In this article, Kevin Sullivan, an experienced lawyer, and involved in ministry to couples for years, speaks of the wonderful difference retreats have made in his personal and family life, and how spiritual retreats differ in impact from the corporate “retreats” given by experts. What we do AFTER the retreat makes a huge difference.


As you read this, the Lenten season is well underway. In our parish and throughout the United States, Lent brings with it the possibilities of parish missions and retreats. Many of our fellow parishioners will attend and the mission will be the talk of the parish for at least the next three or four days. I am somewhat reluctant to confess that I am not a big fan of parish missions. Don’t get me wrong: The few missions I have attended over the years have always been wonderfully preached and informative, encouraging and even inspirational.  The problem is that, while I find them satisfying, engaging and even at times entertaining, they have never had the life-changing impact of the powerful full retreats I have been blessed to participate in over the years. Well! You might ask, whose fault is that? That’s a good question to which I am inclined to answer “Mine, of course. ” Why is it I get so much more from a good retreat than I do from a great parish mission?

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Crystal and Kevin Sullivan

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