A Typical REC Retreat
The retreats are Scripture-based and are structured around presentations, breakout groups and reflections. Each day has a theme:
Day 1: Dying to Self, Day 2: Rising with Christ, Day 3: Going Forth – living the Pascal Mystery…transforming pain and suffering, righting wrongs, and living each day aware of the unending love, forgiveness and mercy of God. Check out some of our past themes.
If you are on a team for a retreat you usually draft a 15-to-20-minute talk for a specific day. Prior to the retreat, the entire volunteer team meets for two hours on three Saturdays (or other days convenient for the group) to present their talks to one another and provide feedback as a team. First-time REC volunteers are not assigned a talk.
Volunteer recognizes that the power of individual testimony is impactful.
Volunteer discusses safety protocols among inmates and volunteers.
“The incarcerated people we work within our program really choose to be there,” notes a longtime volunteer. Participants are diverse ages – ranging from age 18 to men in their 80s, even 90s and they sit at small tables, generally five inmates per table with two team members. Every time a volunteer gives a talk, we encourage the men at the table to engage in discussion about the talk and to support each other. First-time REC volunteers are invited to join a table, observe and participate in small group discussions.
During the REC retreat, inmates receive Palanca poems and prayers to hold onto afterwards. View some of the prayers and poems here.