Welcome, and THANK YOU for joining the Catholic Retreats Community!
The instructions below will introduce you to the Community and how to get started.
First, a note: the Catholic Retreats Community is brand new, and it in development (which is why we were able to offer a special “Test Member” price for joining). As you explore and experiment with the website, we want your feedback! Please keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t work like it should, and anything that you would like to see which is not part of the community currently. More on how to get it touch with us with your feedback at the bottom of this article.
First, let’s take a look at how to get started in the community.
The first step is to head over to www.catholicretreats.info, which is where the community is housed (you are currently at CatholicRetreats.net, which is the parent of the Catholic Retreats organization).
We know, it isn’t very beautiful yet but we’ll get there.
You’ll see options in the blue toolbar at the top for “Forums” and “Courses,” which are the cornerstones of the community. You can click on them before logging in, but they will not let you view content until you have completed the login.
To log in to the site use the information that you set up at registration in the Member Login box at the right, or on the “Register/Login” page that you can also access through the blue toolbar.
When you log in the site will bring you back to the same page. In fact, it will look almost the exact same, except this time you will be logged in and able to access all of the content.
Updating Your Profile Information
First, let’s visit the “My Account” tab in the blue toolbar at the top. Here is what the My Account page looks like:
From this My Account page you can update your billing information or cancel your membership if you so choose, edit your profile, update your password, and view previous invoices. Let’s click on the “Edit Profile” link below your username and email. Here is what you will see:
As you scroll down the Edit Profile page you can change the color scheme that you will see on the website, update your name options (more on that in a second), edit your biographical information, and change the picture of yourself and the signature which appears on the bottom of each post that you make in the forums.
The signature is a great place to put a favorite Bible verse or saying, if you so choose.
When it comes to names, we strongly encourage you to use your real name. The strength of the Community only benefits when real people are talking to real people. Anonymity only encourages people to say things that they would never say to others in real life.
Same with your profile picture. A simply shot of your face is strongly preferable to a picture of your dog, to reinforce the idea that we are real people talking to real people.
Once you have updated your information and clicked “Save” at the bottom, you will need to hover over the text at the top-left that says “The Catholic Retreats Community” and click on “Visit Site” in the drop-down menu to return to the home page.
Getting Started in the Forums
From the home page at CatholicRetreats.info click on the “Forums” tab in the top blue toolbar. Here is what you will see:
Currently there are a handful of broad topic forums here. For today we will just focus on the “Start Here” forum (more on the others in the coming days). Go ahead and click on “Start Here.” It will bring you to a set of topics within the broader “start here” category. For now, click on “Introduce Yourself.”
Click “Reply” (highlighted in red in the picture above) at the top-right of the top comment on the thread to reply to the conversation with a little information about yourself. This is where we get to know each other! When you see others introduce themselves here, please reply to their comments to welcome them too.
The other element that we will look at today is courses. Over time we will be adding more courses and developing them with video and audio. Right now we have the first few lessons of our first course, How to Prepare for Retreats, posted to the courses section of the forum as PDF’s. You can follow the “Courses” tab on the top blue toolbar of the website, or access the Courses forum on the Forums page to access the courses.
We Want Your Feedback!
PLEASE let us know your comments, thoughts, and ideas for the community! Let us know if you find any part of the site that is not working correctly, or if you have ideas for how it can work better. There are two ways to do so:
Click on the “Contact/Feedback” tab on the top blue toolbar on the website and fill out the form, which is here, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the coming days we will be sending you more information about how to get the most out of the Catholic Retreats Community.
To access the forums and course materials, head over to www.catholicretreats.info
Thank you for joining us!