Here are beautiful centers for your next retreat

Therese Bussen

Advent is a typically noisy and busy season — which means it’s all the more beneficial to step away from the hustle and reflect on God and renew a relationship with him.

A retreat is a great opportunity to do so, and there are plenty of places in Colorado that offer guided and private retreats for either groups or individuals year-round.

“Advent is a wonderful time of year to prepare our hearts for two joys: Christ’s humble “first coming” in a Bethlehem stable, and His glorious Second Coming at the end of time,” said Father Scott Bailey.

“As a time of preparation for that joy, I highly recommend taking some time for extra prayer and retreat,” he added. “The commercialization (and noise) of Christmas can tend to draw us away from the quiet and simple joy that the Lord wants to give us. Entering into the silence of prayer during Advent, then, can help to dispose us to the graces and presence which is the heart of the Christmas.”

Below is a list of retreat centers available in northern Colorado, as well as Colorado Springs, that are available.

Some are specifically centers for individuals or couples to make personal retreats and others offer guided retreats during the year; others do a mix of both.

Northern Colorado area

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jesus Our Hope
http://www.jesus-our-hope.org/

Nestled in Jefferson County near Littleton, Jesus Our Hope us a hermitage home run by the Community of the Beatitudes. It has a full kitchen, 4 rooms, 3 bathrooms and a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament. It’s surrounded by beautiful mountain landscape and there’s no internet, so it makes for a wonderful retreat setting. Most people use it for personal retreats, but it has a meeting room for 20 people, so it’s an ideal location for a one-day retreat. For more information, visit jesus-our-hope.org/faq, or email jesusourhoperetreat@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sacred Heart Retreat House –
http://www.sacredheartretreat.org/

An apostolate of the Jesuits of the Central and Southern Province, this retreat house offers guided retreats throughout the year as well as of space for individuals to make private retreats, and is open to religious, priests or laity. Located near Conifer, the center offers comfortable furnishings and beautiful architecture. There is also a kitchen that serves food cafeteria style and complimentary snacks and beverages are always available in the dining room. For more information, visit sacredheartretreat.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mother Cabrini Shrine –
http://www.mothercabrinishrine.org/retreats

At the time it was established by Mother Cabrini in 1912, it was an orphanage for girls. Now, it’s a shrine that offers numerous, beautiful spaces for group or individual retreats, both overnight and day-long. There are daily Masses, a full kitchen and dining room that serves meals, as well as a gift shop. The grounds also offer several places for meditative walks where St. Cabrini herself prayed. For more information or to book a retreat, visit mothercabrinishrine.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Abbey of St. Walburga –
http://www.walburga.org/index.php/170/140/

The Abbey Retreat House is a ministry of the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of St. Walburga who provide retreat space to both individuals or groups. With single bedrooms that have private bathrooms, the house offers continental breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the guest dining room. Visitors are also welcome to pray the Divine Office with the sisters, as well as participate in daily Mass. Make reservations early, this center tends to fill quickly. For more information or to make reservations, visit walburga.org/index.php/170/140 or send an email to aswretreats@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lanteri Center for Ignatian Spirituality (Parish retreats) –
 https://www.omvusa.org/lanteri-center/

The Lanteri Center for Ignatian Spirituality offers retreats for parishes on Ignatian spirituality, including Ignatian prayer, the Examen prayer, discernment of spirits and discerning God’s will. For more information, visit omvusa.org/lanteri-center/parish-retreats or contact at omvusa.org/lanteri-center/about-us/contact-us.

Colorado Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 


Franciscan Retreat Center –
http://www.franciscanretreatcenter.org/index.html

The Franciscan Retreat Center, located in the foothills of Colorado Springs, is a space available for personal retreats, group gatherings or other special events. It has 34 overnight guest rooms and 8 meeting areas as well as acres of natural grounds. Daily Mass is available, as well as spiritual direction for a small fee. For more information, visit franciscanretreatcenter.org/index.html.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Benet Hill Monastery –
http://www.benethillmonastery.org/retreats

Benet Hill Monastery is run by the Benedictine sisters of Benet Hill and offers both private and directed retreats for individuals as well as space for retreat groups to come on their own. Located halfway between Castle Rock and Colorado Springs, the retreat center is situated on 44 acres in Black Forest. There is also hermitages available for an experience of solitude, and spiritual direction is available for a fee. Retreatants are also invited to participate in the sisters’ Divine Office. For more information, visit benethillmonastery.org/retreats .

