The Saint Paul Retreat Team is exploring options for in-house and travel retreat offerings through a variety of sources. For more information, contact Joann Epple (219-929-7343).
St. Meinrad Retreats
No matter your interests or hobbies, you are sure to find something appealing in the myriad of retreat offerings at St. Meinrad’s. A recent perusal of their retreat schedule found retreats for couples, about forgiveness, for those in AA, about fitness/health, about the Benedictine Way, about the Gospel of Luke, about creativity/ethics, about singing of the liturgy, about the Cathedral at Chartres, and much more. St Meinrad’s is located in St. Meinrad, Indiana (about 5 hours south of Valparaiso). There is a Benedictine monastery on the campus as well.
Jesuit Retreat House
For silent retreats on the shore of Lake Winnebago, consider the Jesuit Retreat House – located six miles south of Oshkosh, Wisconsin (about 4 hours from Valpo) on twenty-three beautiful acres along the shore of the largest inland lake in the Midwest. The Jesuit Retreat House draws on the rich tradition of Ignatian spirituality and reflection. The retreat house offers resources to all who want to discern God’s presence in their lives. At the same time, they also aim to help their retreatants to become “contemplatives in action,” people who bring this spirituality into the everyday world. This silent retreat ministry hopes to help women and men of all backgrounds to more fully grow in their personal relationships with Jesus Christ. The Jesuits see themselves as companions of Jesus, and they invite others to join with them, as friends in the Lord to build up the body of Christ here on earth. They offer both preached and directed retreats — additionally they have special retreats for couples and those in a 12-step program.
Lindenwood Retreat & Conference Center
Run by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center is located at The Center at Donaldson in Plymouth, Indiana (about an hour east of Valpo). They offer retreats for private groups (Confirmation Retreat, Theology of the Body, Discipleship and Formation, and more). Additionally, individuals may attend one of their many seasonal programs. For example, Bishop Hying will lead a one-hour session on Advent in December, 2018. To view a current schedule, go to their website (listed above); click on “Retreats and Programs”; then click on “Attend one of our programs”.
Plan Your Own Retreat
The mission of the Portiuncula Center for Prayer is to be a sacred space of welcome for those seeking peace of mind, body, and spirit. The center is nestled in St. Francis Woods in Frankfort, IL (about an hour west of Valpo). The Port has been a retreat center for nearly 30 years. It is a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart whose programs are rooted in the Franciscan tradition. They purchased the 50 acres on which the retreat center is located over 60 years ago. The property is now called St. Francis Woods and is home to the Motherhouse as well as The Poverello Holistic Center and 5 hermitages. The Portiucula Center for Prayer offers retreats, programs, hermitages, and spiritual direction.
Welcome (Matthew Kelly’s Dynamic Catholic’s reimagining of Christ Renews His Parish)
Saint Paul currently has an active men’s team (Frank Bottos) and is assembling a women’s team (Carol Parks) to start Welcome retreats in our parish. Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) was a powerful retreat experience for hundreds of Saint Paul parishioners over the years. Many of our ministry leaders point to CRHP as a spiritual turning point for them. Recently, because interest in CRHP seemed to have waned, former CRHP leaders decided to explore the Welcome program. Dynamic Catholic designed Welcome to be the first step in helping people make sense of life — people who have a nagging feeling that something is missing in their lives. Welcome is designed to give people a starting point. Welcome is an overnight weekend experience given by men or women in the parish who have had Welcome training or who have previously attended Welcome. Through fellowship, faith sharing, hospitality, music, individual and group activities, Mass, and more, participants have the opportunity to step back from the everyday to reflect on their lives and their spiritual journeys and build meaningful relationships with other men or women in the parish. (Men and women attend separate weekends.)
Before CRHP, there was Cursillo which continues to this day. The Cursillo focuses on showing Christian laypeople how to become effective Christian leaders over the course of a three-day weekend. The weekend includes fifteen talks, called rollos, which are given by priests and by laypeople. The major emphasis of the weekend is to ask participants to take what they have learned back into the world, on what is known as the “fourth day.” The method stresses personal spiritual development, as accelerated by weekly group reunions after the initial weekend. At Saint Paul, many of our most active parishioners have done a Cursillo — some have continued their weekly group reunions for many years. Click on the above link for info on upcoming retreats.