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Diocese News 11.16.2022

Catholic Conference and Formation Center Confirms Name Change to Saint Raphael Retreat Center

Expanded Programs Offer Message of Hope and Healing

The Catholic Conference and Formation Center (CCFC), located in Oak Cliff, today announced a name change to Saint Raphael Retreat Center (the Retreat Center). The organization is undergoing an extensive rebranding effort in response to community needs assessment and renewal of its pastoral mission. At the heart of this rebranding are the company name change to Saint Raphael Retreat Center and an update to the company logo, tagline, vision statement, and all collateral materials. Launched will be new programs and special events for community building.

Of Hebrew origin, Raphael's name means "God Has Healed" or "Medicine of God." In the Old Testament Book of Tobit, Raphael plays a prominent role as a guide, messenger, and facilitator for healing. Archangel Raphael serves as the patron of healing, happy meetings, travelers, the blind, nurses, physicians, medical workers, Christian marriage, and Catholic study.

"The transition to Saint Raphael Retreat Center honors our Catholic traditions while signaling a new chapter in our history," said Most Reverend Edward J. Burns, Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas. "It represents our vision to extend hospitality and interfaith service in a welcoming place for reflection, hope, and healing. This hope shines through as we model the leadership traits of Jesus Christ," he said. "Saint Raphael Retreat Center will continue in the formation of Deacons through the Diaconate Program and will collaborate with the Ministries Office, Catechetical Services, Worship, Family Life, and Youth programs."

Saint Raphael Retreat Center Director Bertha de Bastiani says, "Saint Raphael is a wonderful patron to help us expand our capabilities even further, offer solace to the individual and encourage interconnectivity among groups. Our goal is staying connected, as reflected in our new tagline, 'Connecting People to God and Each Other.' " She says, "The Retreat Center will provide purposeful programs that inspire personal growth, spiritual enrichment, servant leadership, and the desire to live out God's purpose."

De Bastiani notes that a newly formed retreat leadership team is launching the Archangel Retreat Series with a signature Sacrament of Confirmation Preparation one-day retreat for middle school students. A special events team is planning the first annual Saint Raphael Fall Festival for October of 2024, to celebrate the feast of St. Raphael and the Center’s 30th anniversary. Friends of St. Raphael volunteers will stay informed through the RAFA quarterly newsletter and social media updates.

Saint Raphael Retreat Center, formerly known as the Catholic Conference and Formation Center, is a multi-function meeting and events facility and hospitality ministry of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The 13-acre complex, located in Oak Cliff, offers space for retreats and sponsored programs, and can accommodate several hundred guests for daytime events or 135 guests overnight. Continual programs include Diaconate Formation, ACTS Missions retreats, marriage preparation workshops, parish staff retreats, healing retreats, catechesis training, and youth programs. The Retreat Center was dedicated on March 1, 1994, after functioning for 20 years as the St. Joseph Youth Center and priorly for 32 years as the St. Joseph Home for Girls.