Young Adult Sursum Corda Weekend
Posted in General on September 25, 2015

From the 14th to the 17th of August, 2015, the Institute of Christ the King held its fifth annual Sursum Corda young adult retreat. The participants, some newcomers and others old friends, came from across the country to the beautiful campus of the University of Our Lady of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois. Together, we sought greater attentiveness to the Voice of God and His call, and the spiritual fraternity found amongst other young Catholics.

Our carefully-balanced daily schedule revolved around the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the nightly chanting of Compline. Interspersed were spiritual conferences; opportunities for Confession and individual spiritual direction from the Canons; and the fun recreation necessary for complete spiritual refreshment.

On Friday evening we had our yearly dance, learning some basic ballroom steps and enjoying the ensuing good-natured laughter as we puzzled out the routines. Saturday, the Feast of the Assumption, brought an important conference on loving and serving God in our individual vocations. We were exhorted to have courage, and to step out in faith regardless of our culture’s constant message of protracted adolescence, laziness, and fear. The day also included a Rosary Walk and pilgrimage to Marytown, where we explored the beautiful Church and spent time in silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Back on campus, we enjoyed a lively Theology on Tap event, wherein our good-humored Canons answered many anonymous questions submitted via index cards that had been passed out earlier that afternoon.

Sunday evening brought our yearly talent show, with performances ranging from the beautiful vocal gifts of this year’s winner, to the Wounded Soldier sketch that left us all doubled over in laughter. Afterwards, we gathered for a surprise birthday party that included not one, but three different delicious cakes.

Finally, we departed on Monday, our hearts heavy but our spirits invigorated: many miles may separate us, and we struggle against the current of a world gone mad, but we know we are not alone. United in the Sacred Heart, under the Mantle of the Immaculate, we seek to emulate the example of St. Benedict and his monks: having received new strength through prayer and fellowship, we work for Christ and His Kingdom, no matter where He sees fit to place us.
- Rebekah Wielgos

 

When I first attended Sursum Corda I was still in a crossroads in my faith.  I had been attending the Extraordinary form at both an Institute of Christ the King apostate and a small oratory operating in the basement of a parish center.  I was feeling very much an outsider.   For my entire life I had been part of a practicing Catholic family and, because I attended Catholic schools, most of my friends were Catholic.  Attending Mass at my childhood parish was a shared experience.  Upon deciding to attend the Extraordinary Form exclusively this changed.  In the past I had been able to converse on the weekly readings and homiles of this priest versus that.  Now I was alone.  Readings were different, priests were different from those that I had come to know in my home diocese, and most of all there was a completely different mindset as to the Mass.  I felt alone.  Even among my Catholic friends I found myself the outsider.  Attending the Sursum Corda Retreat changed this.

Sursum Corda showed me that I was not alone.  There is an entire community of young Catholics who embrace the extraordinary form of the mass and traditional sacraments.  This was the second year that I was able to attend the retreat at the picturesque seminary in Mundelein, Illinois which serves the Archdiocese of Chicago. 

The weekend includes a balance of events; both spiritual and social.  Participants are able to take full advantage of the lakeside property.  We were treated to professional dance lessons, a volleyball tournament, and plenty of social time in the lounge.  The weekend also included a visit to the Marytown (a shrine operated by the Friars of St. Bonaventure), numerous theology conferences, and a theology on tap session.  With all of the activities the focus on the weekend is the liturgy and sacraments with daily opportunities for spiritual direction, confession, Compline and the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. 

Sursum Corda is a special weekend.  One that I look forward to annually.  It’s an opportunity to connect with friends from across the country and recharge spiritually all while fostering a deeper connection with the Institute. 

- Chad Briesacher

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