Homecoming Retreat | November 17-19, 2023

Homecoming Retreat | November 17-19, 2023

‘Homecoming' is the theme of this weekend retreat at the beautiful Titoki Healing Centre. The Prodigal Son is one of the most well known and loved parables in the bible. It is a story about reconciliation and homecoming.

Three years before he died, Rembrandt painted his own homecoming as the prodigal son when he surrendered to God’s unconditional love and mercy expressed so beautifully in the painting here. In his book, The Return of the Prodigal Son Henri Nouwen reflects on Rembrandt’s painting. The book highlights the struggles of his own spiritual journey as a prodigal son, in which he identifies and reveals the obstacles and his own shortcomings that had prevented him from coming home fully to receive the embrace of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness.

You are invited to reflect on your own spiritual journey by joining other fellow pilgrims on a Homecoming retreat that will offer you a space to reflect on the spiritual implications of Rembrandts painting and Nouwen’s book.  We highly recommend that you read the book before the retreat.

The focus of this weekend is to discover the things we carry that prevent us from being fully embraced by the father’s love.

Silent Contemplative meditation of the three main characters in the painting will be an important part of this weekend; namely the younger son, the elder son and the father.

What to Expect

  • Participants can expect to be refreshed and renewed in their relationship with God.
  • Learn new insights and understandings about the nature of God’s love.
  • Learn to identify the struggles and blockages that may be causing a feeling of separation from God.
  • Experience silent reflective times with God.
  • Be encouraged and strengthened on the spiritual journey by God’s grace.
  • Meet new like-minded brothers and sisters.
  • Perhaps God has some unexpected surprises in store for participants!


Accommodation & Cost

Retreatants are invited to arrive on Friday, 17th November between 4 - 5pm. The retreat will end on Sunday afternoon, 19th November. The retreat cost includes a private room, a facilitator's fee and all your meals. 

Titoki’s rooms are warm, comfortable and of  motel standard. Some rooms have ensuites, whilst others have shared bathrooms. All have electric blankets through the winter.  Meals are healthy & delicious, made from fresh Titoki produce and will be served along with snacks, teas and coffee. Titoki can cater for specific dietery needs. There is a small surcharge, please let us know at the time of booking.

Book early to get an ensuite!

- Premium room with ensuite, $270 

- Single bed and shared bathroom, $240 

- Couple or twin share, $450

Please consider reading Henri Nouwen's book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, before attending, as we will be referring to it during the retreat. It would be helpful if you could bring a copy along with you.

About the facilitator...

My name is Eamon Butler and I was born in Ireland in 1960. I come for a large family of fourteen and was brought up Roman Catholic. I trained as a carpenter at the age of nineteen and it was probably one of the best things that I did in life. Thank God! He must have known about the journey ahead of me because the carpentry became my bread and butter as is a universal trade - you can take it anywhere.

By the age of 28, I had worked in Dublin, London and New York.  Plenty of money in the trade and I made lots of it. I partied and drank a lot during the years after training.  However, I became very restless, bored and very unhappy in my work and I felt that there must be more to life. I began to search for something more meaningful and purposeful. It was not long before I became a volunteer for a year in a community teaching carpentry to mentally disadvantaged adolescence. This was an amazing time of my life; however, it was also very challenging and a wonderful experience.

When that time came to a close, I went on a spiritual adventure that took me across the globe in 1989 to New Zealand. After a year there, I travelled up to India and began working in the communities Mother Treasa in Kolkata. This was a life changing experience. I joined community to train as a priest. That took me to London, Italy, and then Mexico. I could write a book on this experience but not here!!  All I can say that it was a deeply enriching experience living in community and serving the poorest of the poor.

I left the priesthood training in 1995 and I came back to New Zealand as a missionary. I travelled through the Canterbury and Otago dioceses for two years speaking in schools to young people about my work on the mission field. I wanted to encourage the youth to go out and experience the incredible blessings to be had from doing voluntary work for the poor.  This was a truly blessed ministry that God have given me to do.

In 2000, I began training to become a catholic priest once again.  I completed a theology degree by 2004 and I decided to leave the priesthood training for a second time as I felt celibacy was not for me. I returned to Ireland and started working in the ‘normal way’ again. I gradually returned to old habits of drinking that I eventually developed an addiction to alcohol. After a dark period in my life, I found help and I got completely sober.  I literally became the prodigal son and I took the gifts that God had given me as I sought my own fulfilment and happiness. I ended up becoming totally lost, but thanks to God’s unconditional love and faithfulness, I found my way Home again and I do not intend leaving God's house ever again.

In 2013 I studied counselling in Auckland, and in 2017 trained as a spiritual director. The journey continues and lots more to look forward to. I have learned that it is not so much about an exterior journey of faith, but rather, an interior journey into the heart of God’s love whereby I am being slowly transformed into the likeness of God’s love.

As a result of my Christian calling and my walk in God, I have become very enthusiastic and passionate about my own personal faith development and growth. My spirituality is contemplative in nature and I value silence, Christian meditation and prayer as integral spiritual practices. These enable me to live from an authentic place of connection with God in a fast moving and busy world.

I am also passionate about helping others, by encouraging and supporting them in their faith journey. I believe in accepting people as they are, helping them identify their position in their faith and supporting them to grow deeper in their relationship with God.

I look forward to meeting you should you decide to come on retreat at Titoki.

How do I book?

To register or ask further questions:

E: info@titoki.org.nz.  

P: 022 508 6503

We look forward to meeting and hosting you.
The Titoki Team

Posted: Friday 18 August 2023