Lenten Busy Person’s Retreat

Busy? Need to Renew?

Join us March 28 – April 1 for a Busy Person’s Retreat at the Academy of the Sacred Heart

A busy person’s retreat (BPR) is a week-long retreat for people like yourself, a busy person in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. It begins with an Opening Prayer and an opportunity to meet your Spiritual Companion on Monday afternoon at the Academy.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you are encouraged to take a half hour of personal prayer each day and to meet with your Companion to discuss your spiritual journey and to help you discover the movements of God in your life. The retreat closes with prayer/reflection on Friday afternoon.

The BPR is open to all and is an invitation to live mindfully in God’s presence in the midst of your busy, daily activities and to learn how to integrate this into your life even after the retreat is over.

Components of the Retreat:

  1. Orientation/Opening Prayer: Attend the Opening Orientation/Prayer  Monday, March 28, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. in the Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne.
  2. Communal Prayer:  Participate in a 20-minute Contemplative Prayer on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:15-7:35 a.m. in the Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne. On Thursday, we will gather in the parlor, near Philippine’s cell.
  3. Closing Prayer: Attend the Closing Prayer Friday, April 1, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. in the Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne. 
  4. Daily Personal Prayer: Set aside time for personal prayer every day during the retreat. 
  5. Meeting with a Spiritual Companion: If you would like to meet with a Spiritual Companion during the retreat, please select your choices below. You will be matched with a Companion and the two of you can then arrange your meeting times for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the retreat.

This flexible retreat opportunity is open to ALL Academy alumni, faculty, staff, parents and trustees, whatever your faith tradition. If you are unable to commit to all the components of the retreat, please don’ t let that hold you back from participating. Be open to whatever you need in this moment. The Spirit works, no matter what.  

The Spiritual Companion

During the retreat you will have an opportunity to meet with a spiritual companion.  Your companion will help you to listen to God’s presence and assist with whatever will make it easier for you to enter more fully into relationship with God.  With your companion you explore what you have experienced of God’s inner working in you.  You might share your desires or discouragements, your joys or sorrows.  The purpose of the companioning sessions is to help you become more attuned to God’s presence through dialog with another.  Your meetings with your Companion will be held in confidential respect and trust. 

Mary Pat White, RSCJ ’59

After serving in Network Schools in St. Charles, St. Louis and Houston, Sr. Mary Pat White spent 18 years serving in several Newman Centers at universities in California. She was director of the Service and Immersion Program at Duchesne House for Volunteers in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and has served as vocation director for the United States – Canada (USC) Province.  She has a master’s degree in Creation Centered Spirituality from Holy Names University in Oakland, CA and she did her training as a spiritual director at the Center Point Spiritual Direction Center in Santa Barbara, CA.  Mary Pat facilitates Mindfulness, Life Directions, Busy Person’s, and hiking retreats and works with young adults as a part of the outreach of Sophia House Community, Berkeley, CA.  She also serves on the Core Team of Sophie’s Well: A Center for Sacred Heart Spirituality for the USC Province.


Catherine Swanstrom

Catherine Christman Swanstrom is a native of Louisiana, and attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau.  Catherine has deep roots in Sacred Heart spirituality and education. She lived for 3 years in initial formation in the Society of the Sacred Heart. She has taught French and theology, and worked in campus ministry at Bloomfield Hills, Doane Stuart (Albany), 91st Street, St. Charles and Villa Duchesne. Catherine has a BA and a MA in French (Loyola University, New Orleans, St. Louis University) and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. She is currently engaged in ongoing spiritual accompaniment and retreat ministry and is taking part in a year-long Magis training program in Ignatian spirituality. Catherine has two adult daughters and lives with her husband in St. Louis. 

Busy Person’s Retreat Registration closes Monday, March 21, 2022.