‘Start of Lent’ retreat offered for Madison-area men Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 -- 12:00 AM


MADISON -- Madison-area men will have a “start of Lent” opportunity to enhance their Lenten experience at the newly renovated Jesuit Retreat House overlooking Lake Winnebago near Oshkosh.

It’s a rare chance to spend time with God in prayer, surrounded by the beauty, peace, and solitude of nature.

“What God reveals in Scripture is the love in which we are created, the love that sustains us, and the love in which we will rest,” said Fr. Chris Manahan, Retreat House director.

“The Retreat House offers people a place and a time to be with God in silence, with the spiritual guidance desired, so that this life-giving friendship grows and deepens.”

Madison-area weekend

Lent begins this year with Ash Wednesday on February 14, and the “Madison-area weekend” is scheduled from Thursday night, Feb. 15, through Sunday noon, Feb. 18. (Other retreats for men and women are held year-round at the facility, but Madison-area men are encouraged to attend on the mid-February dates.)

Among the improvements from the renovation include a new conference room with hearing-loop accommodations; 60 comfortable bedrooms with private bathrooms; and new rooms for art and for workout activity. The entire facility is now handicapped-accessible with the addition of new elevators. There’s also a new Chapel of the Annunciation.

“We believe that Catholic men -- and other men of faith -- should avail themselves of this great opportunity, especially at the start of Lent,” said Kevin Wymore, retreat co-coordinator for the Madison-area retreat weekend. “It’s a wonderfully restful experience.”

Retreat advantages

Among the advantages of the Jesuit retreat experience:

• Stepping back and reflecting about one’s life.

• Praying to God and with others, through daily Mass and the sacraments.

• Opportunities to talk with professional staff about life issues.

• Refreshing and energizing one’s body and mind, and simply resting;

• Eating well through meals and snacks prepared in the Retreat House’s kitchen.

In addition to a lounge and reading room overlooking the lake, retreat co-coordinator Rod Nilles of Middleton finds inspiration in the ample Christian art decorating the facility.

To register, the Retreat House asks for a $50 advance registration fee; register by calling the office at 800-962-7330. The website is found at

An offering is requested at the end of the session; however, nobody will be turned away for inability to pay.

“It’s a great chance for men of all ages to enhance their Lenten journey,” Wymore said.

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