Spirit to enter us, to give us what’s missing in our faith, and to energize our faith as we make new friendships in our parish.
Retreatants return to their parish with a deeper love for God and each other; and a desire to become more involved in their parish community. They witness that their ACTS retreat was instrumental in changing their lives, making good decisions, and leading them to become better friends, spouses, and parents. Many talk of their personal encounter with the love of Jesus.
Can I bring a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or music device to the retreat?
A necessary part of the retreat is to get away from the everyday concerns and distractions of the world. Please leave your cell phone and other devices at home, because they will distract you and other retreatants from that goal. If you bring a cell phone or other device, we will hold it for you during the retreat and return it to you on Sunday morning.
Emergency contact numbers will be provided so that you can immediately be notified if someone needs to reach you.
Will my belongings be secure?
We can hold valuables for you. However, we strongly suggest that you do not bring large amounts of money, expensive jewelry, or similar items.
What are the accommodations for the retreat?
The retreats are currently conducted the Spiritual Life Center. Private rooms are provided for all.
Meals, snacks, and beverages are provided.
Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited, and any use of alcohol could jeopardize our ability to use a retreat center in the future.
If you have any special medical, dietary, or accessibility needs, please let us know about them on the application form or contact the retreat Director or Co-Director. We will make every effort to accommodate you.
How will I get to the retreat center?
All of the retreat participants will need to be at St. Francis of Assisi not later than 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. A bus will then take you to the retreat, and you will have dinner there. The bus will also take you back to St. Francis of Assisi on Sunday for the 11:30 Mass, followed by lunch with family and friends. You may not drive to the retreat center on your own.
What should I bring to wear on the retreat?
Casual clothes such as Dockers, jeans, polo shirts and similar attire are fine for the retreat. Out of respect for the spiritual nature of the retreat, we ask that you not wear shorts, flip flops, tank top shirts and other clothes that may not be appropriate for activities at a spiritual retreat. There will be some outdoor walking or activity, so bring a jacket or sweater, as weather requires. You may also wish to bring warm night clothes for sleeping.
Also, pack things you would typically bring for a short trip—toiletries, medications, etc. Bring clothes appropriate for Mass on Sunday.
Will I be required to assist in future retreats?
No. ACTS is a volunteer organization. Should you wish to do so, you are welcome to participate in future retreats, but there is no requirement. The goal isn't more members for the group, but for a better, stronger relationship with the Lord. If that relationship moves you to also become more active in our parish community, that's great!
What do people mean when they talk about the “ACTS Community”?
When someone in the parish refers to the “ACTS community” it is simply a convenient and informal way to refer to the men and women who have attended an ACTS retreat.
Next Retreat Dates
- Women's ACTS Retreat - Sep 30 - Oct 3, 2021
- Men's ACTS Retreat - Oct 28 - 31, 2021
The cost for the retreat is $200. A deposit of $100 can be submitted with this registration to reserve your place. The remaining $100 is due on or before the first day of the retreat. Make checks payable to St. Francis of Assisi ACTS.
If you have any questions about the retreats or payments, please contact JoAnn Forister at 316-942-1918 or Aaron Leiker at (719) 691-5306.
Three Ways to Register
Register online by clicking the button below.
Mail a printed registration form (link to form provided below) with payment to: St. Francis of Assisi, Attn: ACTS, 861 N Socora St, Wichita, KS 67212
Deliver your printed registration form with payment to the Parish Office. If the Office is closed, drop the enclosed registration and payment into the Office door mail slot.
You will be contacted by a retreat team member to confirm your reservation