The first movement that got my family and I so close to the Catholic Church was the encounter of a retreat called Acts. My dad first came across this retreat late November of 2001. When he came back home, all of us noticed a big difference in his temperament and all around as a man. He then convinced my mom to live her retreat. She too, came back a completely changed person. The thought of what could possibly be this good enough to change people so drastically? played on repeat, over and over again in my head. I was only eleven years old at the time, so I would have had to wait until I became an adult to live my own retreat.
Soon enough, the ACTS movement spread like a disease all over the place. They made a college Acts, and eventually wanted younger kids to experience it, so now there is a teen Acts. You have to be sixteen or older for mature reasons. I lived mine at the age of 15 because I was mature enough and too eager to wait another year. When I first got there, I didnt know what to expect. I had so many ideas of what could possibly go on, but had no clue. What got me even more curious to do my own retreat was the fact that nobody could tell you what went on in there.
I learned this soon after walking into my retreat, we were presented with the River Rule. This rule states that whatever happens on one side of the river stays on that side of the river and does not cross. Meaning, whatever happened at the retreat, happened at the retreat with the people who lived it, not anybody else. It makes people more anxious to come because they feel like they have to know what happens in the retreat, as did I. The Teen Acts retreat changed me as a person in so many ways, and completely made a big impact in my life. I cannot even begin to list all the different things it has done to me, and for me.
It was such an amazing experience and touches so many people who are enduring hard times in their life. I am proud to say that I have staffed two Teen Acts retreats and other smaller retreats in my parish. As most people remember the positive things that have impacted their life the most, Acts was mine. Hands down, living an Acts retreat will change your life and your perspective at life in a variety of ways. You wont regret living your Acts retreat one bit. I encourage anyone who hasnt done one, to sign up for one as soon as possible. This will be the biggest impact that has ever come across your life.