Bellarmine Jesuit Retreats, Barrington, IL All Veterans and Families Welcomed
Article Image



(Barrington, IL) The “Coming Home” Veterans Retreat offers a reflection on the transitions to and from military life. On May 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreats, 420 W. County Line Road, Barrington, veterans and their family members will spend the day with others who understand and may share their experiences. This retreat is offered at no charge for all interested individuals, regardless of their current faith practices.

Bellarmine retreat leaders understand that no two veterans and no two military families are the same. Some have seen active combat, others haven’t. Some have experienced tremendous losses. Some come back healthy and strong. Some transition back to civilian life rather easily, while others face a variety of challenges. Yet serving in the military or having a loved one wear the uniform creates a common bond.

St. Ignatius of Loyola’s spirituality is the foundation of this retreat experience. Ignatius was born into a military family in 16th century Spain. His brothers were sea captains to the Americas. Ignatius was a respected commander in the Spanish army until a cannonball broke both of his legs. While recovering, he experienced a profound spiritual conversion. He no longer sought to serve an earthly king, but the Eternal King. He no longer sought victory over earthly enemies, but to conquer the spiritual battles that raged within him.

Ignatius became an expert at helping people find meaning and direction in their lives. He believed that God is hidden in the stories of our lives. Veterans and their families are invited to gather with other men and women to share experiences, to tell whatever part of your story you’re comfortable naming. Come look for God in the place you might least expect…in the pages of your life story.

In addition to personal interactions, Major General James H. Mukoyama Jr., a nationally recognized expert, will speak on Unmasking the Truth about PTSD versus Moral Injury. Fr. Ed Max McKenzie of St. Peter’s Coop Chicago and Fr. J. Michael Sparough of Bellarmine will guide conversation and engagement. Teresa Larson of Bellarmine is a veteran spouse and will reflect on family life.

Bellarmine has two libraries, a resource center, two chapels, dining room and many places to relax. Located on 80 acres populated with woodlands and prairie grasses, outdoor

spaces include walking trails, prayer gardens, a gazebo, stations of the cross as well as many patios, chairs and benches. The Retreat is designed to give the peace and serenity needed to be still and rest in God’s loving embrace.

Endorsed by the leadership of the William Chandler Peterson American Legion Post 171 in Crystal Lake, Bellarmine retreats have been experienced by several Legion members. A recent retreatant said, "It has been over 50 years since I left Vietnam. I wish this program was available when I returned home." Legion Sr. Vice Commander Bob Dorn personally attended the retreat and said, “Connect with others and learn how to better understand yourself during this inspirational day.”

To join the retreat on May 19, visit the website and make reservations or call: Bellarmine Jesuit Retreats