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* Bishop’s Support Initiatives * The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend: * The Parish Core responsibilities: Core Charter.

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Presentation on theme: "* Bishop’s Support Initiatives * The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend: * The Parish Core responsibilities: Core Charter."— Presentation transcript:

1 * Bishop’s Support Initiatives * The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend: * The Parish Core responsibilities: Core Charter

2 *How does ACTSM ensure their retreats are obedience to the formats prescribed and hold true to Catholic views. *Bishops have seen retreat leaders actually disobey the authority responsible for such retreats movements. Many Catholics need formation to implement directives set forth by the authoritative body because they do not understand their context. *There are concerns about persons in leadership being called a ‘spiritual director/companion’ without proper formation as such. *Throughout the history of the Church, many movements have come and gone in their own time, each one serving its purpose and fading away. How would ACTS be different?

3 *What makes ACTS retreats different from others: Cursillo or Christ Renews His Parish. *How does ACTS address concerns about formation that is ‘lay run’, especially when the laity’s catechetical formation has been little to non-existent. *Similar type of retreats at the parishes deteriorate into just the sharing of emotions, with no solid content based on Scripture or Tradition/Church teaching. What is being done to ensure there is solid Scriptural and doctrinal content, connection to the life of the parish, as well as the call to renew the temporal order, beginning in the family.

4 Revision of the Director's Leadership Manual Revision of ACTSM Core Charter Core Town Hall visits Core Training (mandatory attendance for all Parish core members) Increased Leadership Workshops (mandatory attendance for Directors and Co-Directors) (recommended for retreat team and leaders) Development of a Chapter Charter & Chapter Advisory Committee Spiritual Companion Training Requiring Strict adherence to the ACTS Retreat Format Yes Agreement forms ( Chapters, Core, Directors, Team)

5 * Protocol with Bishops (ensures Bishops are aware of ACTS in their Diocese and where the ministry is going) *Bishop & Priest transition tool kit (to aid new Bishops and Priests coming into an ACTS parish/diocese) *Processes to ensure ACTS integrity a) Retreats & processes remain true to ministry description. ( Maintain clear and definite boundaries as to the ACTS retreat weekend, retreat flow followed & process) b) Talks (presentations are true to Catholic teaching and doctrines) c) Establish Core workshop training (Catholic leadership skills, Integrity of the ACTS retreat, ensure the success of ACTS in the parish community, clear boundaries followed, avoidance of cliques/exclusiveness) d) Qualify Spiritual Companions e) “River rule” obeyed, mitigate liability exposures * Assist parishes with Post ACTS initiatives

6 Integrity of ACTS The Parish Core responsibility:

7 * Spirit of Hospitality : warm, safe, and accepting atmosphere * The Stations of the Cross : intent is to facilitate introspection (meditative) and a harmonize, quiet, yet open, searching environment. Retreatants enter into a spirit of interior reflection, encouraging them to recall their own life experiences and become attentive to their own life history. The service is set to establish a pattern of transformation and transcendence that is the essence of spiritual enlightenment; namely, surrender to the will of God. Death of ego and the attachments of our old self, ascending to new life and new relationship with God our Savior. There should be a personal recognition and acceptance of God’s presence or absence in their lives. * Silence begins. The retreatant is deliberately left alone, nameless, to sit quietly with God. In that silence there begins a wrangling of the Spirit with the ego, to challenge the old ways of control and security with the new concept of surrender to God and to His will. Integrity of ACTS The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend:

8 Integrity of ACTS The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend: *Friday morning continues in a spirit of introspection. Early Morning Prayer, meditation, and liturgy help to bring the thoughtfulness and reflection of the previous night to the new day * Values Talk : The level of thought Friday involves the intelligent: retreatants ask “why,” leading the retreatants into a deeper consideration of their own values and God’s position in their lives. “What is important to me: how much time & effort am I spending to develop those things? “What am I doing that is threatening those things that are most dear to me?

