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The Winter Weekend Retreat

Contemplative Outreach – Chicago offers a weekend retreat to deepen the contemplative dimension of life.

The Welcoming Prayer Practice: A Weekend Exploration

February 22-24, 2019; the Portiuncula Center for Prayer, Frankfort, Illinois

Begins with supper on Friday at 6:00 PM; ends Sunday late morning

Retreat Guide: Alan Krema

Note: This event is fully booked (sold out) for lodgers although you may still register as a commuter. If you would like to be on a waiting list in case any lodgers cancel, please send an email to

This retreat will introduce the basics of the Welcoming Prayer Practice and explore the embodied Wisdom dimension of the Welcoming Prayer.  We will explore attentiveness to the wholeness of our being and open to the knowledge and presence resident in our bodies.  Centering Prayer and the Welcoming Prayer Practice will open us to a deepening sense of presence.

We will explore the calling to live in a higher mode of consciousness, one of abundance and liberation.  This invocation comes with responsibility to remove the obstacles we own in our body which arise from the addictive and reactive structures that restrict our growth.

 Go to Registration Form

 What can I expect on this retreat?

The beautiful Portiuncula Center is located at 9263 West Saint Francis Road, Frankfort IL 60423. The two nearest rail stations to “The Port”: Hickory Creek (Rock Island Line) and Matteson (Metra Electric Line).

Registration and room check-in at “The Port” begin at 5:00pm 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 sharingSaturday meals will be in silence.

Catholic Mass is available on-site on Sunday morning with our hosts, the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, across from 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 provides a copy of the scriptures in them. 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 and an inviting forest and creek.

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 the many quiet spaces and comfortable lounge chairs spread throughout the Port.

Who is the guide for the retreat?

Alan Krema

Alan Krema is a presenter of Centering Prayer and Welcoming Prayer for Contemplative Outreach.  Alan 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.


Note: This event is fully booked (sold out) for lodgers although you may still register as a commuter. If you would like to be on a waiting list in case any lodgers cancel, please send an email to

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 for more information.

Note that the final day for registration is Friday February 15.

Room check-in at “The Port” begins at 5:00pm on Friday, February 22. Dinner is served at 6:00pm. The retreat begins at 7:00 and will conclude late morning on Sunday.


Download mail in order form

Or, use secure online registration 


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