Q. 1. How does the Catholic Church define a "religious retreat?"
A. 1. In summary, a "religious retreat" serves the purpose of getting closer to God and rediscovering one's faith.
It involves setting aside a time frame for interior spiritual development through a prolonged period of reflection.
A "religious retreat" may last anywhere from one day (6 hours) to months.
It usually involves going into an environment that is free of distraction and stress, such being away from home. Some people attend a Retreat House while others decide to travel around the world during their retreat. And others may decide to withdraw to a secluded beach for the day where they can reflect on God.
A "religious retreat" is often associated with a religious Order. The sisters or the brothers of one particular Order gather for a time of reflection. Some prefer to call individual retreats as a "spiritual retreat" versus a "religious retreat."
The reflective nature of the retreat can involve the reading of spiritual material or the writing down of personal feelings regarding one's faith.