The full experience of making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola in the 30-day retreat format can be life transforming.  Pope Benedict described “The Spiritual Exercises” as a “strong experience of God, sustained by listening to his Word…which in a climate of silence, prayer and by means of a spiritual guide, offer the capacity of discernment in order to purify the heart, convert one’s life to follow Christ, and fulfill one’s own mission in the Church and the world.”  It is timely to note that Pope Francis’ pastoral emphasis on learning discernment of spirits is rooted in his intimate knowledge of the power of the Trinity’s laboring love and mercy in his experience of “The Spiritual Exercises.”


One enters into the retreat to receive more deeply an ongoing experience and encounter with the mission of Jesus’ Spirit.  It can also be a profound means for discerning what Jesus’s Spirit is choosing to reveal about the Father’s will for the retreatant.


Joseph and Mary Retreat House in Mundelein is newly renovated and located on the beautiful campus of Mundelein Seminary.  Each guest room is air-conditioned and has a private bathroom.  Access to the seminary library, chapel and fitness facilities is provided.  Bicycles are available to enjoy the nearby extensive biking and walking trails.  The retreat center is situated beside an expansive lake and is adjacent to Marytown, the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe.  This shrine offers perpetual Eucharistic adoration.

Capuchin Retreat Center in Jerusalem is located in a safe district about a 20-minute walk from the center of Jerusalem and many of the holy sites (Mount of Olives, Calvary, the Holy Sepulchre, etc.)  It has been newly renovated and is fully air-conditioned.  Each room has a private bathroom.  The retreat center has a beautiful private enclosed garden for one’s enjoyment.  Nearby public parks are available for walking and relaxation.


Joseph & Mary Retreat House

July 1 to July 31, 2020


Capuchin Retreat Center

June 30 to July 31, 2020 with additional days until August 5th for those who desire to remain for pilgrimage.  Deadline for application is March 15, 2020.



Preference for admission is given to Bishops, Seminary Formators, Vocation Directors, Priests, Deacons and their Wives, Religious and Lay leaders involved in spiritual formation and evangelization.  Prerequisites include having made two week-long silent directed retreats or the equivalent.  Silent conference retreats without daily individual spiritual direction or quiet time spent in a monastic setting for days of personal retreat do not fulfill the prerequisites.  Exceptions to these prerequisites can be discussed if there seems to be an equivalent spiritual preparation through intensive spiritual formation programs and/or life experience.  A telephone interview is required.  During this interview daily habits of prayer and the regularity of spiritual direction are discussed as well as one’s personal experience of God’s love.

More About The Spiritual Exercises

During the retreat, participants experience God’s invitations to be loved, reconciled and called to live in companionship with Jesus’ Spirit.  This entails some type of sharing in Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.  The paschal mystery is tested through the image of God, alive in the retreatant’s heart, being placed in dialogue with the experience of the Holy Spirit’s consoling activity in this mystery.  It is a mystery to be lived out in day-to-day faith following the retreat.

The Spiritual Exercises are a type of map, a map for the human heart to follow in prayerful medication and contemplation.  To follow these exercises brings one into intimate contact with the risen presence of Jesus Christ who reveals the Father of all mercy and consolation.  If the book called “The Spiritual Exercises” is read, the experience is dry, like reading a manual.

To actually experience The Spiritual Exercises, one must follow the guidance of a spiritual director who provides guidelines for a deeper encounter with God at work amid the inter-dynamic of human desiring.  In the 30-day format the retreatant prays four to five hours daily and sees the spiritual director for an hour each day.  Eucharistic liturgy is also celebrated on a daily basis.

Spiritual Directors

  • Fr. Jon Kelly (St. John Vianney Seminary, MN)

  • Fr. Evan Koop (St. Paul Seminary, MN)

  • Fr. Bill Murphy (St. John XIII Seminary, Boston)

  • Fr. Brian Welter (Mundelein Seminary, IL)

  • Fr. John Horn, S.J. (St. Vincent's Seminary, FL)


Dues to the generosity of benefactors we are pleased to offer the following low rates:

Joseph & Mary Retreat House - $2,900 with a suggested donation of $350.00 for spiritual direction services.

Capuchin Retreat Center in Jerusalem - $2,700.00 plus the cost of international travel.  The stipend for spiritual direction is included.  In both locations the cost for all materials are covered.


Contact for Applications

Joseph and Mary Retreat House

Fr. Brian Welter

Mundelein Seminary

Phone (708) 567-5364 / email: bwelter@usml.edu


Capuchin Retreat Center in Jerusalem

Fr. John Horn, S.J.

St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary

Phone (561) 374-2268 / email: jhorn@svdp.edu

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