Joy Beyond Measure

Reflections on the Emmaus Retreat

The Emmaus retreat was by far such an amazing experience. This retreat is recommended for anyone who questions their belief or just wants to make their relationship stronger with God. I personally had a remarkable time and I’m truly blessed and thankful I was able to be around such loving and selfless people.  I used to not know what an Emmaus family meant but after being surrounded by people who have nothing but love and faith in their heart they become family. Every person there quickly got along with eachother. Who would have ever thought that complete strangers could become your family and friend just after 3 days. I personally share a special bond with each and every person that was on the trip, each leader or retreatant has impacted my life in a different way.  I’m beyond grateful I was given another chance to walk my journey with God especially surrounded with nothing short of amazing people. I’m definitely so glad I had this experience and I wouldn’t give it up for anything, if anything I would love to go back and have that experience all over again.

-Kristen Kasid


IMG_4554I originally signed up for Emmaus having no idea what to expect and I was, honestly, slightly skeptical. The only thing I was told was that it would be a “life-changing experience.” After having been a part of the Emmaus journey this past weekend, I now know that there is validity to that statement. I never expected to grow so much in my faith in such a short amount time.

I gained so much from this retreat. With the help of all of the leaders, Sister Tarbytha, and Father Simon, I was able to not only learn more about our faith, but also about myself as well. In addition, I made lifelong friendships with people who were mere strangers at the beginning of the weekend. Lastly, I significantly strengthened my relationship with God, which is something I would not have been able to do on my own.

I can wholeheartedly say that this weekend changed my life. I am so thankful for this unforgettable experience. I would definitely recommend this retreat for anyone questioning the faith, wanting to grow in faith, or simply curious about what it is exactly that we do on this retreat. Since the activities are top secret, the only way to find out is to sign up and take part in this adventure yourself!

-Sandy Younan


IMG_4702Emmaus was by far an experience that I will never forget. Its amazing how much my faith has increased in such a short amount of time. Father Andy, Father Simon, and Sister Tarbytha changed my life and allowed me to see God in a whole new light. I cannot wait to not only practice these values throughout my own life, but to teach them to others and aid them in their spiritual journeys. I highly encourage all who are thinking of going to Emmaus to take the leap and attend.

Charles George
St. Mary’s Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church
San Jose, Ca


Emmaus, a renewed friendship with Jesus for many and to some a new step in the right direction. To me, Emmaus is an extended family, a place where strangers open the gates to a roller coaster of a life time. I can’t speak for others but I trust they would agree. The retreat drove me closer to God than I’ve ever felt my entire life. You begin to understand the beauty in how and why mass is ordered in the manner that it is, and why confession can be so beautiful. Your life is seen in a different light and  your conscience is absolved. Emmaus – just saying it brings me back to where it all began.
-Zaman Hana


IMG_4584It is true that I had gone many to retreats, but the Emmaus retreat was definitely a unique retreat. As we were gathered at St. Peter Church all the retreatants were excited because of course it was a step to get closer to Jesus. In fact, every step to Jesus is an exciting moment because of his love for us. Through a lot of the different activities everyone had an opportunity not just for him or herself but to know his or her relationship to God. The activities were so amazing so that it is difficult to describe them, unless one is ready to be in God’s family. Even though I live far from my family, but in the Emmaus retreat I got a new family. All of us had such a joyful time with Jesus so that none of us wanted really to leave the environment over there.

-Roni Schamoun


My experience on the Emmaus retreat was nothing short of amazing. The feeling of knowing that the Lord has been by my side throughout my life through good times and bad really made me feel a sense of comfort moving on. This retreat taught me that although we may have crossroads in our lives, God had a plan from the beginning and it is good to let go and let God. I plan to impose God’s will every day of my life from this point forward especially to my nieces and nephews that way they can develop a profound respect for our culture and build their faith. I highly recommend the Emmaus retreat to everyone looking to take the next step in their relationship with God!
-Dominic Brikho


IMG_4600Emmaus was such an amazing and unforgettable experience. Fr. Simon led us on the most beautiful journey. Each day was filled with surprises, lessons and laughs as we walked with Jesus. Together we grew in our faith and built new relationships with beautiful people. I’m blessed to have such amazing people in our community! The retreat lived up to its hype and more and I’m so glad I went. I’ve never felt so peaceful and so close to God. It’s definitely something I hope everyone gets to experience! #Emmauslife

-Alissa Kasawdish


I have heard a lot about Emmaus and I can sincerely say that it lived up to its expectation. In the short amount of time we had, I felt my faith drastically increase. I am looking forward to using what I have learned in the real world and teaching others on how to live a life rich in faith. I will encourage everyone to sign up for this life changing retreat so they can feel what I now feel.  I have walked on an unforgettable journey with new friends that will last a lifetime. It is an experience that I will never forget. Thank you to Father Andy, Father Simon and Sister Tarbytha for this amazing journey and for really changing my life for the better.

-Amanda Iskandar