River of Life FAQS

FAQs

Scroll down for the following questions:

  1. Who is this retreat led by?
  2. What does ‘guided’ mean?
  3. What is the content?
  4. Can you tell me more about the silence?
  5. If I am not Catholic, will I feel welcome and comfortable?
  6. Why is registration $350?
  7. What are the sleeping accommodations?
  8. Can spouses, family members, and friends attend together?
  9. Can I request a suitemate?
  10. Are there dietary accommodations?
  11. Is the retreat center ADA accessible?
  12. Can I extend my stay at the retreat center?
  13. Can I arrive late or leave early?
  14. Will Sunday Mass (and daily Mass) be included?
  15. What is the attire? 
  16. What is the weather like in North Palm Beach in March?
  17. I am out of town. Where should I fly into?

Questions

1. Who is this retreat led by?

  • This retreat is led by Kari J. Colella, MTS.
  • Kari is married (27 years) and is a Spiritual Director, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Theology and Ministry at St. Thomas University, and works part-time both at the Archdiocese of Miami as the Director of Marriage and Family Life and at Annunciation Ministries as the Executive Director. She has served as a Consultant to the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and together with her husband was invited by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Marriage, and Life to provide consultation regarding high school affective sexual education. She has led Ignatian silent retreats ranging from 3-7 days. She has also led retreatants in the full 30-day Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. For more about Kari, click here.
  • This retreat is Kari’s Project in Ministry for a Doctorate in Ministry degree at The Catholic University of America. She has completed her doctoral coursework and is implementing this as her final project. Since this retreat is part of her doctoral studies, participants will be asked to complete anonymous pre-program and post-program surveys and evaluations. Survey anonymity will be strictly observed in compliance with academic research guidelines.
  • Personal note to those considering attending: Working on this Project in Ministry and retreat has been a pure joy! I am excited to implement it and I thank you in advance for considering participating. If you decide to participate, your participation is a gift to me as it helps me put into practice (and evaluate) the things I have learned and studied. It not only helps me implement this retreat, but your feedback will help shape any subsequent retreats or derivative efforts. Most importantly, I hope and pray you will be blessed by participating (and that others you know and love will be blessed as well through your participation). I am praying for you as you consider attending and for those who will participate–for the greater glory of God, the good of all of us on the weekend, the good of those we know and love, and the common good.

2. What does ‘guided’ mean?

  • A ‘guided’ retreat means you will be ‘guided’ throughout the retreat.
  • There will be both Presentations (in a meeting room) and Guided Meditations (in the Chapel) aimed to help you prayerfully reflect on your life and God’s merciful love (for all, but especially for you personally).

3. What is the content?

  • The content of the retreat is based primarily upon Sacred Scripture and the rich teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. It draws heavily from Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence and St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s “Little Way.”
  • No prior knowledge of any themes or concepts is expected.

4. Can you tell me more about the silence?

  • While there will be ‘talking’ throughout the retreat by the retreat facilitator, it is ‘silent’ for participants.
  • Silence will begin after the opening dinner and presentation and will end Sunday before lunch and the closing presentation. There will be some opportunity to comment in the large group; however, this is completely optional. Also, during Saturday afternoon’s free time there will be an optional gathering to briefly socialize during the break time. Other than those exceptions, silence will be maintained (even at meals).
  • The online pre-retreat information meeting (Tuesday, February 20, 8pm) will explain why silence is a part of this retreat, what to expect regarding the silence, and how to prepare for it.
  • If you have never been on a silent retreat before, don’t let the silence intimidate you. It’s only about 40 hours of silence. You can do it! (And will likely be glad you did.)

5. If I am not Catholic, will I feel welcome and comfortable?

  • I hope so! And I will aim for this to be the case. All are welcome!
  • Openness to the content of the Presentations and active participation in the Guided Meditations is hoped for, but participants are free to participate in as much or as little of the retreat as desired.
  • Participation in Mass, Confession, and other Catholic devotions are also optional. Basic introductions to specifically Catholic practices will be explained as need dictates.
  • My hope is that everyone attending will feel welcome and that it was a weekend well-spent to gain personal insights, growth, and greater peace in daily life.

