Retreat testimonials

We offer some new testimonials from those who have attended the Ignatian Exercises offered at the SSPX's retreat centers.
 

  •  I just wanted to let you know that I really and truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to talk to me during conference and most especially for hearing my 1st general confession.  I have never felt like I do now – it’s as if the true peace has replaced all of the false peace I thought I had before retreat.  I have new life in me and your advice truly has given me clarity…I was nervous before and tried, but I have been given new hope through Christ Who worked through you and all the priests on retreat.
     
  • I will tell as many traditional or new Catholic young people about going on retreat…I think it is fundamental for structure…I had no structure in which to base my future vocation/daily routine on.  I mean, I hear instructions from the priest once a week on Sundays for an hour at our mission church and it is good and we are so fortunate to have that, but for a young adult growing up today, there is no schedule in the world, no God-centered way of daily life, awful peer pressure and compromise, etc.  
     
  • The retreat was life changing, unfortunately,  when I attended I was hard of hearing,  but got some of it with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Now I am totally deaf, but will be having my ears operated on soon.   First thing I want to do is to attend another retreat.  It is worth every penny and every moment of one's life to attend your retreat,  The priest, the Chapel, the whole grounds radiated a holiness I never felt before.  I really grew spiritually from being there,  and can't wait to be there again.    Bless you , and all the priest , in sanctifying and saving souls.  My prayers are with you. 

  • Not only have the spiritual exercises along with the outstanding direction of the priests been responsible for the spiritual reset but also the location where a silence can be found no where else. I will always find myself returning and I pray that it will always be around for me and other souls to find peace and guidance in this hell bound culture we live among.

  • In October I was privileged to attend a retreat. The good priests who preached the retreat did so with great fervor and religious insight.  I still recall their lessons and, as a result of their devoted efforts, still read and meditate on the materials provided during the retreat. The staff were sincerely friendly, courteous and very obliging. I particularly enjoyed the setting --in fact, not a day was allowed to pass without my climbing upwards to walk the trails. The peaceful atmosphere aided meditation and made my time one of the best times of my life.  Yes Father, gladly would I return for another retreat. Thank you for your prayers, Father. May God bless you and your work.

  • It was a fabulously tremendous experience for me and my wife who took the retreat two months before me. We just loved it, Fr. Harber recommended we go there and we thank him for it to this day. When we got back home we have been recommending it very highly as being something every person needs to do. The conferences, the prayers, Mass, spiritual guidance. It was all just amazing. I can NOT say enough good things about it. Thank you so so so much. May God reward you for the wonderful work you do. We will definitely be going back there.

  • With God's grace (I am thankful to the SSPX as an instrument of God) that thankfully I have kept my resolutions and continue to pray and examine my conscience daily against my predominant fault. Looking back at my first retreat, I am able to see clearly now that it was instrumental in setting me on a new life path out of mortal sin and into the life of grace. Every retreat since then that I have attended has certainly brought me closer to spiritual perfection. Now I have made it my desire to bring my soul closer to perfection and to frequent this wonderful tool of grace. But although the world shall crumble around me, with even those of the faith that persecute me, I thank God for this great penance also that this my grace and faith shall always be constant, immovable and continually improving.

  • Retreats are the only way to truly prepare yourself to live for God. I realized I was not Catholic until I knew what a Catholic was, and for me that did not happen until I went on my first retreat. I thought living a life for God was only for the professed Religious. Life happens and I would never had made it through the trials that have come our way had I not known the value in suffering. Character is made through trials and God chastises those He loves. I am more grateful now more than ever for the trials and the chance to prove to the One, that suffered every humiliation for me, my fidelity.  I love God and that was not really true until I learned what love is. I learned what love is and where it comes from and the Author of all is truly worth finding. That is what my retreats have taught me. I will go on retreat as often as I can until I breath my last. I thank everyone that has anything to do with them as they have been my saving grace.  I am sure if I make it to Heaven I will have done so in no small part because of the impact the retreats had on me. I thank you with all my heart for doing such a noble and beautiful deed.

  • To give you the whole story: after that first retreat I made over 20 resolves to turn my life and therefore my whole family's around. I started wearing dresses as my only apparel and all 5 girls followed suit based on my example. I invited them to pray the rosary and I turned off the tv and secular radio. All six of my children joined me and eventually my non-Catholic husband, who was going through catechism, eventually joined us too.  I put a crucifix in every room and a beautifully framed holy image as well. We had our home consecrated and started making the first Friday and Saturday devotions. I believe it was a huge blessing to find the true meaning of life: to make it to Heaven and help your children get there too. My eldest became a Sister of the Society and that would not have happened had I not made the changes we did based on what I had learned from retreat. What other recommendation can I give? The other children are not fully grown but two have left to go to St. Mary's College in St. Mary's and again I do not think that would have happened without retreat. They are both teaching at Society affiliated schools. I know that I have done the best I can to give my children the tools they need to save their souls. Tools that I acquired at retreat. I have gone on too long but I think you get the idea. I love retreats. It is so calming and centering and puts you back in a position of moving towards God if you got off track. Plus when else are you able to speak with a priest anytime you need to? Retreats are the best!! I love them.

