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Handicapped Encounter Christ

St. Louis

Pallottine Renewal Center chapel

About Us

HEC is a program that provides retreat opportunities that celebrate life, nurture faith and offer support. It provides an environment within which persons with disabilities and able-bodied persons come away from their usual routine and spend time praying and searching for God together by exploring their personal experience. The shared experiences of the retreat often develop into relationships of mutual support among the participants during the time between retreats.

This is a light-hearted and spirited group that comes together as an interfaith community to search for God together and in each other. Participants share the Good News of the risen Christ, and form a wider circle of friendships throughout the year.

We used the term "handicapped" in our name as opposed to "disabled" because we understand that while not all people are disabled, we are all handicapped by the limitations we put on ourselves and those labels imposed on us by others.

St. Louis HEC holds retreat weekends one or two times per year. We are graciously hosted at the Pallottine Renewal Center in Florissant, Missouri. HEC retreats are generally large in numbers. A volunteer "team" meets two or three times prior to their retreat to prepare for the weekend. Countless hours of work and love have been spent during the years keeping the reality of HEC alive and growing.

While HEC is based on Catholic Christian teachings and centered on the Eucharist, it is open to individuals of all faiths. The opportunity for many to encounter Christ in each other is what HEC is all about.