Retreat Opportunities

Looking for a Retreat for your parish or school? We are happy to help you in the planning of your retreat so that your young people can have a fruitful encounter with the Lord during your stay.

Retreat and Challenge Course Help

The Office for Youth & Young Adult Ministry and the St. John Paul II Youth Retreat Center has recently been seeing an increase in demand for facilitated day and weekend retreats and also for support staff for our Challenge Courses.   We offer retreats here 7 days a week all year round and Challenge Course Days as well for our Catholic High Schools and parishes in and around the Archdiocese.   We are currently looking to boost our ranks that help carry out these retreats and Challenge Course Days.  

Do you maybe have an excellent adult, young adult, or college student that might be willing to be compensated for helping sharing their time and talents with us?  Here is what we are looking for …

Retreat Facilitator:
The Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry offer parishes and schools the opportunity to have facilitated retreat programs onsite at the St. John Paul II youth Retreat Center or offiste at your facility.  These can be on weekedays, weekends, during the day, overnight or weekends.   To help carry these opportunities out we are looking for people that have/ are :

  • Prior ministry experience at the parish and/or school level.
  • Educational and/or religious studies background.
  • It would be someone who has experience working with the high school age population.
  • Someone with a flexible schedule and availability both on weekdays and weekends.
  • Someone who can lead and can think critically and respond to the issues that will inevitably come up during the course of running a program.
  • Someone who responds well to the needs of teenagers and can relate as a positive Christ centered adult.
  • Someone who is creative and focused and can lead others through content specific activities.
  • Someone who is a practicing Catholic in line with the teachings of the Church.

Challenge Course Facilitator
The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry operates a High and Low Ropes Challenge Course.  Parish, School and Private Groups that might utilize this could schedule day long, ½ day or shortened times during the week or on weekends.  To help carry these opportunities out we are looking for people that have/ are:

  • Facilitators need to be able to work in a setting designed around physical elements in groups. 
  • Many of these groups utilize this adventurous alternative as leadership training or as an addition the retreat ministry taking place. 
  • They must have the physical skill and strength to support young people physically, as many need assistance and have varying comfort levels on the different elements.
  • They must be someone with a level temperament given the fluid nature of the program and be able to react quickly to a changing physical situation.
  • They must go through specific training or have that training through prior experience.

These Retreat and Challenge Course Facilitators would work closely with the Office for Youth & Young Adult Ministry Staff to help carry out these Retreats and Challenge courses. 

Challenge Course

What is the Challenge Course?
One of the special features at the St. John Paul Youth Retreat Center is our High and Low Ropes Challenge Course. The Challenge Course provides participants with a unique opportunity to work and play together on a series of problem solving, group decision making, and positive risk taking activities.

What makes your Challenge Course unique?                                                    
While many adventure course programs claim to be team building/group oriented, ours actually is! The majority of our elements have the sole purpose of engaging young people to work together to complete a task. By keeping the group together and on task, young people are not standing around bored while watching others complete the elements.   

What type of group is this for?
Many youth programs benefit from a day on the Challenge Course! Peer/Campus ministry leaders, Scout troops, junior high and high school youth groups, athletic teams, service groups, student councils, college leadership teams and many more!

How long is the program?
Typically, a Challenge Course program runs 3-5hrs depending on the size of the group and the desired elements.

When is the Challenge Course available?
We operate from early April through late October on weekdays and Saturdays.

What size group can you accommodate?
We have a minimum of 15 participants and a maximum of 40 participants.

What about weather?
We operate in most weather conditions.. The course supervisor will make the determination as to whether or not it is safe to continue in any given situation.                                

Do my chaperones need to run the course elements? 
No, our trained facilitators guide participants to improved communication skills, a lasting spirit of cooperation, and a commitment to shared goals.  Participants learn how to apply what they’ve experienced to their school and work environments.  A day on the Challenge Course creates a positive foundation upon which to build team development.

What about the spiritual component?
Each element has a basis in Sacred Scripture. Various bible passages are applied to the processing discussion of each element. We hope to use this alternate style of retreat day to avail young people to some of the aspects of living as a small Catholic Christian community in today’s world. Prayer is always an important part of our day.

When can we register?
Registration deadlines for each season are as follows:
Spring (April-June) by April 1
Summer (July- August) by June 1
Fall (September- October) by September 1

To inquire about the Challenge Course please contact Tom Conboy at or 201-998-0088 ext 4146.

If you are interested in discussing having a retreat put together for your parish youth group or school OR have specific retreat questions, contact:

Tom Conboy

ext 4146