Get the Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions

1Do you accept only Catholics?
Nope! The Retreat centre is a Catholic Retreat Centre, but all people, or other faiths and no faith are most welcome to visit and explore the Catholic faith.
2What is the difference between Residential Retreats, Conventions and Outreaches?
Our Retreats are residential, and last for 3 days (Friday 8:30am to Sunday 4:30pm). Accommodation will be provided at the centre for residential retreats.
Conventions are one-day events, from 8:30am to 4:30pm
Outreaches are one-day retreats held in different parishes around the UK. Please have a look on our website and social media pages to see where our next outreach retreat will be.
3What do you mean by residential retreats?
During residential retreats, one is immersed in three days of prayer and meditation, away from the outside world. They are a time for prayer, reflection, and renewal of life. It is a time to move from the daily routines of everyday life and journey in meditation of the Word of God to deepen one’s relationship with God.
4When do I have to register?
The registration forms for residential retreats open three months in advance. If you experience any issues with the online registration, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at divinekent@gmail.com / info@divineuk.org.
5Do I need to register for residential retreats?
Yes. All who wish to attend the residential retreats should register online using the form provided, for the retreat they wish to attend.
6What are the accommodations like?
Dormitories: Most of our accommodation is in same-sex dormitories.

Family rooms: We also have family rooms available if you come as a couple or with your family.
7Can I attend part of the Retreat?
No. The residential retreat will start on Friday at 8:30am and will finish on Sunday at 4:30pm. Participation from the very start is required to get the full benefit of the retreat. Late entry will not be permitted.
8Can special diets be catered for?
Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available. But if you have any other specific diet requirements, please bring your own food and you will be able to store it here at the Centre. Please also be sure to make the team members aware of your requirements.
9Are there any facilities with people with disabilities?
One room is available that is easily accessible with a wheelchair. There is also an en-suite that are equipped for special needs.
10Are there specific rules for the Residential retreats?
  • Silence is to be kept during the retreat.
  • Cell phones and electronic gadgets must be switched off from the beginning to the end of the retreat.
  • Punctuality and complete participation are necessary.
  • Obedience, co-operation, and mutual respect are expected from retreatants.
11Do I need to bring personal care items?
Yes. Bed linen will be provided at the centre, but you must bring all toiletries, towels etc with you.
12Is the Vincentian preaching ministry Charismatic?
The answer to this question is both affirmative and negative. Like all renewal movements in the Church, the Vincentian Preaching ministry is also charismatic. “Send forth your spirit… and the face of the earth shall be renewed” (Ps. 104:30) is the prayer of the Psalmist. It is the Spirit of God that inspired St. Vincent to start the Vincentian Renewal Movement in Paris. The saint emphasises that the Vincentian Renewal Movement seeks to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit. However, the Vincentian Preaching ministry is not Charismatic in the sense that it is not part of the Charismatic Movement which was started in the United States and later took on an official outfit in India under the direction of the National Service Team in the year 1977. The Potta-Divine retreat movement flourished with the blessings and encouragement of the bishops, and under the direction of the authorities of the Vincentian Congregation, independently of the National Service Team. Though this preaching ministry has been highly enriched in its methodology by the Charismatic Movement, it has remained radically Vincentian in nature and structure. Spiritual renewal of the faithful, in the framework of Sacramental spirituality, will continue to be our mission in the future. “Evangelisation of the Poor” is understood by the Vincentian Congregation not only as the spiritual renewal of the people by the preaching of the Word of God, but also as a commitment to work for the human and Christian advancement of the marginalised in the society. The concluding words of Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan rings in the ears of every Vincentian, “Go and do likewise” (Lk. 10:37). Sharing, caring, and daring to love the suffering is not a mere gesture of generosity, but an obligation for anyone who is renewed in the experience of the love of God. We are well aware that our preaching ministry becomes complete and authentic in our radical option for the poor. The words of Jesus are a command to us: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40). The early Church began as a preaching fellowship but developed as a community of love, where everyone shared everything with each other and there was no one in need (cf. Acts 4:33-35).
13What are the Retreats like?
The Divine Retreats begin with the joyous proclamation of the forgiveness and salvation of the Heavenly Father, who “so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Salvation in Jesus is experienced through a radical turning away from sin and turning to God in repentance. This offer of salvation was the first message preached by Jesus Christ as well. “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matt 4:17).

In the Sacrament of Confession, the retreatants are convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:8), their sins forgiven by the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:8), in the power of the same Holy Spirit through the ministry of the Church (Jn 20:22-23), and given a share in the victory of Jesus over sin (Jn 16:11).

From the resulting radical conversion, people are led to total self-surrender, that results in an intimate union with Jesus in the Holy Spirit, as experienced in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:56). In this intimacy, the love of God is “poured into their hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5). The heart-melting under this overwhelming outpouring of love opens, in turn, to love and forgive everyone.

This intense experience of love heals all wounds and soothes all the strains in family relationships. The bond of marriage is renewed as a sacrament of grace is incorporated into the spousal relationship between Christ and His Church.
The charism of healing is exercised in the context of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Healing is understood not in the narrow sense of bodily well-being, but as the love of God flowing into the brokenness of man to make him whole. The leadership is given by the priests in preaching and the exercise of the sacraments manifests the importance of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. All the charisms of the lay leaders such as counselling, preaching, service and so on, are harmoniously blended and channelised through the sacramental authority of the priests.

The Retreat ends with the renewal of the sacramental vows of baptism and a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit as experienced in the Sacrament of Confirmation. This all-transforming experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the fulfilment of the promise of Jesus. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This empowering of the Holy Spirit is accepted as a special grace, to withstand the temptations of the evil one and to defend and spread the faith by word and action confessing Jesus Christ as the only saviour of mankind.

The grace of these seven sacraments instituted by Christ as signs of salvation and entrusted to the Church is experienced afresh by the power of the Holy Spirit, for the renewal of Christian commitment.
14Can I organise a private retreat here at the abbey or as an Outreach?
If you wish to arrange a private retreat or outreach retreat, please email us at divinekent@gmail.com / info@divineuk.org.
15Do you have a bookstall?
Yes. Bibles, prayer books, rosaries, CDs, notebooks, pens, religious articles are available to buy from our bookstall.