The Role of the Family in Building a Culture of Life

The Second Annual Retreat for 

Young Catholics in Healthcare and Young Catholic Adults

The Rosary Shrine, St Dominic's Catholic Church, London NW5 4LB

Find out more! 

Our Story

The Making of a Day Retreat

An Idea Is Born

Nine months prior to the retreat, discussions amongst the Committee for the New Evangelization and our helpers centre on running a second annual youth retreat. The aim will be to provide support to young people through experiencing an oasis of prayer away from our busy work lives. Inspired by the the motto 'the family that prays together stays together' this is chosen as the theme. (The photo shows Fr Patrick Peyton who coined this motto).


Discussions and meetings are held with the Dominicans at the Shrine to the Rosary in London who agree to host the retreat and the Latin Mass Society who agree to sponsor a Dominican rite Missa Cantata (sung Mass). 

Flyers are printed and distributed to the young people at the 3rd annual CMA youth conference to take back to their parishes. An Eventbrite page is designed. Tickets start being ordered immediately.


Hundreds of hours of planning go in to organising the day in the nine months leading up to the event. Speakers are organised, a timetable put together and edited many times. Food is ordered to be delivered on the day. Posters and foam boards are made to decorate the room, and new sound equipment is bought. The vignette of the event appears in the newsletters of many churches including Westminster Cathedral and the Oxford Oratory.

Prior to the event the CMA's Committee for the New Evangelization meet at the Shrine to iron out last minute glitches.

The event is fully booked - all 105 tickets.

On the day

Helpers arrive at 9am to start preparing the hall for the event. The food arrives: including 400 sandwich quarters and 19 packets of biscuits! 100 chairs are put out and the room decorated.

Holy Mass begins at 11:30am at the altar of the Rosary Shrine church. 

The Mass is offered for living members of the Catholic Medical Association.

After Mass

The attendees enter the parish hall and sign in, receiving a welcome pack which includes flyers of other events, prayer cards, a timetable for the day and a feedback form. 

Then the attendees enjoy lunch and plenty of discussion. 

All but a few of the 400 slices of sandwich are gone!

Talk 1: 'The Family that Prays Together Stays Together': The Life and Work of Fr Patrick Peyton

Friar Philomeno from the Marian Franciscans in Gosport delivers a passionate call to prayer and devotion to Our Lady in the spirit of Venerable Fr Patrick Peyton, who was also known as the Rosary Priest. Images of Fr Peyton adorn the walls of the hall, and the audience are shown two videos of Fr Peyton.

Talk 2: Caring for my Dying Father by a young nurse

A young nurse delivers a very moving presentation on caring for her dying father, and what she learnt from this. She tells us: it is the Catholic family's duty to pray for their dying family member. 

Rosary Procession

We walk from the hall into the church to crowd into the side chapels to pray the joyful mysteries of the Rosary. The Rosary Shrine has fifteen side chapels: one for each mystery of the rosary (the luminous mysteries will soon be represented in a beautiful Marian garden).

Salve Regina

At the end of the Rosary we process to the Lady altar to sing the Salve Regina at the tops of our voices! 

Then there are tours of the shrine, an opportunity for confession, some quiet time in the church and plenty of refreshments.

Talk 3: Catholic Manhood

After plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits, Sam from Catholic Man UK delivers a beautiful talk on what it means to be a Catholic Man. He starts it: "Your character tells the world you're a real man. Your beard is merely the exclamation point!". We all admire Sam's beard!

Talk 4: Catholic Femininity

A young teacher presents us with an inspiring vision of what it means to be a Catholic woman in the modern world.

Following this, the retreat is over. There is a lot of mingling and swapping contact details before the helpers tidy the room away and keys to the room are handed back.

Post Event

However, for the Committee and it's helpers the work is not over: feedback forms need to be analysed for improvements to be made for next time, thank you letters sent out (especially to the convents who always pray for us on the day of our events), the money needs to be counted and taken to the bank. 

Most of all we need to thank God for a wonderful day enjoyed by all! 

Plans for the upcoming 4th annual CMA youth conference and next year's retreat are already underway! 

St Camillus, pray for us!

What our attendees said about the event:

Sam Baker of Catholic Man UK on Faith and Masculinity

A Retreat for Young (18-35) Catholics

This retreat for young Catholics took place at the Rosary Shrine, Haverstock Hill, London. We focused on prayer in the family, the importance of the family as the building block of society, and the Rosary as an efficacious form of prayer.

Learn more about the life and work of Fr Peyton

Who was Fr Patrick Peyton?

Apostle to Families - Father Patrick Peyton CSC

Servant of God, Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, was known the world over as "The Rosary Priest" and his cause for sainthood is being considered by Catholic Church officials in Rome. Learn about his life and legacy.

A Conversation between Father Patrick Peyton CSC and Saint Mother Teresa MC

An excerpt from the 1981 Family Theater Productions special "The Visitation" with host Bob Newhart. Servant of God, Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. interviews Saint Mother Teresa, M.C. on the rosary.

© 2019 The Catholic Medical Association's

youth branch