9 Integrity of ACTS The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend: Then we shift the direction from self to Christ with Adoration & Theology talks. Adoration talk suggests ways the retreatants may access God in their hearts and may address those ego issues that prevent this union. Shows God’s unconditional love for us leading retreatants to conclude that we are beloved children of God with all our sins and flaws. Theology talk addresses the many ways we may learn more about God and what His will is for us. Retreatants are invited to accept His love and join their wills to His. Forgiveness talk is given after having the retreatants spend a day reflecting on their life, past, present and future, creating a natural feeling of the need for reconciliation and forgiveness for our selfishness and ego games and for our lack of trust in God. Sacrament of Reconciliation: Sensing a feeling of a tremendous burden lifted and this may be a time for a minor celebration, such as an ice cream social or singing, etc.

10 Integrity of ACTS The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend: Saturday: themes of Community and Service, retreatants explore, in depth, the gift of love Christ has given. Retreatants are reminded that they do not walk alone on their spiritual journey. Sacraments talk also serves to underscore the fact that we are not expected to fight our battles or suffer alone. Foot washing service focuses on the acceptance by the disciple of Jesus’ love and asks that we respond in willingness and faith to take up our cross, seek truth, love and justice and leave the dead behind. Candlelight Celebration offers the retreatants a glimpse of the larger community’s support as they walk the new narrow path of the will of God, preparing them for that reentry into daily life with a new heart and to live out within their communities of family, work and church the new life they have discovered. The Agape celebration allow retreatants to come together in community, breaking bread and sharing juice in an agape meal where they experience and commit to an agape love for God and one another. This is an opportunity for retreatants to verbally express what it is they have come to know this weekend.

11 Sunday’s thought focuses on the responsible: the level of values on which all take action in accordance with an informed conscience. The theme is a follow-through on Service and return to Community. Retreatants recognize and accept the call to be Christ for others through prayer, teaching, and service, anointed and commissioned to bring the Good News to others. This is the focus of the final talk, Going Forth. The Go Forth talk challenges us to not backslide, as is easy to do when we return to familiar situations, but rather armed with new heart and mind, coupled with new brothers and sisters, to boldly and courageously live out our Christian call and in so doing lay claim to our Christian legacy of peace and joy. The weekend is usually concluded with a return to the home parish community in a liturgical gathering as table companions at the Eucharistic Meal, followed by refreshments hosted by the community in the same spirit of hospitality that the retreat began. Integrity of ACTS The intent, heart & journey of the ACTS Retreat Weekend:

12 Retreat Weekend Overview Hospitality Introspection Examination Contrition ThursdayThursday Introspection Self Awareness Spiritual Awakening Reconciliation Contemplation Acceptance Discernment Resurrection SaturdaySaturday Resolution Comfort Responsibility Commitment SundaySunday 12 FridayFriday Integrity of ACTS The Parish Core responsibilities:

13 Highlights of Changes to the Core Charter

14 Highlights of Changes to the Core Charter Members: From 10 to 12 members From 2 to 3 years with rotations of 1/3 every year (4) A member must not be re-elected to Core until they have been off Core for one three year term. Parish Pastor may serve as a non-voting member to Core. Or, if a liaison is chosen by Pastor, the term limit is determined by pastor (also a non-voting member). Attached addendum “ACTS Core/Youth Minister Relationship” The Director for the upcoming ACTS retreat will be non-voting temporary member of the Core Team. Facilitators and Committee heads will be selected annually

15 Highlights of Changes to the Core Charter ACTS Service Projects: Be approved by Pastor Changes to Core Charter must be approved by Chapter & ACTS Missions ACTS retreats will be conducted according to the directives outlined in the ACTS Missions Retreat Director’s Manual. ACTS Missions along with the San Antonio Archdiocese own the trademark and copyright rights to the ACTS name and retreat materials. ACTS Missions is charged with the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the ACTS retreat and its processes. To maintain the integrity of the retreat, changes to the Spiritually Essential elements of the retreat are not permitted. If changes are made without our express written permission, then the name ACTS may not be used in the title, description, or publication of the retreat, and all copyrighted materials must be returned to ACTS Missions. (Core Charter pg 21) New Teen ACTS Addendum for Core “YES” Agreement Letter Addendum

