In this sense of the word, a retreat is not a failure, but indeed just the opposite. It is the success of withdrawing/retreating from routine and refocusing on what is more important than upon what usually is seen as more urgent.
Most members of Christian Religious Orders undertake either a personal or a group “spiritual retreat” as often as once a year. In this recent initiative, over thirty friars of the Order of St Augustine (“the Augustinians”) in Australia took a series of November weekdays to “go on retreat” at the St Joseph’s Conference Centre at Baulkham Hills in outer Sydney, Australia.
The local bishop, Most Rev. Vincent Long OFM Conv. (Parramatta) evoked his hearers to personal spiritual renewal, especially as Christians had to live in ways that were relevant within the context of the secular society in Australia.
Scripture scholar Fr Brendan Byrne SJ led the group back to the basics of the Gospels, aware that many challenges facing Christian people and groups today were also present in the earliest Christian times. Thirdly, Dr Joseph Lam OSA drew his audience to listen to the insights of the traditions of their Order of St Augustine since its foundation in the mid-thirteenth century.
Augustinians serve in the three eastern mainland states of Australia, from Mareeba in Far North Queensland to south Yarra in Melbourne. Australian Augustinians also serve in specialist roles at Incheon (South Korea), Bangkok (Thailand) Rome (Italy) and Cebu (Philippines). The Order is in operation in fifty nations. within the Asia-Pacific region, the Order of St Augustine has visibility in the Philippines, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Indonesia. The retreat at Baulkham Hills was in fact part of an Augustinian Asia-Pacific renewal initiative for all of its friars in this vast area of the world.