Lenten Busy Person’s Retreat

Busy? Need to Renew?

Join us March 4–8 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 4 , 4:00 p.m. in the Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne.
  2. Communal Prayer: Participate in an optional 20-minute Contemplative Prayer on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:15-7:35 a.m. in the Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne.
  3. Closing Prayer: Attend the Closing Prayer Friday, March 8, 4:00 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.


Donna Collins, RSCJ

Donna Collins, RSCJ grew up and received her education in Australia. She has been a teacher, administrator and trustee in several schools in the USC province and was the coordinator of Sacred Heart Schools in the Australia-New Zealand province for three years. Donna served on the Sophia Commission, an international commission whose role was to integrate education and JPIC at the international level. Remaining in Rome, she served as the Secretary General of the Society for six years and more recently, she served as a member of the provincial team. As an administrator, Donna found herself hearing the heart stories of faculty, staff and students and realized that it was essential that she undertake further training to be able to walk with others in their spiritual journey. She did her training in spiritual accompaniment at the Claret Center in Chicago in 2011.


Sally (Sara Ann) Rude, RSCJ

Sr. Sally Rude is an Alum of Broadway in San Francisco. She has served as both a teacher and administrator in a number of Sacred Heart Schools, including El Cajon, Menlo Park, 91st Street, Grand Coteau, and the Josephinum. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Washington University, St. Louis. In the last 24 years she has served in Rome, Uganda, Indonesia, Hungary, France and Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was trained as a spiritual director at St. Louis University and at the Jesuit Spirituality Center, St. Beuno’s in Wales, U.K., and has served over the years as a spiritual director, most recently for a year at the Society’s retreat house in Joigny, France. After being Oakwood’s Community Director in California, she now lives in St. Louis.


Catherine Swanstrom

Catherine Christman Swanstrom is a native of Louisiana, and attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau as a boarding student. Catherine has deep roots in Sacred Heart spirituality and education. She lived for three 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. Catherine 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.