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: Earthly stewardship is a Christian virtue

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Earthly stewardship is a Christian virtue

School’s environmental care efforts reap rewards for people, planet, pocket-book

Roxanne King

In Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato si, subtitled “On Care for Our Common Home,” the Holy Father calls all people to an “ecological conversion,” whereby one’s encounter with Jesus Christ is reflected in one’s relationship with the Earth.

“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience,” the pope writes. Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, he asserts, “The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.”

Erin Hensley, 35, parent leader of Shrine of St. Anne School’s student Green Team, took to heart Pope Francis’ words and reinstituted recycling at the Arvada school last year. Those efforts decreased the school’s landfill waste by 40 percent weekly and saved it $3,000 annually. The project also won a $1,000 Green Up Your School grant, which the Green Team is using this year to expand recycling in the classroom and in the lunchroom.

For Earth Day, the Green Team took their efforts into the wider community by stationing themselves at the Arvada Chick-fil-A on April 21 to urge customers to recycle their take-out containers.

To help foster environmental stewardship, Hensley shared tips with the Denver Catholic on how to start or expand one’s own sustainability efforts in schools and at home.

DC: How is recycling going at St. Anne’s this school year?

Hensley: It’s going great! One of the things we’re doing now in the lunchroom is to encourage students not to throw their food away. We learned that 16 percent of our waste (90-100 pounds weekly) is perfectly good, untouched, still packaged food items. If they haven’t touched their sandwich or fruit or treat, students can put it in a Giving Basket and kids who forget their lunch can help themselves to it. What’s left is refrigerated and at the end of the week donated to Arvada’s Blessing Box for the homeless.

The Giving Basket has a Scripture passage, John 6:12: “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments so nothing is lost.’” Packaged food has become such a convenience and easy to come by that we’ve lost touch with how much is thrown out; years ago that would have been unheard of. This isn’t just common sense, but a Christian practice that needs to be embodied.

DC: Tell me about your reusable water bottle campaign.

Hensley: Of the 300 students at St. Anne’s only 10 percent typically bring their reusable water bottles to lunch, a lot of kids leave them at their desk and use singe-use containers at lunch. The Green Team had a contest and gave tickets to students who used their reusable bottles in the lunchroom. At the end of two weeks we had a drawing for prizes.

Erin Hensley (left) with students from Shrine of St. Anne Catholic School set up camp at the Arvada Chick-Fil-A April 21 to encourage people to recycle more. (Photo provided)

Making that small switch from disposable to reusable containers helps to both reduce our waste and to reuse. We also did away with little wax cups that were used for kids who didn’t have a drink container at lunch. Those cups would go into the trash. If kids forget to bring a drink, they can get one from the water fountain. It’s a “hard” lesson that isn’t too hard!

DC: What are some small steps families and schools can take to reduce, reuse and recycle?

Hensley: Parents can make sure kids have a way to bring leftovers home. I’m a big fan of Tupperware. If you use plastic sandwich bags, switch to reusable containers. Also, reuse disposable cutlery, which can’t be recycled. Limit disposable beverage containers to occasional—not daily or weekly—use. And when making such purchases, keep in mind that fruit juice pouches are not easily recyclable, but juice boxes are. Keep in mind that convenience comes at a cost: both financially and for our planet.

Everyone can read a book to kids about nature or conservation. The Earth Day 2018 message is: “End plastic pollution.” [One sobering fact from the World Economic Forum Report: if plastic production isn’t curbed, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050.] Remember to take reusable bags when you shop, and to reuse and recycle plastic bags and wrap. Also, refuse freebies and unwanted items from vendors. The stress balls, wristbands, pens and plastic junk are only destined for the dump!

Schools can install a Giving Basket. A teacher or volunteer can take photos of all the untouched food kids throwaway and get that info home to parents. Schools can install paper reuse bins to promote double-side paper use and to repurpose paper. We tied that in with an Earth Art contest, which will be held at Shrine of St. Anne Church. The parishioners will vote on the most visually appealing or informative entry.

We have fun with our projects! Kids are excited to be able to participate and feel like they are making a difference helping the Earth by saving trees and by keeping our planet clean and safe for all life.

Earth Day Tips
Visit: www.earthday.org
Nonprofit Recycling Websites
Colorado Association for Recycling: www.cafr.org
Eco-cycle: www.ecocycle.org