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Winter Weekend Retreat

Contemplative Outreach Chicago Presents: From the Mind to the Heart... an exploration of intuitive wisdom on the spiritual journey

This February, Contemplative Outreach – Chicago offers a weekend retreat to deepen the contemplative dimension of life:

The retreat will explore the embodied Wisdom dimension of the spiritual journey.  We will explore attentiveness to our wholeness in mind and heart and how this can deepen presence in Centering Prayer, Welcoming Prayer, and Lectio Divina.

Those present will be offered opportunities to access our interior being through the heart as an embodied connection to Christian contemplative spirituality.

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From the Mind to the Heart…
An Exploration of Intuitive Wisdom on the Spiritual Journey

The 2018 Winter Weekend Retreat will be guided by Alan Krema  It will take place February 9-11 at the beautiful Portiuncula Center for Prayer, 9263 West Saint Francis Road, Frankfort IL 60423.  The two nearest rail stations to “The Port” are Hickory Creek (Rock Island Line) and Matteson (Metra Electric Line).

What can I expect on this retreat?

Room check-in at “The Port” begin at 4:00 PM on Friday. Dinner is served at 6:00. The retreat begins at 7:00.

This is primarily a silent communal retreat punctuated with small conferences and some time for optional sharing.  Saturday meals will be in silence.

Mass is available on-site on Sunday morning with our hosts, the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, across from the Port.  Sunday will include an hour of Centering Prayer in common, a communal healing liturgy and an evaluation period.

Each Lodger will have a private room with a desk, sink, bed, comfortable chair and closet.  The showers and toilets are located off the hallways.  Commuters will have access to many quiet spaces and comfortable lounge chairs spread throughout the Port.

What do I need to bring?

 You may wish to bring your personal copy of the scriptures, although each room in the Port has a copy of the scriptures in it. Other useful items: (1) an alarm clock, and (2) if you normally use something other than a chair for your centering prayer periods, then bring what you use so that your prayer periods will be physically comfortable.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.  St. Francis Woods, the property surrounding the retreat center, has many walking trails both paved and unpaved, in an attractive park with an inviting forest and creek.

Who is the guide for the retreat?

Alan Krema is a Wisdom student with Cynthia Bourgeault and has completed the Living School program at the Center for Action and Contemplation.  Alan is a long time practitioner of centering prayer as well as facilitator of several centering prayer groups.  Alan currently serves as chapter coordinator for Contemplative Outreach Chicago


Please have a regular practice of Centering Prayer before registering for this retreat.


You may register for the Winter Weekend Retreat as a “Lodger” or as a “Commuter.”

The cost for Lodgers is $230, including five meals, two nights lodging in a private room, and materials. (Double occupancy, $210.)

The cost for Commuters is $140, including five meals, retreat common spaces, and materials.

Scholarship financial assistance is available. Please contact the registrar for more information (


Room check-in at “The Port” begins at 4:00 PM on Friday, February 9. Dinner is served at 6:00. The retreat begins at 7:00 and will conclude late morning on Sunday.

Secure online registration is available  please scroll down and fill in the information requested.

If you prefer mail-in registration, please download, complete, and send in this registration form.


Ticket Type Price Spaces
Lodger - Single Occupancy $230.00
Lodger - Double Occupancy $210.00
Commuter $140.00

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