What is the Spirit of Saragossa Retreat in Daily Life?
The Spirit of Saragossa retreat was originally designed as a 30-day directed retreat for Marianist brothers and sisters preparing for perpetual vows. This 30-day retreat was developed in 2008 by an international team of Marianist brothers, sisters, and priests; since then, many Marianist religious from around the world have experienced it. However, few religious and lay Marianists have been able to experience its richness due to the retreat's length. As a result, we have adapted the Spirit of Saragossa Retreat to be a "Retreat in Daily Life," which allows people to experience the retreat who otherwise would be unable to do a 30-day retreat. The North American Center for Marianist Studies (NACMS), an entity of the Marianist Province of the United States, is pleased to offer The Spirit of Saragossa Retreat.
What do you mean by a "retreat in daily life?" How does that work?
This version of the retreat is spread out over approximately five months. The retreatant continues in his or her life of commitments and meets weekly with a retreat director trained in guiding this retreat. Retreatants also commit to daily, focused prayer centered on the retreat materials and themes given to them by their director. People may apply and participate in the Spirit of Saragossa Retreat in Daily Life on an ongoing basis. Thus, there is no set "start" and "end" time.
Why is it called the "Spirit of Saragossa?"
This retreat is called the "Spirit of Saragossa" because it invites a retreatant into the 'spirit' of Father Chaminade’s own transformative experience during his three-year exile (1797-1800), during the French Revolution before Our Lady of the Pillar in Saragossa, Spain.
Through this retreat, a person prayerfully moves through four Marian mysteries as found in the Scriptures: the Annunciation, at the foot of the cross at Calvary, in the Upper Room at Pentecost, and at the wedding feast at Cana.
How do I participate in the Spirit of Saragossa Retreat in Daily Life? Is there an application or can I just sign up?
This is a retreat designed for people who have already made a commitment to the Marianist Family and for those who have experience in daily, personal prayer. The application asks some questions about your prayer life, experience in retreats and spiritual direction, and your experience in the Marianist Family, to make sure that this retreat--which is relatively intensive--is something that would be appropriate for you at this time.
If I participate in the Spirit of Saragossa Retreat in Daily Life, who will be my retreat director? Is one assigned to me or do I choose one?
There is a group of religious and lay Marianists who are trained in directing this retreat, and these Marianists are located in various parts of the United States. When you fill out your application for the retreat, you can name your preference for a director. This preference may be determined based on your location, since we recommend meeting with a director in person if possible. However, we can also facilitate virtual video meetings with your director through Zoom.
You may choose a director from the list of directors who have received training in guiding this retreat. To see the list of directors, along with their pictures and short biographies, you may click here.
I am new to the Marianist Family. Is the Spirit of Saragossa Retreat something I should consider?
The Spirit of Saragossa Retreat is not part of an initial formation process (at the beginning of one’s Marianist journey) but is a support in confirming and strengthening one’s commitment in living the Marianist charism. As a result, we do not recommend this retreat for people who are fairly new to the Marianist Family. Instead, we have other resources and experiences we can recommend to newer people seeking to make a Marianist commitment or who want to learn more about what Marianist charism and spirituality means. Click here for some useful books, and here for some helpful articles regarding those new to the Marianist Family.
What is the cost of this retreat?
The cost of this retreat in daily life is $500.
The Spirit of Saragossa Retreat in Daily Life is sponsored by the North American Center for Marianist Studies.