The Light of the World Retreat is an immersive weekend retreat experience where participants personally encounter Christ through the presentation of the kerygma - the basic gospel message. Your parish holds this retreat yourself - typically twice a year - and we help you run your first three retreats.
We bring a proven and effective retreat to your parish, and train your own parishioners to run it. We help your parish become a disciple-making machine, and the retreat is the engine.
We send a dedicated team of evangelizers - intentional disciples from parishes across the country - who train your parish to run your first Light of the World Retreat. Our team stays with you for your first three retreats, which is usually about 1 ½ years.
As a direct and immediate fruit of the retreat, you will begin to develop your own team of evangelizers from your parish. Over your first three retreats, we gradually transfer leadership from our team to your parish team.
We'll send a four-member team to your parish to completely run your first Light of the World Retreat for you, with just a little administrative assistance on your part. This allows your parishioners to “live” the retreat first.
Two of our team members will combine with a handful of select retreatants from your first retreat to run your second Light of the World Retreat, about six months later. You'll also be recruiting a dedicated Retreat Coordinator from your parish during this time, who will be trained on the administrative side of the process.
Your parish will run your third Light of the World Retreat mostly on your own, another six months later, with one of our consultants on-site.
After the retreat weekend, retreatants have the opportunity to join a small group that meets on a regular basis in their homes. The last day of the retreat is dedicated in large part to the formation of these groups.
The Light of the World Retreat contains a series of talks, sacramental liturgies, and small group discussion. It's designed to draw participants through the kerygma in a systematic and powerful way.
The Light of the World Retreat is boldly Catholic, and it is completely faithful to the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.
This retreat is born, raised, and run in your parish. Don't wait for the "experts." They're already in your pews, they just don't know it yet.
To be honest, the Light of the World Retreat has no "secret ingredient." It’s about helping your parish tap into the tried and true method of evangelization that the Lord Himself has established: the kerygma.
Evangelization isn't just for the "experts." All disciples have a responsibility to evangelize. We help you turn the "regular" Catholics in your own parish into evangelizers.
Retreatants access the storehouse of graces that are available to them in the Church through a renewal of the Sacraments during the Light of the World Retreat weekend.
All the retreat materials are available online, and customized "dashboards" for each member of your retreat team make life much, much easier.
Whether your parish has hundreds of families or thousands, the model works. We can help you implement the retreat no matter what size parish you have.
Communicate with a real live person. No automated phone assistants, no hard-to-find contact information, no gatekeepers. You call, email, and even text us.
Your parish's one-time license fee includes...
Comprehensive materials: schedule, talk outlines, administrative guides, small group questions, and more.
In-person help from our team of evangelizers for your first three retreats.
Immediate access to new features and updates.
Graphics, posters, and more to help you promote your parish's retreat.
Helpful support via email, phone call, and even texting.
plus housing and transportation costs for our team membersGet Started
A retreat weekend includes Friday evening, Saturday all day, Sunday all day, and Monday evening. Conversion doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. The retreat is designed to patiently guide the retreatants through the kerygma, and gives them time to respond to what the Lord is doing in their hearts.
Retreatants need to stay for the entire retreat. If they need to miss part of the retreat, simply recommend that they attend the next retreat.
The retreat isn’t really four full days, it’s two full days and two evenings. It works around people’s work schedules, and they are able to go home at a reasonable time each evening to sleep in their own beds. Most importantly though, the retreat is worth the investment. Once people attend the retreat, they don’t regret the time spent.
Yes! We don’t recommend babysitting because the weekend is too long to keep children in a nursery the whole time and to have a babysitter the whole time. One suggestion is for the parents to attend separate retreats. Also, you could have another young couple “switch off” with them. In other words, one of the couples would attend a retreat while the other couple watches their kids. Then for the next retreat they would switch.
The ideal number of retreatants is 40. We recommend a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 60. It is possible to run a retreat outside of these recommendations, but we’ll discuss this with you if you have concerns. The only exception is that for your first retreats, you need at least 20 for the retreat to gain the necessary momentum in your parish.
Yes! We do have small parishes that run successful retreats each year. We recommend that you work with other small parishes near you to put the retreat on together. You can share costs, space, and team members.
This retreat is taught, not caught! For your first retreat, you have very little work (i.e. you provide food, a meeting space, and the pastor is asked to provide the sacraments). Our LOTWEM Team will run the retreat for you. After your first retreat, they will teach you how to manage the entire coordination process. Once you’re at your fourth retreat and you’re running it all yourself, you’ll find that you are fully prepared, you have all the materials and skills you need, and you’ll have three retreats worth of people to help run your future retreats. Many hands make light work!
The most important and effective way to recruit retreatants is personal invitation from the Pastor. If the Pastor is going to spend any energy on bringing Light of the World to your parish, this is the time! He should personally reach out to individuals who are believed to be crucial to the mission of evangelization in your parish. This means he should definitely invite those who are already very involved in parish life. You need these parishioners to get the retreat off the ground.
We never turn down a parish for financial reasons alone. First of all, many Pastors report that their weekly donations increase after bringing Light of the World to their parish, and they attribute that increase to the retreat. Retreatants come to believe that Jesus is even the Lord of their wallet! Second, apart from the one-time LOTWEM license fee, the retreat costs very little to run. For each retreat, most of the cost is purchasing food and making copies of handouts. In fact, retreatants are asked to make a freewill donation to the parish at the end of the retreat to offset the costs of the next retreat, and usually these donations will more than cover the expenses.
We strongly advise against charging retreatants. We want to eliminate any obstacles that might deter someone from attending. We’ve seen hundreds of parishes run this retreat without charging retreatants. Trust the Lord, He will provide!
Nope! The online interface is very user-friendly and easy-to-use. Plus, we’ll walk you through how to use the resources and provide you with continued support should you ever have a question.
On Monday night of every retreat, you’ll discuss the importance of community with the retreatants and begin the process of forming small groups made up of the people who just attended the retreat. We provide you with a six-week program called “Growing in Christ,” which walks the retreatants through the small group process by letting them experience it in a larger setting. Once your groups are off and running on their own, we have resources on our website designed specifically for Light of the World groups. We provide sharing questions, study resources, and more.