Questions abound for the parents of those who have just finished their first year in ACE Teaching Fellows. “Just what is this program that has taken my child through the fires of full time teaching and Masters coursework simultaneously?!” In response, the ACE team offers an on-campus retreat just for parents of second-summer ACErs. During the two day event, parents hear presentations, swap stories, worship together, and learn first-hand just what ACE is and how it works.
Dubbed a can't-miss event by participating parents each year, all those whose sons and daughters are entering their second year of ACE are warmly welcome. This year's retreat, for the ACE 25 community, will take place Wednesday, July 24-25, 2019. Visit the links above or contact Andrew Whittington at for more information.
At this time, we ask for parents and other significant adults in the life of your ACE teacher to please RSVP. Formal registration will open in March 2019. Please contact Andrew with any questions or extenuating circumstances.
ACE 25 Family Retreat Schedule
Wednesday, July 24th
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 25th
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 in the ACE Courtyard*
8:00p - Basilica Mass
Following Mass - End-of-Summer Celebration in Remick Commons*
Friday, July 26th
8:00a - Optional continental breakfast
10:00a - Check-out
When do we need to check in and out of accommodations?
Check-in for both the Hilton Garden Inn 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 Hilton Garden Inn 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?
In years past, our group has stayed in Ryan Hall (see map of retreat locations). Ryan 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 Andrew at 574-631-2721 with any questions.
What about transportation?
You will need to arrange transportation to the Hilton Garden Inn or to campus when you arrive in South Bend. Taxis are at the South Bend airport, and a shuttle to the Hilton Garden Inn 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 Ryan 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 Hilton Garden Inn, a continental breakfast is provided by the hotel that we recommend. If you are staying on campus, Andrew 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 Andrew Whittington with any questions that should arise. Andrew can be reached via email at or by phone at (574) 631-3431.
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