Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Posted in Events on June 26, 2013
Young adult Catholic retreat

Question: What could possibly provoke such enthusiastic testimonies from young adults across the nation?

"Thank you for a grace-filled weekend! I received so many blessings and so much joy."

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! This weekend has been inspiring, amusing, and above all filled with hope and growth!"

"Truly inspiring! To be surrounded by so many Catholics is encouraging and uplifting!"

"Cannot help but feel strengthened in my Faith and ready to evangelize!"

"It was so wonderful to take a step out of the world for a little while into a haven of healing. I feel much less confused and more ready to combat the world."

"Edifying! Inspiring! Memorable!"

Answer: The Sursum Corda national retreat at Mundelein! More than 60 young adults ages 18 and older from over 10 states gathered at the beautiful, peaceful setting of Mundelein, Illinois (about 30 miles northwest of Chicago), for a spiritually refreshing and friendship-building weekend. Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary provided the perfect environment for such an event. The grounds were originally developed by the first bishop of Chicago, His Excellency William J. Quarter, in 1844. But it was in the 1920's, under the direction of Cardinal Mundelein, that the beautiful structures we know today took form.

From June 21 through June 24, on these hallowed grounds, the young adults experienced a balanced schedule of public and private prayer, daily Mass, confessions, spiritual direction, walks on the lake, outings, sports, line dancing, games, conferences, and socializing.

Upon arrival, after checking in (and already enamored with the gorgeous setting), the young adults attended Mass. The homily was on the soul's call to marriage with Our Lord. After community dinner there was Square Dancing in the gym. The chanted Office of Compline in the Main Chapel concluded the day and allowed the retreatants to have a glimpse of the liturgical life of the Canons.

On Saturday, the Canons offered a conference on "Street Apologetics." This involved explaining the different situations they may encounter in conversations and how to go about them with charity. The Canons offered general principles such as: prayer is not a "last resort," but rather the first means of conversion, and that it is much more by a persevering example that our neighbors are touched. They also gave practical down-to-earth and scriptural proofs of oft attacked aspects of the Faith, for example: the veneration due to the Blessed Mother or the role of intercessors.

Young adult Catholic retreat

Members of the group then sang a beautiful polyphonic Missa Cantata. The homily was in line with "The Year of Faith". The homilist taught and explained the four qualities necessary for the virtue of Faith to be authentic: our Faith must be universal, firm, constant, and living. In the afternoon all partook in a rosary walk to the Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe and made visits to the holocaust exhibit and Perpetual Adoration Chapel. In the evening there were engaging conversations on topics ranging from "is Superman a Christ figure?" to "how do you explain the Hypostatic Union to someone?"!

Sunday included conversion testimonies and another uplifting High Mass. After lunch, lake walks, frisbee, and volleyball animated the afternoon. A fun-filled evening ensued thanks to a truly talent-filled Talent Show! Many people showcased their singing or instrument playing capacities. Others performed gymnastics or recited poetry. A Dazzling Dueling Duo of violinists won the gold medal: the most amazing fact; they had just met over the weekend! Theology on Tap flowed into the next day. Today's young adults are most certainly thirsty for the truth and they took full advantage of having priests at their disposition! More time was also accorded for individual spiritual direction; an aspect much appreciated by the participants!

On Monday, everyone was in disbelief that the weekend was already coming to an end. In order to send them back into the world "armed and ready" the final conference was on true friendship as taught by Saint Francis de Sales in his Introduction to the Devout Life. The concluding homily showed how Saint John the Baptist (June 24 is the feast of His Nativity)  is an example of living the truth in charity; of being a light in the darkness; being a voice of He who cries in the dessert;and being a friend of the bridegroom. 

Such are the lessons and experiences of the National Retreat. Thank you, Sursum Corda! Here, life-long friendships are forged, spiritual lessons are engrained, and the sacred is encountered and embraced!

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein
Sursum Corda National Retreat at Mundelein