Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 23 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ioan Suciu
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Emmanuel Community Hosts Retreat in Armenia for 25-30 Year Olds

Jacob Surland-cc

ALIÉNOR GAMERDINGER - published on 04/10/16

Feeling spiritually adventurous? How's Your French?

If you are feeling spiritually adventurous, speak French and are physically fit, consider making this unique retreat, from July 5 to July 16, 2016.

Under a beautiful summer night sky, retreatants will land in Yerevan, in Armenia, a nation whose Christianity predates Rome’s by 80 years. From there a bus will take them to the foot of Mount Ararat, where Noah’s ark came to rest after the flood.

Lucky retreatants will say good-bye to their comforts and pleasant little habits for a 12-day walk in the “Little Caucasus” through the mountains and wilderness that lead to Lake Arpi. They will traverse rock, steppe, and the harsh climate of the mountains, but especially the “human desert,” filled with God: light, color, vegetation, stone, wildlife, majestic beauty that elevates the soul.

God’s presence is noticeable “in the voice of a subtle silence” (1 Kings 19, 13).

This is the sort of retreat one does once in his life. The objective is to take time for yourself and for God away from the world — away from the usual activities and daily stresses — in order to learn to live more spiritually, more in tune with God and to welcome his plan of happiness for us. Throughout Scripture, and in the tradition of the Church (of the wilderness by the Hebrews, the 40 days of isolation of Christ before his passion, through St. Anthony or the blessed Charles de Foucauld), the desert has been the place where humans have discovered the truths about themselves, under the gaze of God and graces showered.

For more than 20 years, the Emmanuel Community has organized retreats in Sinai, Jordan and Morocco, and the testimonies of the retreatants convey strong emotions as they share deep experiences. “The desire to pray is found throughout this journey, thanks to the prayer of the heart. I rediscovered the rosary, and found the Lord’s mercy, through confession.”

The days will be punctuated by the Mass and moments of prayer, worship and teaching. To promote attention to the other, and a sense of service and prayer life, the 65 retreatants will be separated into two “routes” of about 30 people. The Emmanuel Community says “don’t be afraid to come alone, as it only helps the fraternal spirit to become even stronger.”

The retreat in Sinai is open to young people between 25 and 30 years old. It is not restricted to members of the Emmanuel Community but is open to all Catholics who desire to live a rich spiritual experience in the desert. Groups are balanced, male and female. It is best to be able to speak French.

Be prepared to walk for several hours during the day and sleep under the stars. For small travel injuries, each route will include a doctor or nurse. The walking pace is constant but not exhausting; large backpacks are transported by car.

For more information and for the chance to participate in this happy time of life, visit the site: Emmanuel Sinai Info.

Translated from the French.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zelda Caldwell
Catholic priest’s chapel is finalist in “Shed of the Year&#...
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Zoe Romanowsky
Animated film shows the power of fatherhood in just one minute
Philip Kosloski
Can Catholics use the Enneagram personality system?
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Thoughtful ways to honor a priest this Father’s Day
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.