16 Highlights of Changes to the Core Charter Responsibilities of Core: From Guideline to Directives. Uphold the integrity of ACTS by ensuring the ACTS retreats are held consistent with the description and directives set forth in the ACTS Missions Director’s Manual. Directors and the retreat team all sign the “Yes” agreement. Ensure the success of ACTS by providing and promoting opportunities for faith sharing groups, evangelization, community service, and other faith-enriching events Ensure new core members attend Core Leadership workshop. Check all members’ duties (Facilitator’s, Co’s, etc…)

17 2 MEMBERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE OF THE CORE 2.1 The Core team will consist of 10 to 12 members. Members will be practicing Catholics, in good standing with the Catholic Church and registered parishioners of the parish. (note all ACTS leadership must meet this criteria: Directors, Co-Directors, Spiritual Companions/Directors, Core, Service & Ministry leads ) 2.2 These members will be committed to the building of the ACTS Community within their parish and to the ACTS Core as a ministry. 2.3 These members must have been a retreatant in an adult ACTS retreat, served on an adult ACTS team, and displayed leadership abilities with a servant’s heart. 2.4 Any new member may not be a spouse or an immediate family member of a present Core member.

18 2 MEMBERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE OF THE CORE 2.5 Administrative roles of the first Core will be decided at the installation meeting. Thereafter, all administrative roles within the Core will be nominated and voted on by the Core annually upon the anniversary date of the initial core installation. Members may apply for their previous role. Persons will be nominated and a written ballot will be taken. The person receiving the most votes will serve in the role being selected. 2.6 It is the intent to maintain a balance of gender and experience levels on the Core. Accordingly, the Core membership will consist of equal males and females. The normal term of Core membership shall be three years. A member may not be re-elected to Core until they have been off Core for one three year term.

19 2 MEMBERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE OF THE CORE 2.7 The parish pastor or a parish liaison will serve on Core. To insure impartiality, the liaison will not be a voting member. The parish liaison may, however, give advice and participate in the discussion of any issues brought before the Core. The parish liaison will not be given a set term of service on Core, but will serve until he or she tenders resignation or serves for the term determined by the pastor. 2.8 The parish youth minister or their appointed liaison shall also be a non- voting member of the Core to represent the youth for support of Teen ACTS retreats. (See attached addendum “ACTS Core/Youth Minister Relationship”) 2.9 For newly installed Cores, 4 members will receive 1 year terms, 4 members will receive 2 year terms, and 4 members will receive 3 year terms. Subsequent replacements will receive 3 year terms. Determination of the 1, 2 and 3 year terms will be by consensus, or by prayerful drawing of names, or by vote; with preference of the methods in that order. Ongoing Core member replacements will be chosen at the Core nomination meeting. NEW Core

20 2 MEMBERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE OF THE CORE 2.10 Names of nominees for Core member replacements will be brought forth by members of the Core for open positions being considered. The names of the nominees will be accumulated during the 3 months prior to the nomination meeting, and may be solicited from the entire ACTS community as well. Prior to the nomination meeting the names thus collected will be given to the Pastor for his review of the Catholic in good standing requirement At the Core nomination meeting, the names of the nominees will be prayed over using ACTS 1: The names will then be drawn one at a time, verified that they meet criteria, and recorded in the order drawn. The Core will draw several more names than there are positions needed, providing extra names in case they are eventually needed. The individuals will be invited to serve on the Core team in the order in which they were selected with the first person that accepts filling the vacancy for that particular position. The same procedure shall continue until all vacancies are filled. The selected nominees shall be contacted and provided a copy of this Charter for review prior to final acceptance of the position.