  • My Retreat in the Spiritual Exercises at St. Aloysius in Los Gatos was a spiritual oasis in the clutter of modern life.  From the moment of arrival we were enveloped in a serene and contemplative setting which was ideal for spiritual introspection.  Guided by Father Asher and Father Pedersen we progressed through a rich week of instruction and deepening of faith aided by their gentle, illustrative stories and time for personal meditation.  One of my special memories was the recitation before morning Mass of the saints and martyrs who were being remembered that day.  To hear their names reverently intoned was a humble reminder of our own insignificance.  I continue the practice each morning of reflecting on the day's saints and imagining I can hear the quiet chanting of names from St. Aloysius.  Thank God for these Catholic heroes.  Thank you for the meaningful lessons of the Retreat.  I pray the grace of God will lead others to experience the strong benefits of a Spiritual Retreat.

  • I loved the retreat and wanted to stay forever! Although the days were at times challenging, the sacrifice was so worth it. Many of the truths that were discussed I was aware of as a child but had forgotten or minimalized them in the last 50 years. I was not living my faith.
    My St. Ignatian spiritual retreat was the apex in my journey to come back home to the true Catholic church. A lot of my doubts and questions were answered during the retreat. The instruction on how to prepare for praying and learning how to meditate has been invaluable in centering my thoughts and keeping my mind from wandering when praying the Rosary and Mass. In addition, I was so happy to hear that during the retreat there would be an opportunity to make a general confession, something I had wanted to do for the last 4 years. Thank you so much for the help in preparing me and the other women to partake in this much needed part of reparation and consolation.
    So now for the best part of God's blessing from attending the retreat... I offered up the retreat for my three children's reconversion to the Catholic faith. This has been a very pressing matter for me as I feel responsible for them being estranged from the Catholic faith. On the first Sunday after my return from the retreat in April 2017,my daughter, joined my husband and myself for 1 1/2 hour drive to attend Mass in Arcadia and has not missed once. She also joins us for evening rosary.

  • My first retreat this year at Los Gatos was eye opening for me. It felt like a conversion, even though I've been Catholic my whole life. By the end of the retreat everything was in perspective: my salvation is the most important thing, and I should have it in mind in whatever I do. The environment was very calm and peaceful, and I felt like I was constantly taken good care of by the kind staff. The priests listened to me when I had questions and gave me clear answers. It seemed like every piece of this retreat was given to me as I needed it. I pray that I will always remember the important fruits of this retreat, and I look forward to going again in the future.

  • I attended a retreat last December and it was a wonderful experience.  The meditations and conferences were perfectly timed and allowed us to gain the most out of each lesson.  I thoroughly enjoyed walking the trails and talking to God, seeing deer, and the serenity of the area.  The food and accomodations were wonderful and I don't think I would attend a retreat anywhere else.  I also enjoyed how we did not feel rushed when doing the general confessions.

  • I've been on the Los Gatos men's retreat twice now. I believe most heartily that the retreat really hits its mark. When they inform you at the beginning that the first half of the week will be about examination of self, repentance, and the terrors of eternal perdition, the conferences, lectures, and reading materials really get your mind prepared for the upcoming general confession and make you want to "clean out that old garbage can." I found it terrifying! But terrifying in exactly the way I needed. Like a spiritual slap to the face to wake up, shape up, or you know where you'll end up! And then like a cool cloth on a burn, the second half of the week has you in tears of joy for the generosity of God; after the "first Communion" and while we shift the focus on the mercies of the Father and the justice done in living His will.
    My second retreat was less shocking (and maybe less tearful), but I came with more of a "roll your sleeves up" attitude, prepared to extract from it more helpful advice on living the spiritual life and to really delve into my personal lifestyle and how I can try new tactics to institute a "cloister of the home." My wife has had similar experiences and it helps that we can discuss (and we have done frequently over the years) the things we've learned together.

  • My first and only,  (so far) retreat with the SSPX was in 2016. It was a soul cleansing experience.
    There have been countless times since retreat where I will recall stories, situations, meditations, Father Asher & Father Peterson talked about, that have pulled me through some very difficult times. I was touched deep in my soul hearing and learning things about our Faith, that I'm sure were thrown out, due to my novus ordo upbringing. I left having new appreciation of Our Lord, Our Lady, the Faith, & those in the religious life. God bless all your efforts & thank you for your hard work in providing us such a blessed opportunity!