Jesuit Retreat House opens new lodgings wing for session for Madison-area men Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Feb. 04, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

OSHKOSH -- Madison-area men seeking to enhance their Lenten experience will get to make a weekend silent retreat at the newly renovated Jesuit Retreat House overlooking Lake Winnebago.

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

A time to be with God

"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."

Lent begins this year on February 10, and the "Madison-area weekend" is scheduled from Thursday evening, Feb. 18, through Sunday noon, Feb. 21.

The mid-February retreat by tradition has drawn men from the Madison area, but all men from other areas are also welcome. Retreats for men and women are held year-round.

Recent renovation

Among the improvements brought about by the recent renovation include a new conference room with hearing 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 weekend. "It's a wonderfully restful experience."

Retreat experience

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 by the dedicated kitchen staff.

The retreat director for the event is Fr. Jeff Putthoff, SJ, who has directed retreats for more than 20 years. A Jesuit for 30 years, Father Putthoff for the last 19 has worked with youth in Camden, N.J., to help them get back into school. He founded the Hopeworks economic development initiative.

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

"As we celebrate the Church's 'season of mercy,' what better way than to contemplate Rembrandt's Prodigal Son painting?" Nilles asks.

To register, the Retreat House asks for a $50 advance registration fee; register by calling the office at 800-962-7330 or at: Retreatants are asked to "do what you can" when making an offering for the retreat.