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: Catholic school teachers are ‘ministers’, SCOTUS rules

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday delivered a long-awaited religious liberty decision on the right of religious schools to hire and fire teachers. The court found in favor of two Catholic schools in California, ruling that a “ministerial exception” to government interference applies to teachers in religious schools.

The ruling came in the consolidated cases of Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James Catholic School v. Biel. The justices ruled in a 7-2 decision that teachers at Catholic grade schools qualified for the “ministers exception” established by the court in the 2012 Hosana Tabor case.

“The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the majority.

“Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those responsibilities would undermine the independence of religious institutions in a way that the First Amendment does not tolerate.”

The two California Catholic schools did not renew the contracts of the teachers in 2014 and 2015. In separate cases combined by the Supreme Court, the teachers alleged that their dismissals were based on disability and age, not poor performance. The schools claimed they were exempt from employment discrimination laws under the ministerial exception, the legal doctrine under which government cannot interfere in the employment decisions of churches and religious institutions regarding the hiring and firing of ministers.

In both cases, the teachers’ suits were dismissed by federal courts, and then reinstated by the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeal.

When the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the combined case in May, lawyers for the schools argued that “for hours on end over the course of a week,” teachers in Catholic schools were the “primary agents” by which the faith was taught to students. Argument – and questions from the bench – focused on how broadly the ministerial exception could be applied to the employees of religious schools.

The decision comes just weeks after the court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, that employers cannot fire employees because of their sexual orientation or “gender identity.” Justice Neil Gorsuch, who authored the majority opinion in that case, acknowledged that religious freedom cases related to the decision would probably come before the Court in the future.

The decision about who qualifies as a minister could directly impact future cases in which teachers might be dismissed for failing to adhere to Church teachins on same-sex marriage or transgender issues, both of which have been subjects of controversy in recent months.

“Requiring the use of the title [minister] would constitute impermissible discrimination,” the court ruled. Referencing the previous decision in Hosana Tabor, Altio wrote that there must be “a recognition that educating young people in their faith, inculcating its teachings, and training them to live their faith are responsibilities that lie at the very core of the mission of a private religious school.”

The verdict also explicitly referenced the policy of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, home to both of the schools designating all teachers in Catholic schools as being effectively ministers.

“Like all teachers in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Morrissey-Berru was “considered a catechist,” i.e., “a teacher of religion,” Alito noted in his decision for the majority.

“There is abundant record evidence that [both teachers] performed vital religious duties. Educating and forming students in the Catholic faith lay at the core of the mission of the schools where they taught, and their employment agreements and faculty handbooks specified in no uncertain terms that they were expected to help the schools carry out this mission and that their work would be evaluated to ensure that they were fulfilling that responsibility.”

The court concluded that “when a school with a religious mission entrusts a teacher with the responsibility of educating and forming students in the faith, judicial intervention into disputes between the school and the teacher threatens the school’s independence in a way that the First Amendment does not allow.”

Joining Alito in the majority decision were Justices Thomas, Breyer, Kagan, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts. Justices Sotomayer and Ginsburg dissented.