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Office for Vocations

Advanced Catholic Training

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Diocesan Mercy LogoUnderstanding and Living the Works of Mercy

Villa Maria Catholic Life Conference and Retreat Center

Have you heard of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy?

Do you want to know how you can live this Year of Mercy?

Are you looking to share your love for Christ and His Church
with other young Catholic disciples?

ACT is the place for you!

Advanced Catholic Training (ACT) is a program, in a retreat setting, that will give young disciples the opportunity to explore the answers to these questions, specifically by looking at the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

The words of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 are some of the most challenging in all of Scripture.  Pope Francis reminds us that the works of mercy “will serve as the criteria upon which we will be judged: whether we have fed the hungry and given drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger and clothed the naked, or spent time with the sick and those in prison.” (Pope Francis, Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, §15)

ACT will help participants learn how to live this Jubilee Year of Mercy by understanding that the works of mercy are not as difficult as they might initially seem.  In fact, there are many ways in which we can practice these works in our everyday lives with those around us. 

With sessions led by Priests, seminarians, and lay teachers, ACT is mixed with a variety of activities including active teaching sessions with lively discussions, opportunities each day for several methods of prayer (including Confession, Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, personal prayer and the Rosary), and social times throughout each day.

As we explore on a deeper level our Catholic faith, we will be responding to one of the four pillars (formation) set forth by Bishop Paprocki in his strategic vision for growth in our diocese.  By knowing Jesus and the teachings of His Church, participants will be better prepared to live a life of discipleship and stewardship.

Held on the grounds of the Villa Maria in Springfield, Illinois, ACT seeks to lead its participants into a deeper understanding of the basic, yet most important, truths of the Catholic faith. It will give them the opportunity to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ.