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Frequently-Asked Questions about the ACE Parent Retreat

Why a retreat for the ACE 23 Parents? 
Over the years, many ACE parents have expressed interest in knowing more about the ACE experience, and so in 2007, we began inviting parents to join us for part of the ACE summer. We wanted to give them a taste of their sons' and daughters' experience, and help to answer questions about ACE and Notre Dame's mission to sustain and strengthen Catholic schools.
How many parents attend the retreat? 
The group grows every year, with parents of well over half of the ACE teachers now participating each summer.
What is the cost of the retreat, and what does that fee cover?
The retreat fee of $185 per person covers all retreat meals, activities, and supplies. Accommodations can be arranged for an additional charge (see next question).  Please note that we do not want costs to be prohibitive.  If the retreat fee or accommodation expenses would keep you from being able to join us, please let us know.  Financial support is available.
Do I need to reserve a hotel room?
Though you are of course welcome to make your own arrangements, we are happy to offer two accommodation options for retreat participants who so choose. Simply note your selection when registering (registration will open in March), and we will make all related arrangements, including a reservation in your name.  Note that if you select one of these two options, you will not need to contact a hotel on your own; we will make a reservation for you as part of your retreat registration.
  • Hotel Option:  A block of rooms is available at the Hilton Garden Inn, located between the campuses of St. Mary's College and the University of Notre Dame on State Road 933. The Parent Retreat rate for the Hilton Garden Inn is $124 per night ($248 total), which includes your room and shuttle transportation to retreat events. The Hilton Garden Inn also has a complimentary shuttle that will pick up and drop guests off at the South Bend airport for those arriving directly into South Bend. 

    Book your room at the Hilton Garden Inn by July 1st
  • Campus Option:  For those wishing to relive their college days, rooms are available in Ryan Hall on the Notre Dame campus. Ryan Hall is air-conditioned, and basic linens will be provided (pillow, towel, top sheet, and bottom sheet). Parents who choose to stay on campus are reminded that dorm restrooms are shared and down the hall.
Why is the retreat scheduled during the week, rather than over a weekend?
We certainly understand that a weekend retreat would, in many cases, be a bit more convenient for many who choose to travel in for these three days; however, participants over the years have encouraged us not to change the schedule!  The retreat is scheduled to coincide with the end of the ACE summer, which allows parents to participate in our annual Missioning Mass and the events leading up to it.  Participants in past years have consistently cited the Missioning Mass as a highlight of the retreat, and have also found it helpful that the end of the retreat coincides with their children's departure from the Notre Dame campus.
What is the ACE Missioning Mass?
The Missioning Mass is a celebration in which the ACE 23 teachers will be honored for their year of service to Catholic schools. Both the ACE 23 and ACE 24 classes, as well as members of ACE's other formation programs, will be sent forth to serve their schools across the country.

Will I have time to spend with my child?
Yes.  The events of the retreat are scheduled to coincide with your child's schedule as ACE teachers finish their summer coursework. This will give you time to spend together when the ACErs are free. You will see on the retreat schedule that certain events (starred) include the ACE teachers.

Can I bring other children?
We would prefer that parents not bring other children to the retreat because the events and activities are geared toward parents.  However, please be in contact with us if this would prohibit you from joining us for the retreat.

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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