2024 Lenten Retreat

Tending our Soul Gardens: Seeking A Deeper Christian Maturity

Friday • March 15 • 7p to
Saturday • March 16 • 5p

“The beginner must realize that in order to give delight to the Lord he is starting to cultivate a garden on very barren soil, full of abominable weeds. His Majesty pulls up the weeds and plants good seed.… And with the help of God we must strive like good gardeners to get these plants to grow and take pains to water them so that they don’t wither but come to bud and flower and give forth a most pleasant fragrance to provide refreshment for this Lord of ours. Then He will often come to take delight in this garden and find His joy among these virtues.“

St Teresa of Avila

In this passage from the writings  of St Teresa of Avila, the weeds are a metaphor for the seven cardinal sins and the flowers are Christian virtues. To culminate our Lenten journey, the Rev Susan Skillen will lead us into a time of silence and solitude where we will be given the opportunity to dig deep into our soul gardens to examine how our inner desires shape whether weeds or flowers emerge and how the weeds sprout up when God-given desires are distorted. These false desires—once recognized—can be transformed by the Spirit into the flowers of virtue. Come join us for a time of refreshment and renewal in the Holy Spirit and experience God’s delight when we turn to him. 

Our Leader

We are delighted to welcome the Rev Susan Skillen, Canon for Spiritual Formation for the Anglican Diocese of New England, to lead our Lenten retreat this year. Susan has been a spiritual director for over 25 years, having received her MDiv and DMin in Spiritual Formation from Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary. She founded the Holy Conversations spiritual director training course ten years ago. Susan has taught spiritual formation in various settings and has led dozens of retreats in New England, Italy, and England. Fr. James is excited to welcome his colleague from the Diocese of New England, his diocese of origin. 


The Retreat will officially begin with an opening session of teaching at 7:00p. Attendees may also opt to check in early (after 5:00p) and gather for dinner at the Retreat Center at 5:30p. We will end the evening with Compline and then enter into silence for the remainder of the evening. Saturday will begin with Morning Prayer, and both morning and afternoon sessions will include teaching and guided reflections, as well as breaks throughout the day for contemplative prayer, solitude, and silence. Fr James will offer opportunities to hear confessions for the Rite of Reconciliation of Penitents.


Mount Assisi Retreat Center
13900 Main St., Lemont, IL

Cost is $80, which includes overnight accommodation in private rooms, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Optional dinner on Friday night will be $10 extra. Contact Deacon Mary with any questions or to request scholarship funds to attend the retreat.

Space is limited. Please register by Friday, March 8.

Cannot stay overnight? Register to attend Saturday only. Cost is $20.

Please make your payment via Venmo.
Please designate “All Souls Lenten Retreat” in the memo line.