Not the Expected Retreat

I had scheduled a three-night retreat at the monastery. I needed this retreat. It was to be a really good silent retreat. I would take no book except for a Bible. I would have no plans, instead letting the Holy Spirit lead me however it would. (Somehow, I failed to see the contradiction in planning to have no plans.) When I walked into the guest house and was greeted by Tim, an elderly stranger using […]

I’m Off on an Adventure

This post is by Lisa Kelly, as she prepares to begin An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Starting this online retreat on February 7, 2016, makes it perfectly timed as a Lent and Easter retreat. The eyes of a penitent lower as a blackened thumb outlines the shape of a cross across the forehead. And with the solemn words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” the adventure of Lent begins. I must admit […]

Billionaire Building Retreat Center

Billionaire Joe Ricketts is building a retreat center in Nebraska’s Platte River Valley, expected to open in 2018. The Cloisters on the Platte, as it’s known, will feature Ignatian silent retreats. Ricketts has been visiting churches and organizations in the Omaha Archdiocese to encourage people to try a retreat like the one that changed his life, as reported in the National Catholic Register. His faith also got a boost when he attended his second-ever retreat […]

The Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life

If you are interested in doing the Spiritual Exercises in daily life (also known as the 19th annotation retreat), September brings an opportunity to start in alignment with the liturgical calendar. Retreat houses around the country offer the experience, such as the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, CA—which offers the Exercises in Korean and Chinese in addition to their English and Spanish programming. For those unable to participate through a retreat center, the Spiritual […]

Andy Otto on the Fifth Week

The Spiritual Exercises are divided into four phases, called “weeks.” After the retreat experience is over, however, we face “the Fifth Week”—the rest of our lives. Andy Otto explains: A retreat director once told me as my retreat was ending that as I went back to daily life the graces I gained on the retreat were mine. I could go back to them any time I wanted. Our encounter with God whether on a retreat […]

Retreats for Seniors in Their Living Rooms

Sr. Christine Schenk shares the story of the Living Room Retreats project, which brings the gifts of Ignatian spirituality to seniors. The program was started by Joanne Sheldon, a spiritual director and former nurse educator. Participants report loving praying with Scripture. Joanne’s elders were dealing with an array of spiritual concerns, including strained family relationships, accepting the aging process, how to deal with change, and worries about where they would live the rest of their […]

Prepare for the Holidays with an Afternoon of Prayer

Today, I issue a challenge. Schedule an afternoon for nothing but prayer. I use the word “prayer” loosely, so don’t panic. And you already know how short an afternoon is. So this activity is not as intimidating as you might first suspect. Here’s what I propose. Choose a place that’s good for you. It can be outdoors or indoors, somewhere in your home, on your property, or somewhere else entirely. But it needs to be […]

Writing Retreat

Author and editor Vinita Hampton Wright will be hosting an online writing retreat at her blog this week. The theme is “Writing for the Soul,” and she explains it as a time to use writing to help participants figure out what’s going on in their lives, how they feel about it, and what dreams are bubbling up to the surface. All materials are available for free online, so whether you’re curious about writing as a […]

Art Retreat

Atlanta-area readers may be interested in an upcoming retreat at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center. Spiritual director and artist Claudia Campbell is leading a Lenten silent retreat during which participants will “contemplate the passion of Christ through the paintings of the 13th-century Italian painter, Giotto.” The retreat is March 17-18, 2014. For details, see the retreat house’s site. Campbell uses the term, “visual lectio” to describe the main tool of her art retreats, which she […]

Silence, Stillness, and the Need for Retreat

I sit on an airplane heading to my silent retreat as I write this. This retreat, a seven-day one, is a gift from my husband for my birthday. As I anticipate the retreat beginning, it is not the silence that worries me. I always enjoy the quiet, the silence, the moments of prayer. I am afraid this year of the stillness that I know awaits me—the drastic pause from the hurried pace of my life […]

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