21 2.12 Facilitators and Coordinators (all administrative roles) will be selected annually, as soon as possible after the new core members have joined for that year. Members may apply to serve in the same role. Should the Facilitator of the Core not be able to serve, the Co-Facilitator shall assume the duties of the Facilitator and the Core shall then elect a new Co- Facilitator The Director for the upcoming ACTS retreats or their Co-Director, if the Director is not always available, will be non-voting members of the Core Team. This will allow the Directors to be able to bring up issues or concerns to the Core Team for resolution. The Directors (or their Co- Directors) for the upcoming ACTS retreat will remain on the Core Team until they have presented the lessons learned from their retreat to the Core Team and the reunion meeting has been held The ACTS Core team may vote to remove a Core member at any time only for good cause. Good cause for removal of a Core member includes one who misses 25% of the meetings over a calendar year or fails to perform their administrative role. Any vacancies will be filled using the list of selected nominees from the previous nomination meeting There shall be a quorum of 2/3 at a meeting where decisions are made. A simple majority rules, but a consensus is always preferable. NEW

22 4 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CORE The Core is responsible for the decisions governing the ACTS Ministry within the parish in keeping with the directives, guidelines and provisions of this Charter and of ACTS Missions. Their main responsibilities are: 4.1 Assume responsibility for staffing each of the administrative roles. 4.2 Facilitate the selection of the Director of each retreat sponsored by the parish. 4.3 Serve as a source for advice and counsel, new ideas and procedures for retreat directors. 4.4 Uphold the integrity of ACTS by ensuring the ACTS retreats are held consistent with the description and directives set forth in the ACTS Missions Director’s Manual and the “Spiritually Essential elements” document included within. It is recommended to have Core keep an open line of communication with the Director and the retreat team, and each retreat Director must sign the “Yes” agreement and attend the Leadership Workshop. 4.5 Ensure the success of ACTS by providing and promoting opportunities for faith sharing groups, evangelization, community service, and other faith-enriching events. NEW

23 5 CORE ADMINISTRATIVE ROLES 5.1 Facilitator -Ensure new Core members and retreat Director’s attend the appropriate Leadership workshop. 5.2 Co-Facilitator -Notify ACTS Missions of retreat location, date, and retreat director. -Ensure new Core members and retreat Director’s attend the appropriate Leadership workshop. 5.3 Communications Coordinator -Notify ACTS Missions of Core member changes 5.4 Financial Coordinator -Coordinate payment of evangelization tithe to ACTS Missions. ($10 per adult attendee added to retreat fee)

24 Highlights of Changes to the Core Charter 6 Choosing Directors: The Communications Director will provide a list of all people who meet the requirements of having served on at least 2 ACTS retreat teams to the Core Facilitator. The Core Facilitator will provide this list of names to the Parish Priest and /or the Parish Administrator, who will review the list to determine if there is anyone on the list that is not eligible at this time to serve as Director for an ACTS retreat. Retreat Director Qualifications: *Members will be practicing Catholics, in good standing with the Catholic Church (note all ACTS leadership must meet this criteria: Directors, Co- Directors, Spiritual Companions/Directors, Core, Service & Ministry leads ) *Must have served on at least two teams *Must live a moral, ethical and faith-filled life in communion with the Catholic Church *Must have demonstrated leadership qualities with a servant’s heart.

