As retreats begin anew in parishes across the country and in five additional countries, we’re getting questions about COVID guidelines. From May 2020 until May 2021, we offered a document titled: “Infection Control Guidance for Retreats”. With the ever-changing updates and guidelines posted by the CDC and local government entities, we are recommending that ACTS Cores and ACTS Retreat Directors work directly with their Pastor and local Retreat Center to determine the health guidelines that need to be followed.
The ACTS Retreat format remains the same; no changes may be made to the Essential Elements of the ACTS Retreat (found in the ACTS Core Charter (c) 2019, ACTS Retreat Manual (c) 2019 and Teen ACTS Retreat Manual (c) 2020.)
For specific Diocese Updates:
- Aguascalientes: Diocese Facebook Page
- Alexandria: Bishop Robert W. Marshall
- Austin: Bishop Joe S. Vásquez
- Beaumont: Bishop David Toups
- Boston: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Office of Risk Management
- Portland, ME: Bishop Robert Deeley
- Brownsville/RGV: Bishop Daniel Flores
- Connecticut: Norwich-Bishop Michael R. Cote, Hartford-Archbishop Leonard P. Blair
- Corpus Christi: Bishop Michael Mulvey
- Dallas: Bishop Edward Burns, April 2021
- El Paso: Bishop Mark J. Seitz
- Ft. Worth: The Catholic Center
- Galveston-Houston: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
- Lafayette: Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel
- Lake Charles: Bishop Glen J. Provost
- Laredo: Diocesan Commission for Divine Worship
- St. Louis: Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski
- San Angelo: Bishop Michael Sis
- San Antonio: Bishop Michael Boulette
- Santa Fe: Archbishop John C. Wester
- Toledo: Bishop Daniel Thomas
- Tulsa: Bishop David Konderla
- Victoria: Bishop Brendan J. Cahill
The two documents we offered in 2020 are linked here for your reference:
- Staying Connected during Quarantine Advice – Team Formation suggestions, and
- Infection Control Guidance for Retreats – To be reviewed by ACTS Core, Retreat Leadership Teams, and your Retreat Center point of contact.
Staying Connected during Quarantine Advice
Our Chapter Management & Education Team have compiled a set of suggestions for Team Formation along with frequently asked questions we have received about this topic. Please review them with your Core and Retreat Team and let us know if you have any questions.
Infection Control Guidance for Retreats
A member of our Board of Directors who is a health professional wrote the IC Guidance and consulted with two infectious disease specialists in San Antonio. The IC Guidance is meant to help the Retreat Leadership Team consider all the elements of an ACTS Retreat from Formation to Pentecost Event and the measures needed to control infection.
All mandatory Archdiocese/Diocese, Parish, federal, state, local, and administrative orders, laws, rules, and ordinances concerning COVID-19 or coronavirus should be followed at all times. ACTS Retreats should not be held if prohibited under any mandatory restrictions. To the extent the guidance herein conflicts with mandatory restrictions, the mandatory restrictions should be followed.
ACTS Retreats are group events and necessarily carry certain inherent risks related to COVID-19 and coronavirus transmission that cannot be eliminated regardless of the care taken to avoid such risks. Moreover, the prevalence and transmission of COVID-19 and coronavirus in each Diocese and Parish significantly varies and rapidly changes on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, each Parish has the sole and exclusive responsibility for determining whether or not to conduct ACTS Retreats during the time of any COVID-19 and coronavirus transmissions or outbreaks. ACTS Missions shall not be liable or responsible for the guidance herein or for any COVID-19 or coronavirus transmissions or infections arising from or relating to ACTS Retreats. The recommendations herein are voluntary, and each Parish assumes all risks of personal injury, sickness, and death that may arise from using this guidance or conducting ACTS Retreats.
As always, you remain in our prayers and we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us.