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First Things is pleased to invite our readers to a summer 2020 Intellectual Retreat on Josef Pieper’s Faith, Hope, Love. In view of current uncertainties, this retreat will take place via WebEx video conferencing. Participants will have the opportunity to study and discuss Pieper’s text with others in small groups under the expert guidance of tutors who specialize in the Great Books.

There are no academic prerequisites for participation; no grades or exams. If you enjoy reading First Things or discussing the ideas found in its pages, this event is for you. Discussions will take place in small seminar sections led by faculty from Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts (formerly Northeast Catholic College). Participants will explore questions of great significance in an environment animated by a spirit of friendship and a common purpose.

This is a rare opportunity to get together with like-minded individuals to talk about big, timeless ideas and how they inform our understanding of the issues that occupy our culture today.


In a time of unprecedented social and political change, contemplation of the theological virtues has taken on new urgency as we seek to integrate our political and religious commitments.

Participants in this retreat will have the opportunity to step away from contemporary partisan disputes and consider theological questions that transcend our news cycle. In these seminars, participants will consider fundamental questions of transcendent significance. You can experience the priority of the first things.


The First Things Intellectual Retreat will be held at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) each evening from June 16 to June 19.

Tuesday, June 16

7:00 p.m. Welcome and Introductions

7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Seminar discussion

Wednesday, June 17

7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Seminar discussion

Thursday, June 18

7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Seminar discussion

Friday, June 19

7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Closing panel discussion with R. R. Reno, editor of First Things; George Harne, President of Magdalen College; and Matthew Schmitz, senior editor of First Things


Participants must furnish their own copies of Faith, Hope, Love, which is available for purchase via Amazon or directly from the publisher.

Seminar 1: Faith

Seminar 2: Hope

Seminar 3: Love


Registration for this retreat is now closed.

Retreat Cancellation Policy: For a full refund of tuition fees, please cancel with at least one week's advance notice from the event’s date. We reserve the right to substitute speakers, cancel seminars, or cancel part of or the entire event, due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, our liability is limited to a prompt refund of the registration fee, on a pro-rata basis, for the affected days.