25 ACTS retreats will be conducted according to the directives outlined in the ACTS Missions Retreat Director’s Manual. ACTS Missions along with the San Antonio Archdiocese own the trademark and copyright rights to the ACTS name and retreat materials. ACTS Missions is charged with the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the ACTS retreat and its processes. To maintain the integrity of the retreat, changes to the Spiritually Essential elements of the retreat are not permitted. If changes are made without our express written permission, then the name ACTS may not be used in the title, description, or publication of the retreat, and all copyrighted materials must be returned to ACTS Missions

26

27 Retreat Director’s YES Agreement Dear Director: Thank you for saying Yes! You now have the opportunity to help evangelize by providing an unforgettable ACTS weekend. Please sign and return a copy of this letter to your parish Core Team. 1.Agree to follow the ACTS Missions Director’s Manual, including the no-alcohol policy, confidentiality commitment (River Rule) and to show & discuss the Fr Ken DVD with your team. (Summary of Fr Hannon’s Presentation)*. 2. Agree to the attached retreat outline and format (How the Message of ACTS Flows through the Weekend and What is Essential – Schedule for the Weekend)*.

28 Team Member YES Agreement Dear Lord, When the phone rang and I answered yes, I realized that I was committing myself to the work of preparing myself physically, mentally, and spiritually for the mission You have set before me. The mission as spelled out by You is to bring the of the closer to You. In order to be able to accomplish Your mission I must: Agree to follow the ACTS Missions Director’s Manual, including the no-alcohol policy and confidentiality commitment (River Rule). Agree to the attached retreat outline and format (How the Message of ACTS Flows through the Weekend and What is Essential – Schedule for the Weekend)*. *Document on the "Forms/Scripts” CD with the Director’s Manual.

29 ACTS CORE TIPS “Creating a Strong Foundation”

30 Evangelization Tithe Letter ACTS has become one of the most important movements ever for the New Evangelization of the Catholic faith. From its simple and humble beginnings in 1997, ACTS Missions, in partnership with hundreds of people and many parishes, has extended the ACTS movement to all 15 Texas Dioceses, 22 States and in 6 countries including the U.S. It is estimated that on any given weekend, there are at least 20 ACTS retreats occurring around the world, touching over 1,500 people a weekend, with over 400,000 individuals having already experienced ACTS in over 500 parishes.

31 Evangelization Tithe Letter To remain viable through these years we been funded by the generosity of the ACTS family and by sales from the ACTS store. This worked well in the past and will continue as a foundation of our commitment. However, the growth of the work in both evangelizing new retreats and supporting existing ACTS programs demands that we seek additional sources. We’ve explored many avenues to meet these needs, in prayer and discussions. We are undertaking an effort to ask each Chapter, Parish Core and Retreat Director to join us with their commitment to and appreciation of ACTS by collecting $10.00 from each adult retreatant and team member going on a ACTS retreat weekend, as a part of their retreat fee. We ask prayerful consideration of this as a means to extend and support ACTS Missions’ services to a growing number of Catholic communities, wherever they may be. We trust that the amount is small enough that it shouldn’t cause an undue burden on anyone and thus the support for ACTS Missions will come directly from the people whom it serves and who benefit from its services. We are asking each retreat Director to simply add $10 to the retreat fee of each adult registration, and send a check for the add-on amount with the retreat roster ($10 x the number of attendees of the retreat) within 45 days of the retreat completion to ACTS Missions, a 501(c)3 organization Mail to: ACTS Missions – 285 Oblate Dr – San Antonio, TX 78216

32 We come together, in the name of Jesus, -to be transformed, -bringing with us our gifts, -our talents, -our history, -our experiences, both good and bad. We do so knowing the miracle that lies ahead. The miracle which occurs as Jesus calls out to each of us saying, “because you love one another, you are Mine.” Yes, when we love one another, we become the miracle and are witnesses to the miracle. Being transformed by His love the world beholds His glory, though us. That’s ACTS.

33 CLOSING THOUGHT “…We must always RESPECT WHERE PEOPLE ARE…Spiritual growth is a lifetime process…Remember where you were when you made a similar retreat. Bring people to the retreat and then allow the Holy Spirit to work…Team formation should be spent in spiritual growth exercises and listening to all talks and not in the details of the weekend.”

34 Closing Prayer ACTS CORE BLESSING Instructions: Have participants pair up by two’s, facing each as they prepare to bless each other.


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