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" Anchored



an advent Day Retreat

Saturday, December 4th, 2021





"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul,

firm and secure.

It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

where our forerunner,


has entered on our behalf."
Heb. 6:19-20

Come let JESUS anchor your hope in Him!

How is your level of hopefulness these days? What anchors your soul in these turbulent times?

Are you weary and worn- having a hard time finding hope? 

Jesus says-

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

and I will give you rest.

Mt 11:28

What to anticipate during the day?

Come let God nourish your soul and revive & re-anchor your hope during this gently guided retreat. The day will include opening, midday and closing prayer along with three short meditations and two longer breaks for your own personal reflection time with optional suggested materials. There will be time to walk around the lake, enjoy the paths or settle inside the warm chapel or lounge. This retreat is for anyone who longs to be open and filled with God’s presence, hope, and love.


We'll talk about what biblical hope is, what may hinder it, how to receive it more fully, and how to let it be the True anchor for our souls. 

"biblical hope is not just a desire for something good in the future, it's not simple optimism or wishful thinking around uncertainty...but rather 

biblical hope is a confident expectation and desire for good in the future.

Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future — it expects it to happen.

And it not only expects it to happen — it is confident that it will happen!"

Christ has come.

Christ still comes.

Christ will come again!

The Advent or "coming" of Jesus occurs in the past, present and future. We'll take some time to ponder and consider these three advents or "comings" of Christ to us and the world, and how that ministers true biblical HOPE to us and in us.

"The season of Advent gives us the opportunity to practice waiting for the light of Christ’s coming into the dark places of our world and our lives. Advent literally means “arrival,” and the themes of this season sensitize us to the coming of Christ, not just way back in biblical times,

but now—in the places where we long for his presence and need his intervention today."

-Ruth Haley Barton

Come join us as we ponder and prepare our hearts to receive.

The Retreat will include times for:

  • Nature Walks and time to explore the beautiful campus, God's creation, the lake, statues, paths

  • Reflections and Guided Meditations on Scripture, poetry, music and art

  • A live in-person worship leader accompany us during our prayer times

  • Times of prayer and times of group sharing reflecting on our spiritual experiences

  • Some Quiet and Personal Reflection time

  • An optional add on 1-1 time of Spiritual Direction or an Immanuel healing prayer session, if desired and reserved prior - (an additional fee is requested, limited space)

Why take a retreat?

Unplugging and setting this time apart to give Jesus our undivided attention can bring much needed restoration, hope, guidance, light and healing to our weary souls in this busy season and crazy world. It also invites us to focus on the "ONE thing necessary" (Luke 10:42) and needed during the holiday season.

“Times come,

when we yearn for more of God than our schedules will allow.

We are tired, we are crushed, we are crowded by friends and acquaintances,

commitments and obligations.

The life of grace is abounding, but we are too busy for it.

Even good obligations begin to hem us in.”

Emilie Griffin 

When is the Retreat day?

Saturday - December 4th, 2021 / from 9am to 4pm.


This retreat is being held at Joseph & Mary Retreat Center in Mundelein, in-person.

And will be subject to the current Covid 19 guidelines of the retreat center (see below).

The day will be facilitated by Spiritual Director & Retreat guide, Cecilia T. Whitacre

Suggested Offering?

A suggested offering of $75.00 is greatly appreciated.

(Fees are non-refundable, but transferable to another attendee)

Scholarships are available to those experiencing financial hardship, please inquire if needed.

Register today below!

There is limited space available.

 “Our spiritual life depends on his (Jesus') perpetual coming to us,

far more than on our going to him. 

Every time a channel is made for him he comes;

every time our hearts are open to him he enters,

bringing a fresh gift of his very life, and on that life we depend. 

We should think of the whole power and splendor of God as always pressing in upon our small souls.” 

- Evelyn Underhill

Retreat Outline


            8:30am Arrival and Welcome Coffee 

            9am *Opening & Invitation to Retreat

                           9:30am Morning Prayer / Meditation - First Advent HOPE: Christ Has Come / Group Check-ins

            10am-12pm Personal Reflection time 

(1-1 Appointments held during this time) 

            12-1pm Lunch

            1pm Midday Prayer / Meditation - Second Advent HOPE: Christ Still Comes / Group Check-ins

             1:30-3:30pm Personal Reflection time

(1-1 Appointments held during this time) 

                      3:30pm *Closing Prayer / Meditation - Third Advent HOPE: Christ Will Come Again /  Group Check-ins

            4pm / Closing Benediction


All activities & sharing is optional. 

*We do ask that you attend the opening and closing gatherings.

 This retreat will include some times of optional silence and also opportunities for sharing.

(Outline, topics &  schedule times subject to change)

Register here...

Pay here...

(to avoid paypal fees included above; send the fee through Zelle/Chase Quickpay, Venmo or ApplePay or mail a check)

st marys deer.jpg

The Retreat Day Includes: 

Lunch, all needed materials, snacks & beverages during the day, meaningful meditations with spiritual practices, guided prayer, times of optional group sharing, a take-home Advent booklet, and plenty of time for some solitude & quiet. 

AND a stunningly beautiful campus to explore, filled with sacred statues, artwork, generous spaces, walking paths, benches, stations of the cross, chapel, and the lake -where a winter wonderland will await you.

The hope of this retreat is to offer some times of quiet listening and reflection to hear and to experience a deepening of your relationship with the Lord, as you prepare your heart for advent anchored in Hope.

Your retreat begins Saturday morning promptly at 9am  (but please come as early as 8:30am to park, find our meeting room, enjoy some coffee, say hello to old & new friends and get situated) we'll end by 4pm.  

Requested Offering for the day: $75 

Optional Add-on 45 minute Spiritual Direction/Immanuel Prayer Session: $35

(there are a limited number of available spaces, please sign up early and reserve a 45 minute session. Sessions will be offered by Cecilia and another guest Spiritual Director)

If you would like to spend the night before or after the retreat you can arrange that on your own by calling the St Mary of the Lake Residence Hall at (847) 566-8290 -  It's right across the lake from the retreat center. 

Current Covid Retreat Requirements: 

  • Our group can decide if we would like to wear masks while gathered together in our meeting room. We have decided that once in our room masks will be optional upon being seated. Of course, you are always welcome to keep your mask on the entire time.

  • Since we will be here with another group, we are asked to wear masks in the hallways and common areas of the retreat house - library, chapel. 

  • You may lower your mask while alone in the chapel.

  • Masks do not need to be worn at meals.

  • It is required that all guests *regardless of vaccination status* be masked while moving about inside the retreat house.  Social distancing is not necessary. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,

so that

you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Rm 15:13

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