 

 

 

 

 

 


El Tesoro de los Angeles –
http://eltesororetreat.org/

Located in Woodland Park within the Pike National Forest, El Tesoro de los Angeles is a retreat center for individuals, groups and parishes and has a chapel blessed by Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs. Retreatants must bring their own food and priest if they desire Mass for their retreat or for spiritual direction. For more information, visit eltesororetreat.org/.

Beautiful places out of state

For a list of a few destination retreat centers, check out this list from Aleteia!

12 Catholic retreats held in the most beautiful settings

COMING UP: Remembering John Paul the Great: Three new books

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When teaching college students a few years ago, I was shocked when I asked my students to tell me what they knew about Pope St. John Paul II. It wasn’t much. We went on to read George Weigel’s definitive biography of John Paul, Witness to Hope (Harper Perennial, 2004), and the students were blown away by the greatness and compelling life of the Pope. The class made me realize how quickly the memory of even monumental figures can fade away if we do not work deliberately to continue their legacy.

The first place to begin “getting to know” John Paul better would be Weigel’s biography, mentioned above, along with the sequel, The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II — The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (Random House, 2010). In addition, I would recommend John Paul’s interview book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope (Knopf, 1995) and his trilogy of greatest encyclicals: Fides et Ratio, Evangelium Vitae, and Veritatis Splendor. The great Pope left us an enormous legacy of writings to explore, but especially relevant now are his “Letter to Families,” Familiaris Consortio (an exhortation on the family), and the Theology of the Body.

For those looking go deeper in their knowledge of John Paul, three new books can help us to remember and continue his great work for the renewal of Church and society.

George Weigel, Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II (Basic Books, 2017)

The final volume of a tryptic of the Pope, Weigel provides a memoir of his interactions with John Paul and an account of how he became his biographer. For those who love Witness to Hope, Weigel provides a fascinating account of how the book came about, tracing his work within the Vatican, Poland, and across the world. It narrates his own story as seminarian, lay theology student, writer, and his activity in politics, including writing speeches for a leader of the pro-life movement in Congress. His work caught John Paul’s attention, especially his book chronicling the Church’s role in the fall of Communism, The Final Revolution. Weigel gives testimony to the providence that prepared him to write John Paul’s biography and the friendship they developed in their common witness to the hope that comes from Christ.

Paul Kengor, The Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century (ISI, 2017)

This book traces not only the remarkable working friendship of Regan and John Paul, but narrates the entire story of the struggle between European Communism and the Church. Surprisingly, the book’s common thread comes from Our Lady of Fatima, predicting Russia’s errors and uniting the faithful in prayer, as well as guiding not only John Paul but also Reagan. The two men recognized their providential role in what Reagan called the Divine Plan to end Communism in Europe. Portraits of many other key characters (on both sides) emerge: Stalin, Pope Pius XII, Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bishop Fulton Sheen, and Gorbachev. Kengor presents extraordinary connections between the two figures: both were actors, deep men of prayer, survived assassination attempts only months apart, and played key leadership roles in the world. The book presents ground breaking research to make a compelling and undeniable case that the two great men worked together closely and succeeded in bringing freedom to Eastern Europe.

Pope St. John Paul II/Karol Wojtyła, In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries 1962-2003 (Harper One, 2017)

This book gives us inside access to John Paul’s prayer life by presenting notes of his regular retreats from his time as a bishop through most of his papacy. It’s somewhat misnamed, as the book consists in his notebooks responding to the retreat material, not a normal diary. It reinforces what we know about the Pope: his strong focus on the Eucharist, his Marian spirituality of uniting our intentions to her fiat, and his concern as a bishop for the evangelization of his people. There are many gems, such as the following: “The most appropriate effects of the redemption in the human being are deeds that stem from it – deeds that through Mary are rooted in Christ, through one’s belong it Her, and that are simultaneously in accordance with Christ’s law, with His gospel” (10). The book will not disappoint those looking to enter more deeply into the spirituality of John Paul.