33 Days to Morning Glory is a 6-Week Group Retreat
Retreat participants of the 33 Days to Morning Glory Group Retreat should meet once a week for 90 minutes.
About 90 minutes (1½ hours) total time:
- 15-minute Large-group Opening with a 6-minute introduction talk on DVD, followed by small-group gatherings
- 45-minute Small-Group sharing (drawing from the daily questions in the Retreat Companion)
- 30-minute talk on DVD that illustrates the key points of each week and keeps them simple and livable
This weekly format is based on your reading the appropriate section of 33 Days to Morning Glory first and then reading and answering the questions in the Retreat Companion that pertain to that section.
Large-group — Opening (15 Minutes)
You'll begin each session by coming together in a large group. Within that large group, you'll begin with prayers and watch the 6-minute introduction for that session. This is also a great time for the Retreat Coordinator to make any announcements. Allow 15 minutes for this time and the transition of all participants to their small groups. (If the entire group consists only of one small group, then there's obviously no need to break up into smaller groups.)
Small-group — Sharing (45 Minutes)
Small groups (about 6-10 people, depending on your group and available space) meet for a 45-minute discussion time that follows the small group session outlines at the end of each week. The small-group dynamic is perhaps the most important aspect of the retreat. Within a small-group setting, a true spirit of fellowship in Christ is fostered and developed. Without such friendship and fellowship in Christ, the isolated Christian may become paralyzed in his efforts at evangelization and stagnant in his faith. But with friendships in Christ, the members of his Mystical Body are connected in holiness to Christ and to one another in prayer and so are able to better receive his divine power! (see Mt 18:20). The friendships that you discover and nourish in your small group are important sources of support and encouragement on your journey to a deeper relationship with Christ.
Small-group Leaders: Be sure to read the Weekly Sessions at the end of each week in the Retreat Companion before each gathering. There the preselected focus questions for each week are listed. You will also want to register as a Small-group Leader on our website AllHeartsAfire.org to receive weekly, helpful tips that will help you make the most of your small-group experience.
The small-group time is divided as follows:
A. PRAYER: This is the given week's prayer from the Retreat Companion. The group should pray it together.
B. PERSONAL RESPONSE: Particular questions selected from the week will be used for small-group sharing.
C. PETITION: The Small-group Leader will recite the daily closing invocations of the Holy Spirit within the group, and the members respond.
The above-mentioned prayer, personal-response questions, and petitions are provided in the Retreat Companion at the end of each week as the Small-group Session Outline.
Large-group — DVD (30 Minutes)
Following the small-group discussion and prayer, participants reconvene in the large group for 30 minutes of guided retreat by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, on DVD. Each session ends with prayer and Fr. Michael's invitation to make the insights gained and lessons learned a part of one's spiritual life. After the DVD, the Retreat Coordinator may make announcements and briefly introduce the topic for the upcoming week and its corresponding prayer.