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The REC Weekend Retreat

The REC Weekend: A three-day retreat experience for 60 to 100 male residents, conducted within a New York State correctional facility by a group of 16 to 20 Catholic volunteers. The weekend usually starts on a Friday morning and ends on Sunday afternoon.

The lay Director: A volunteer chosen to organize and coordinate a specific REC weekend retreat.

REC Team: A group of Catholic volunteers brought together for 8 to 10 preparation meetings. These meetings are normally conducted weekly within one of the parishes in the diocese. In addition, a number of residents are chosen to form the “inside team.” This combined team then presents the REC weekend retreat.

Friday: John 12:24 “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, It remains a seed… ” This day is devoted to “dying to self” and changing. Talks are given by both the outside team and the inside team. In the evening, there is a Paschal Vigil Service, including the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Saturday: John 1 2: 24 ….If it dies, it produces much fruit…”  This day explains the meaning of rising again with the Lord and how it is rooted in Scriptures. Talks are given by the outside team with a Liturgy, followed by a Hootenanny.
During the “Hoot” more outside volunteers arrive. There is singing and a talk given by a female volunteer, and the residents have an opportunity to witness.

Sunday: Matt. 28:18-20 “As the Father has sent me so I send you.. . ” The purpose of this day is to encourage the residents to continue the process they started on Day One and to continue trying, even if they fail. They are also encouraged to make a conscientious effort to bring Christ to others and share by their example.