Are You Seeking a Closer Relationship with God?? Consider making the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life: 19th Annotation Retreat

Retreat timeline: September 11, 2022- May 17, 2023
St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, developed The Spiritual Exercises and an adaptation of them he called The 19th Annotation Retreat. The retreat offers an opportunity to discover one’s deep desires, notice God’s movements in everyday life, and gain insight into how to discern the Spirit’s call within one’s life. The retreat teaches and practices Ignatian contemplative prayer practices which empower a deep, profoundly personal insight into the scriptures. For centuries, Spiritual Exercises have led people to find God in all things and to grow in intimacy with the God who loves them.

Requirements for Participation
• Men and women at least 21 years of age.
• A real desire to deepen one’s prayer life and relationship with God.
• A minimum 45-minute commitment to daily prayer with review and journaling.
• Individual meetings with a spiritual director, and willingness to be open with him/her.
• Attendance at twice-monthly group faith-sharing sessions and willingness to listen & share.
• Previous experience with daily prayer practice and retreat experience of some type is helpful.

Meetings Requirements
Faith-sharing group meetings every two weeks on Sundays at St. John Neumann.
Ten individual meetings with a spiritual director are to be arranged at a mutually convenient time.

Application Process
Those who feel called to this retreat are invited to pray and discern before completing the application.
Applications are available below.

Completed applications are due to Deacon Willie Williams by Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Forms can be handwritten and delivered to the parish office or faxed to Deacon Willie at St. John Neumann: 630-377-2834 or emailed to
Applicants are encouraged to have a conversation with Deacon Willie and/or one of the Ignatian spiritual directors at Bellarmine Retreat House, Barrington, IL., to clarify any questions or perceptions about the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.
Notification of acceptance will be received by Tuesday, September 6, 2022. The first class is on September 11, 2022.

There is no cost for the retreat outside of the nominal cost for materials and the heavy commitment of time. To read testimonies from past participants scroll down below the registration form.

 19thApplication (PDF format)
Application ( MS Word Doc)
or fill out the application below

St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, developed The Spiritual Exercises and an adaptation of them he called The 19th Annotation Retreat which introduce and practices contemplative prayer forms using scripture. Rules for discernment of Good and Evil Spirits as well as praying through periods of consolation and desolation are integral parts of the retreat. The Exercises engage a meditation practice that brings greater intimacy with Our Lord in the scripture as well as the opportunity for spiritual direction during the retreat.

Here are some testimonies of SJN parishioners who experienced the retreat.

“The Ignatian retreat was a beautiful experience for me to find out more about myself with our Lord’s assistance. Whose life would not improve by spending more time with our Lord each day? The retreat helped me to grow closer to Jesus. If your hope is in our Lord, then why not take the leap of faith and find out just how many prayers can influence each and every day in your life? I was nervous to take the step five years ago, and it changed me forever to grow more and more in Christ’s love.” –Bill Nuccio

“My daily prayer had become stale in many ways. I desired more peace for my family and wanted to expand my giving to others. I needed something.  I gave the Ignatian retreat a try and at the beginning of the Exercises, I found help in the reflections on spiritual freedom and letting go. It was a great start.

It turned my prayer life into looking for those gifts that bring me closer to God our father. Now I feel Jesus’s presence continually because of what I learned through the Ignatian retreat. 

The Spiritual Director on the retreat gave the gifts and opportunities of spiritual, emotional, and physical awareness through a gradual awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Also, I don’t ever remember being this comfortable so quickly with a group of dedicated prayers. The nine months were like a weekly CRHP experience.

I started the journey to find out who I am. I needed to find what was in my heart.  I discovered the gifts and opportunities of spiritual, emotional, and physical awareness within me through the Holy Spirit. This was the treasure I found during this Ignatian retreat.”Terry Apple.

“The Ignatian Spiritual retreat for me was comforting but also challenging. I truly felt spiritual growth and love. I enjoyed the group and one on ones the best. I would highly recommend the retreat if you want to grow closer with our Lord.” –Sandy Sokniewicz

“This time with the Spiritual Exercises strengthened my relationship with God by starting at the very foundation of His unconditional love for me. I came to know and love Jesus in a deeper way by walking with Him through His life in the gospels, through my imagination, and through the lead of the Holy Spirit in my prayer.  I learned to recognize God’s movement in the details of my day and can see God working in me and through me, and always calling me to a deeper adventure with Him. I thank Him for his patience with me!!” –Jill Sengstock

As a second-time student, I found that Spiritual Exercises had an even deeper meaning. The chapter on Discernment of Spirits held me captive.  I need and want to stay in spiritual consolation, so staying longer in this chapter kept reminding me of all that the Lord wants of me and how I can stay forever faithful to His needs.

I had a personal Spiritual Director help me keep my thoughts and concerns realistic.  I also greatly appreciated gaining a deeper understanding of what came to light in my spiritual life. 

I pray always to keep the faith, to live charitably, and to show compassion to others. The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises helped me to do that. – Linda Nuccio

The Spiritual Exercises retreat taught me how to have a more structured prayer life. I learned how to be still and listen instead of doing all the talking in prayer. The retreat has helped me to have a closer relationship with Jesus. –Betty Vitale

The Ignatian Retreat has changed me. It has opened my heart to the love and mercy of God. For the first time in my life, I have discovered how beautiful it is to have a relationship with Jesus and just how rewarding our time together in prayer can be. For this, I am truly grateful to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Don Gebhardt

The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises Retreat is an incredible experience.  Over the course of nine months, you will have the chance to accompany Jesus on a journey through his life, ministry, and resurrection.  Daily prayer and examination of consciousness will help you apply the lessons to your daily life.  And throughout that journey, you will be accompanied by a wonderful group of people.  Highly recommended! – Andrew Palczewski