Is this retreat just for Catholics or Christians? How much does it cost and why?
1 - Do I have to be a practising Catholic to come on a retreat?
No, definitely not. We welcome anyone who will find what we do helpful. For that reason you would need to feel comfortable listening to the Christian scriptures, with Trinitarian prayer, and with the idea that there is a spiritual part to your being, a soul, which is your essence, made visible in your body. But if such things don't appeal, or positively repel you, you probably won't feel safe enough to trust the other therapeutic aspects of what we do.
2 - What about the 'Catholic' Part?
The retreat is based on a Catholic anthropology. This affirms the fundamental dignity of all people, whatever their situation and respects every faithful search for the truth. It also understands human frailty. As part of the retreat we have Mass each day, there are prayers and other sacramental rites included in the retreat. You are invited but not compelled to attend and particpate in these as much as you wish to and are able. Regretfully it is not possible to admit non-Catholics or Catholics in canonically irregular situations to Eucharistic Communion, but you are warmly invited to share in the prayers, blessings and other sacramental rites and rituals and true spiritual communion.
3 - How Can I Trust You? The Church Really Hurt Me!
We are not a campaign group attacking the Church, but nor do we in any way defend using the Church, priesthood or religious life as a cover for abuse. If you were abused by someone in authority in the Church we share your outrage. We will invite you to express your anger about what happened to you because it is a righteous anger and we will witness it. But we also want you to work through that anger to lay bare the grief it covers, so that it no longer harms you. If your relationship with the Church was perverted for you by a wolf in sheep's clothing, our hope is that you rediscover the authentic face of Christ the Good Shepherd, who died to save you. And on the course, you will meet many more people who experienced abuse within families who share many aspects of your hurt and betrayal.
4 - How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of the 5-night programme in 2020 will be £450 for UK residents. This includes accommodation in a single room, full board, and all programme and after-care materials.
5 - That's Expensive Isn't It?
No! It's ridiculously cheap for what you get and we have set it at this price because we want this healing to be within reach of anyone who needs it. £450 doesn’t even cover the cost running the retreat centre and provide your accommodation and food for six days. Then there are programme materials and administration costs. Our team comprises professionally qualified therapists many of whom volunteer their time, and other volunteers. To put the price in context, you will receive about 40 hours of intensive, specialist treatment for abuse trauma in a comfortable residential setting with all meals provided for less than the price you would have to pay for TEN HOURS of counselling with a psychotherapist. Compare this potentially life-changing retreat to the cost of other courses, treatments, or holidays. Grief to Grace survives on charitable donations and makes no profit. In fact we make a substantial financial loss on every retreat because we are discounting the true cost of the programme by about 75%.
We advise people, if possible, to seek financial assistance from family or friends, their local parish, or perhaps even to take out a loan if they really feel they need a retreat now but really cannot afford it. We are happy to discuss payment plans and ways of making it easy to spread the cost.