Sursum Corda 2017
Posted in General on August 22, 2017

Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart be in that which is good in the days of thy youth” (Ecclesiastes 11:9).  About sixty young adults came together this year for the seventh annual Sursum Corda weekend, August 11-14, on the magnificent campus of St Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL.  

Canons Huberfeld, Commins, and Estrada provided spiritual nourishment through daily Mass, confession, and spiritual conferences on such topics as the Liturgy, Holy Scripture, and prayer.  Each evening also witnessed the beautiful Office of Compline, during which the retreatants joined enthusiastically with the Canons in singing the Latin psalmody of Holy Mother Church.

Other highlights of the weekend included theology on tap, in which the young men and women proposed many difficult and interesting questions to the Canons, spirited games of volleyball and basketball, and a rosary walk through the woods to the national shrine of St Maximilian Kolbe.  On the final evening of the retreat, the participants shared their many talents through music, skits, and folk dancing.

Each year, the national Sursum Corda retreat sees the formation, or the renewal, of friendships founded on our shared Catholic faith.  We are reminded, therefore, of these beautiful words from our spiritual father, St. Francis de Sales, on the value of true friendship:

“Love your neighbor, Dear reader, with a great, charitable love, but befriend only those with whom you can be mutually supportive in virtue. The higher the virtues that you put into these relationships, the more perfect will your friendship be.

“If your mutual exchanges deal with knowledge, your friendship is certainly very laudable; it will be even better if they deal with the moral virtues such as prudence, discretion, strength, justice [cf. Wis. 3:7-8; Prov.8:14]; but if they pertain to charity, the love of God, Christian perfection, then this friendship is truly precious and excellent: excellent because it comes from God, excellent because it tends toward God, excellent because its bond is God, excellent because it will endure eternally in God. Oh, how good it is to be loved on earth the way one is loved in Heaven, and to learn to cherish each other in this world as we shall do eternally in the other!”

--Introduction to the Devout Life, Part Three, Chapter XIX

 

After three years of being too busy to go on the Sursum Corda Retreat, I finally attended it this summer and could not be more grateful for the experience! The combination of daily Mass, recreation, spiritual talks, and opportunities to socialize with likeminded Catholic's was much needed! The grounds were peaceful and lovely which made it easier to see God in all the beauty!

The halls always echoed with laughter, whether it was from those playing board games, dancing or taking part in the talent show!

My favorite part was the rosary walk to the shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe, where there was a holocaust museum. 

Compline was held every evening for everyone to attend and end their day with. 

I hope to attend the Sursum Corda retreat at Mundeline next year, and my goal is to convince at least one friend to come with me! 

May Our Lady bless you with Her holy Child! 

- Christina Kanzenbach 

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