The weekend begins on Thursday evening at 6:00pm with check-in and room assignments. Each person has a very comfortable, private, individual room with bed, desk, toilet and shower accommodations. A simple meal is served in the Dining Room, providing a relaxed time to meet the team and other participants. Afterward an outline of the weekend activities is provided, and self-introductions by the team members and participants usually gets a lot of laughs as people find creative ways to make themselves known. Informal group singing begins and continues throughout the weekend as a means of bringing folks together, in fun, in reflection, in worship, and in fellowship. Following a period in Chapel the evening concludes in silent retreat.
The pattern of each day is similar. Morning comes early as folks are awakened from their slumbers by a rude bell in the hands of a cheery team member. All gather in the Chapel for a brief service and then go to the Dining Room for a hearty breakfast and table fellowship. Significant time is spent in the Conference Room each day. From the beginning, participants are assigned to a table group along with a team member as table leader, and each of those groups remain together for the weekend. This provides an opportunity for each person to get to know a few people well; not infrequently table members form friendships lasting long after the weekend is over. It is in the Conference Room that participants hear a total of 15 interrelated talks during the weekend that, taken together, present the one coherent message describing a life in Jesus Christ. Five of the talks are given by the three clergy serving as the spiritual leaders for the weekend; the remaining ten talks are given by lay (non-clergy) speakers. These are ordinary folks from all walks of life who bring real-life messages about their, sometimes difficult, growth in Christian faith.
All work and no play ....! Certainly not! Realizing that a short-course in Christian living presented in 3 days would be too rigorous for most people without some relaxation, times throughout the weekend are given to light-hearted fun, skits, singing and fellowship. Oh, and food, too! The meals, prepared by team members, are served to participants and team at small table groups, providing both tasteful and enjoyable nourishment and conversation. Work and play are two elements; attention to the nurture of the soul is a third essential. Chapel time and Holy Communion are included in each day's schedule. As people who have 'made' Tres Dias weekends at Sarto remember their experiences, reference is frequently made to the serenity, beauty and holiness of Sarto's Chapel and the times spent there.
The weekend ends late Sunday afternoon with a group reflection on the course of the three days, and with a time of worship and sharing. Many express a feeling of reluctance to leave the cloistered atmosphere where the cares of daily living have been temporarily suspended, but also expressing a renewed confidence to live in the world in a renewed fellowship with Jesus. The colorful rooster and an expression used frequently on the weekend, 'De Colores' ('Of the Colors'), are reflective of the diversity of God's kingdom, which gives the hope and confidence to carry on.