Catholic Vancouver Sept. 11, 2017

Catholic men's retreat gaining momentum

By Agnieszka Krawczynski

Jake Khym and his wife, Heather, are the founders of Life Restoration, the organization behind this year's men's retreat. Understanding one’s identity as “a beloved son of God,” can be “completely life-changing,” he says. (BCC file photo)

VANCOUVER—A Catholic men’s retreat was so successful last year organizers decided they had no choice but to host another.

“The first one was such a success and had such a great impact on so many men,” said Jake Khym, organizer and co-founder of Life Restoration. “We couldn’t not do another one.”

About 95 retreatants came out last year. Khym said 160 have registered for this year’s retreat so far and he is hopeful as many as 200 attend.

“When people say retreat, a lot of impressions come to mind. A man who wants to come and make it a silent retreat and have solitude and silence can find that there. A man who wants to come along with brothers in Christ can do that too.”

The Men’s Retreat 2.0 will include four keynote speeches, breakout sessions, daily Mass, confession, and time for prayer and silent reflection. Held at Rockridge Canyon in Princeton, B.C., there will also be chances to ride a zip line, play sports, get on the water in a kayak or canoe, or explore hiking trails.

“We chose the site because it’s beautiful and it has a bit of a rugged feel, but you don’t lose comfort,” Khym said.

The retreat welcomes all men of faith, from 18-year-old university students to retirees. Speakers will include archbishop’s delegates Brett Powell and James Borkowski as well as Father Justin Brady from Our Lady of the Snows in Boise, Idaho.

“A lot of men can struggle with their relationship with God. We’re hoping to encourage and guide them into relationship,” Khym explained.

This year’s focus will be on the parable of the prodigal son. Understanding one’s identity as “a beloved son of God,” can be “completely life-changing,” he said.

“The worries of life and stresses of work take on a whole new dimension when we know we are sons of a loving Father who is abounding in mercy and kindness.”

The Men’s Retreat 2.0 will be held Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. More information is available here.