6. Why is registration $350?

  • The $350 fee covers room, board, and materials only. Per academic regulations, Kari will not receive any compensation for facilitating the retreat.
  • There are 25 ‘scholarships’ available until January 20 to reduce the fee by $100. Be among the first 25 to register by January 20 to take advantage of this discount.
  • If you are interested in attending and the cost is prohibitive for you, please email Kari at colellakj@cua.edu.

7.  What are the sleeping accommodations?

  • Rooms are private (single) with a ‘Jack and Jill’ style bathroom shared by two retreat participants of the same gender.
  • If you know someone attending the retreat and would like to request a suitemate, you may do so when registering.

8. Can spouses, other family members, or friends attend together?

  • Yes!
  • If couples, family members (all over 18), and friends want to attend together, this is possible. Hopefully it will be a rich experience to make this retreat with people you know and love.
  • Keep in mind, however, that this is a personal retreat, not a couple’s, family, or friends retreat.
  • Each person will have a single room and the hope (and expectation) is that all participants will maintain silence throughout the retreat (even between spouses, family members, and friends).
  • If you do know other people on the retreat, we will encourage you to just ‘smile and wave’ and then process together after the retreat!

9. Can I request a suitemate?

  • Yes, we will do our best to accommodate requests.
  • You may indicate your preference when registering. Both people must request this for it to be noted.
  • If you did not specify when registering, please send an email to Kari at colellakj@cua.edu with the name of the person you want to be your suite mate. Both people need to send Kari an email to confirm this preference.

10. Are there dietary accommodations?

  • The retreat center can accommodate the following: vegetarian, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, shellfish-free, fish-free, and soy-free. Please indicate when registering.
  • A refrigerator and microwave is accessible for those with additional dietary restrictions.

11. Is the retreat center ADA accessible?

  • The retreat center is accessible to people with moderate physical limitations.
  • There is one ADA room available this weekend. Please indicate if needed when registering.

12. Can I extend my stay at the retreat center?

  • The retreat center has openings February 28 and 29 (the two nights prior to the retreat). They cannot accommodate extensions beyond the retreat.
  • If interested in arriving early, please contact the retreat center directly and indicate that you will be coming for the River of Life Retreat: https://www.ourladyofflorida.org.

13. Can I arrive late or leave early?

  • Preferably, no.
  • Since this is part of doctoral studies (see above), participants are asked to be present the entire time.
  • For planning purposes, check-in will be Friday from 4pm-5pm. Please plan to arrive in that window.
  • Please plan to depart Sunday after 4pm.
  • If you have questions about this, please email Kari at colellakj@cua.edu.

14. Will Sunday Mass (and daily Mass) be included?

  • Sunday Mass will be included in the retreat before departure at 4pm.
  • There will also be optional daily Mass on Friday at 3pm (before the Retreat begins) and Saturday before breakfast.

15. What is the attire?

  • Casual, comfortable.
  • Shorts are acceptable.
  • Bring layers (for comfort in air conditioning or cooler mornings and evenings).

16. What is the weather like in North Palm Beach in March?

  • Hopefully it will be beautiful!
  • The average temperature in March is 78° (high) / 64° (low) with an average of 8 days of rain.
  • For more information: Click here.

1.7 Where should I fly into?

  • If you are coming in from out of state, the closest airport is Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). It is 16 miles from the Retreat Center. Depending upon arrival time and demand, an Uber ride to the Retreat Center may range $25-$50.
  • Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) is the next closest airport. It is 65 miles from the Retreat Center. Depending upon arrival time and demand, an Uber ride to the Retreat Center may range $70-$150.
  • Miami International Airport (MIA) is 85 miles away. Depending upon arrival time and demand, an Uber ride to the Retreat Center may range $100-$200.

 

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Why attend the River of Life Retreat?

Register today!

Registration Deadline: February 17, 2024