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Family Retreat

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ACE Teaching Fellows Parent Retreat

Questions abound for the parents and guardians of those who have just finished their first year in ACE Teaching Fellows. A common question is “What exactly is this program that has taken my child through the fires of full-time teaching and Masters coursework simultaneously?”. In response, the ACE team hosts Family Retreat, an on-campus retreat for the parents and guardians of second-summer ACE teachers. During the two-day retreat, parents hear from the ACE team and recent ACE graduates, swap stories with each other, worship with the ACE community, and learn firsthand what ACE is and how it works.

All those whose daughters and sons are entering their second year of ACE are warmly welcome to join us for Family Retreat. Participating parents dub it a can’t-miss event each year! This year’s retreat, for the ACE 26 community, will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, July 22-23, 2020.

At this time, we ask for parents and other significant adults in the life of your ACE teacher to please Register

Visit the links above or contact Kenna Arana at for more information.

 ACE 26 Family Retreat Schedule

Events and times are subject to change. Click here for a map of on-campus retreat locations. 

Wednesday, July 22nd

3:00p - Check-in for hotel
5:00p - Social hour*
6:00p - Dinner begins*
8:30p - Grotto Mass*
~10:00p - Optional ACEStore Basketball Finals*


Thursday, July 23rd

8:00a - Continental Breakfast, Remick Commons
8:45a - Session I: Spirituality and Prayer in ACE
10:30a - Retreat Session II: Building the ACE Community
12:00p - Lunch at South Dining Hall*
1:00-2:30p - Free time*
2:30p - Retreat Session III: The Vocation of Catholic Education
4:00p - State of ACE: Institute for Educational Initiatives Team
5:45p - ACE Chalkboard Video Project Showing in Remick Commons*
6:00p - Backyard Picnic*
8:00p - Basilica Mass
Following Mass - End-of-Summer Celebration in Remick Commons*


Friday, July 24th

8:00a - Optional continental breakfast
10:00a - Check-out

*These events will include your daughter or son

Frequently-Asked Questions

Where will we stay during the retreat?
We are reserving a block of rooms at the Inn at Saint Mary's, which is very close to campus, as well as in one of the on-campus residence halls, Dunne Hall. To book a room at the Inn at Saint Mary's, please call (574) 232-4000. If you wish to stay on campus, you will be able to reserve on-campus accommodations at Dunne Hall when you complete your registration in March. 

When do we need to check in and out of accommodations?
Check-in for both the Inn at Saint Mary's as well as on-campus housing begins at 3:00pm. For those staying at the Hotel, they do have an airport shuttle available for guests, and if there are no airport runs scheduled by hotel guests, they have been known to take guests to the Notre Dame campus as well. Shuttle vans between the Inn at Saint Mary's and the Notre Dame campus will be provided by ACE; a schedule will be forthcoming in the days leading up to the retreat.

In which dorm will the group be staying on-campus?
Our group will stay in Dunne Hall (see map of retreat locations). Dunne is air-conditioned, and basic linens will be provided, though you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer (It may get cool overnight if outside temperatures are on the cooler side that week). Remember that shared restrooms will be located down the hall from your bedroom.

What if I’ve made separate lodging arrangements?
Retreat information and materials for all participants will be provided upon your arrival at the reception on Wednesday evening. Please call Kenna at 574-631-9774 with any questions.

What about transportation?
You will need to arrange transportation to the Inn at Saint Mary's or to campus when you arrive in South Bend. Taxis are at the South Bend airport, and a shuttle to the Inn at Saint Mary's may be requested by calling (574) 232-4000. The staff recommends that you schedule your ride from the airport in advance so you do not have a long wait. ACE shuttle service will be provided between the Hotel and on-campus retreat events. Note that we will do some walking between retreat events (15 minutes max). If you will need assistance with on- campus transportation, please let the retreat staff know.

What is the appropriate attire for retreat events?
For retreat activities during the day, casual attire is appropriate. The Wednesday night dinner and Thursday night Missioning Mass attire is business casual.  Please feel welcome to dress more formally for the Missioning Mass, but please note that there is only a small window of time between the backyard picnic and Missioning Mass.

Where should I park on campus? Do I need a permit?
The best spot to park for retreat events, as well as for easiest access to Dunne Hall, is parking lot D6 (The Lake Lot). You do not need a permit to park in D6 for these days of parent retreat.

What about breakfast on Friday morning?
If you are staying at the Inn at Saint Mary's, a continental breakfast is provided by the hotel that we recommend.  If you are staying on campus, Kenna will make an announcement on Thursday about how to acquire meal passes.

What types of activities will we have on the retreat?
Retreat sessions will focus on the three pillars of ACE: spirituality, community, and professional teaching.  Typical topics of conversation in past years have included discussions on the everyday experience of ACE, how to best support children who are teaching with ACE, life (including employment possibilities) after ACE, adult spirituality, and the history and future of ACE and Catholic education.

What if my question is not answered here?
Please feel free to contact Kenna Arana with any questions that should arise. Kenna can be reached via email at  or by phone at (574) 631-9774.

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