The goal of Family Retreat is to provide a setting that turns hearts of family members toward each other and to God. This is done in the context of faith, emphasizing fun, and creating community.
It has been more than 50 years since La Casa de Maria opened its gates and hearts to the thousands of families that have experienced Family Retreat. For some of those families, this retreat has been a stopping place along the way; others have wrapped it into the very core of their family and made it an annual, not-to-be-missed tradition. For others, it has been a refuge, a place to figure out how to be in the changed circumstances of their family. Others have seen multiple generations of their own family come together in the sacred grounds of La Casa and celebrate who they have become. For all, Family Retreat has been about sharing- sharing who we are as a family, who we are as parents, who we are as a community.
For many years Family Retreat has consisted of five nights, Sunday afternoon to Friday at noon, where campers experienced an all-inclusive program on the beautiful grounds of La Casa de Maria Retreat Center which can be found at the end of a winding lane canopied in dense foliage in Montecito - just outside Santa Barbara. When the mudslides hit Montecito in January of 2018, La Casa’s grounds were completely wiped out. But while La Casa rebuilds, Family Retreat will go on.
Attendance averages around 100; that’s about 25 families of all configurations, infants to grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends.
The overall program is developed around a yearly theme that encompasses engaging morning presentations (kids club available for those under 2nd grade), afternoon fun with picnic & pool games, volleyball & ping pong tournaments and more. Evenings feature family affirmations, adult socials, a talent show and dance night along with specific activities for Jr. and Sr. high school groups. No matter your age, you’ll find you’re still young at heart at Family Retreat!