A week of Biblical Formation took place in the Czech Republic, gathering 12 married couples to explore the text of the Acts of the Apostles. Under the guidance of Father Alain Cleyssac, the participants immersed themselves in a week of sharing, reflection, and prayer, thus enriching their understanding of current challenges in the light of biblical teachings.

The Week of Biblical Formation was held within the framework of the CANA Fraternity for Couples in the Czech Republic after more than ten years. This event was eagerly awaited by both the participants and the organisers. It was a great joy for us to be guided through this blessed week by Fr. Alain Cleyssac, who flew from France to Prague for the occasion, which was held at the Community house in Tuchoměřice.

A total of 12 married couples, some of whom have been in the Fraternity for several years, participated in the retreat. The central theme was the text of the Acts of the Apostles, which ran like a red thread throughout the week. We were able to better understand the dynamics of the formation of the early church and thus better read the challenges for the present in the light of the text. This was helped not only by Father Alain’s insightful lectures, but also by the almost daily careful analysis of selected passages from Acts, where we compared the texts and looked for deeper connections, within sharing groups. It was the sharing and the common accomplishment of the tasks assigned to the small groups that many participants appreciated the most. At the same time, the organisers profited a lot from the participants´ feedback and are ready to implement most of the suggestions into the program of Biblical Formation next time.

Personal daily prayer was inspired by the Exercises according to St. Ignatius. The Evening of Reconciliation proposed the opportunity for spiritual accompagnement, intercessory prayer and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and was the highlight of the week for many. We were also able to re-experience and deepen our relationships in fraternal life. A welcome diversion for us was a film evening around mid-week on the end of the life of St Paul, whose conversion to the Lord has been studied in detail in Acts. The final festive Shabbat evening inspired by Kiddush (special blessings over wine recited during Shabbat and other festivals) enabled us to experience a real time of joy and brotherhood. The participants’ reflections revealed that even during this week God worked small and larger miracles in their hearts and in their marital relationships.

For each participant and, we trust, the organizers, it was a week to inspire us in our daily lives of faith, to open God’s Word with new strength, new insight and deep gratitude, and to seek wisdom and strength for our lives in the midst of what we live.