“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no time to even eat.”
Jesus’ words to His disciples, in Mark 6:31, resonate deeply with people across the Northern Territory. In a world filled with ceaseless hustle and bustle, the need for retreats has never been more profound.
Downpour Darwin Retreat: Open to individuals of all ages, this retreat provided an opportunity for over 150 participants to step away from their daily routines and immerse themselves in four days of powerful reflection and rejuvenation. Facilitated primarily by Bishop Charles and the Missionaries of God’s Love community, it left a lasting impact.
Diocese Clergy Retreat: Led by a Carmelite Friar from Sydney, this retreat gathered 40 priests and deacons from communities across the Northern Territory for three days. The focus was on deepening each individual’s faith and devotion, drawing inspiration from the life of St. Therese of Avila. A mystic, a reformer, a woman within the Catholic Church during the 1500s, her legacy lives on.
Wadeye Bush Retreat: Set against the backdrop of an outstation just 30 minutes from Wadeye, this four-day retreat attracted a diverse group seeking solace. The guiding theme was inspired by the words of a Samaritan woman: “Sir, give me that living water.” It left a profound impact, as described by the participants themselves.
“My favorite thing was singing and when we went for personal prayer. When I went and prayed in the bush on my own, the Holy Spirit touched my heart”, shared JJ, a 20-year-old participant. “The Holy Spirit was here with us, and I liked the action songs and dance”, added Karen, also 20 years old.
Darwin VMTC Ministry: A dedicated group of 15-20 individuals made a deliberate choice to set aside their day-to-day activities for four days in October. Their mission: to delve deeper into healing, wholeness, and openness to the Holy Spirit. The feedback was profound. “I feel my openness grows the more healing I receive,” one participant expressed. This ministry provides vital support to those who, over years, persevere in offering prayer and healing ministry to others.
This glimpse into the diverse array of retreats offered in the Northern Territory merely scratches the surface. From silent retreats to sacramental retreats, community bush retreats to women’s and men’s retreats, youth retreats, and those with religious sisters, the options are as varied as the spiritual needs they address. Catholic schools in the region also host retreats regularly, making these opportunities accessible to a broad audience.
So, when was your last intentional “Spirit-focused Retreat”?