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: Q&A: Cardinal Stafford: “The Eucharist has been the center of my life”

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On the dawn of his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination, Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, archbishop emeritus of Denver, reflects on the origins and fruits of his vocation. He will celebrate a Mass in thanksgiving with Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 17, at 10:30 a.m.

DC: What were your desires as a young man and how did God call you to the priesthood?            

Cardinal Stafford: Images of God arose very early in my life. From my parents’ encounter with Jesus in the confessional, concrete impressions developed into images. Those images spoke to me of God’s holiness and beauty. I understood that He was great and forgiving.

Reality became complex with more birthdays. The brutality of the 20th century… insinuated itself into my world-view. I was bewildered by the horror of that era… A few years later I also discovered St. Augustine’s joy in reflecting upon the beauty of the Creator of the world in his Confessions… I learned that the love of Christ transforms our unloveliness into God’s beauty.

Both the beauty of the Ancient One and the rub of evil have coexisted in my faith and experience. Jesus’s invitation, “The laborers are few”, resonated in my soul.  The fact that the priestly vocation is totally given over to the “ministry of reconciliation” became the North Star of my life.

Archbishop J. Francis Stafford blesses the altar of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Aurora, Colo. (Photo by Denver Catholic Register)

DC: What practices have helped you remain faithful to your vocation during these 60 years?

Cardinal Stafford: When awakening each morning, I recite a single verse from Psalm 51, “Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.” Three times it is repeated. Thereafter, the grace of God sets the day on the right track. It becomes a song of praise to God. With hard practice it daily gathers momentum. It places front and center the most beautiful mystery of the Christian faith: The Triune God. The love and beauty of the Most Holy Trinity light up the whole day even when God appears more distant than near.

The psalmist has been a great catechist. He has taught me that human beings are doxological (people of praise) by nature especially in the Dark Night – not only as individuals, but also within community… Doxological prayer has led me to appreciate why St. Augustine wrote, “The goal of all Christian watchfulness and all Christian progress is a pious and sober understanding of the Trinity.”

Cardinal James Stafford holds a relic of St. Teresa of Calcutta during a Mass celebrating her feast day at St. Joseph’s Parish on September 5, 2016, in Denver. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

DC: What have been some of the challenges and highlights of your priesthood?

Cardinal Stafford: The challenges: Christians in Europe and North America are struggling with the “juggernaut” of secularization… Generally, its roots are found in the fact that most Europeans and Americans today find themselves thrust into the universe without any foundation for living. Most imagine themselves in a free-fall through space with unintelligible entrances and exits. The challenge is how to confront this unprecedented reality. The pastoral solutions have seldom been forthcoming.

The highlights of my priesthood: Visiting the home-bound. They are the hidden pillars of every local Church. Beyond the home-bound, I have always felt that Colorado’s response to the invitation to celebrate the 1993 World Youth Day was the measure beyond all measure. In other words, the event was from God… [and] God was delighted with Coloradans.

Pope John Paul II thanks Cardinal Stafford for his leadership in organizing World Youth Day in Denver, 1993. (Photo by Denver Catholic Register)

DC: Who have been your greatest role models and how have they impacted your vocation?

Cardinal Stafford: My mother and father have been my greatest Christian role models. Their love and friendship were life-long and mutual. The two were the best of friends. Their life together, ten years after their marriage, was tested severely… [Tuberculosis] struck [my mother] with extreme severity.

She required prolonged hospitalization that included three major surgical operations over a period of nearly three years. Throughout that time her faith, courage and love remained ever-present signs along the road. My father’s love for his wife never faltered during her hospitalization… His presence to her was reassuring, quiet, and unassuming.  The grace of the sacrament of marriage sustained both of them and was an enormously important witness for me.

Cardinal Stafford celebrates Mass during World Youth Day in Denver, 1993. (Photo by James Baca/Denver Catholic Register)

DC: Reflecting on your priestly experience, what practices are essential to the Catholic priest of the New Evangelization?

Cardinal Stafford: The Eucharist has been the center of my life… Over the years, I learned that priestly celibacy was related to the eschatological nature of the Eucharist.  In 390 AD bishops at the Council of Carthage underlined this connection, “That holy bishops and priests of God…. observe perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God; what the apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us endeavor to keep.”

I’ve reflected for over four decades over the forthrightness of their statement. I still ask myself why the ancient bishops chose the phrase “in all simplicity.”  Their choice was related to the priest’s acting “in the person of Christ”. That’s Eucharistic and the Eucharist is doxological. Their assertion that clerical celibacy had apostolic origins surprised me.

Finally, a lay friend taught me one of the greatest graces of these sixty years, “Gratitude for the gift is shown only by allowing it to make one fruitful,” from Meister Eckhart. That is my prayer in celebrating my 60th anniversary of priestly ordination.