Why Should I Go on a Retreat?

Dear Sister,

Can you answer a question for me?  Why do people need or even want to make a retreat? I’ve never understood that, given the wonderful options I have right here at home through my parish, and, of course, the vast array of media opportunities we have now.



Dear Curious,

I can think of TEN great reasons to make a retreat!

  1. A retreat is the perfect place to grow in union with Our Lord through the sacraments, Eucharist, silence, simplicity, solitude all in one weekend!  It is a great time to reflect on what the Lord is doing in your life and where He is leading you next in the great dance with Him, especially as we round out the Year of Mercy.
  2. Receive His Mercy, Healing, and Love in one concentrated weekend.
  3. Silence – get away from the world and the negative messages it bombards us with.  Come to the oasis of the retreat house!
  4. Relax and recuperate for your work for God.
  5. Enjoy and soak in the spiritual talks and readings that fill us and send us out, as we must do it regularly to keep ourselves growing and intellectually stimulated.
  6. Witness and experience the joy and tender care of the Carmelite sisters and the novices as they serve you and surround you in prayer.
  7. Be in the heart of Southern California, surrounded by beautiful gardens with mountains in the distance, witnessing to God’s love for us in all the world.
  8. Stock up on great Catholic materials and gifts in our beautiful and diverse gift shop.
  9. Rest in the arms of the Father AND in the beautiful, simple rooms that keep your eyes fixed on Christ.
  10. Be reassured and lifted up around others who are on the same journey as you.

I hope this helps, and we look forward to seeing you here soon on retreat and resting in His Sacred Heart!

Sister Laus Gloriae, O.C.D.

Click here for a list of the many retreats offered at Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra, Califormia. We hope you will join us soon!

To learn more about the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, read their biography below and visit their website.

We encourage you to support the work of the sisters with your prayers and through donations and planned giving. Click here to learn more..

If you hear God calling you to the religious life, I encourage you to visit their vocations page. – Deacon Mike

Or for more information, please contact:
Sister Elizabeth Therese, O.C.D., Vocation Directress
920 East Alhambra Road
Alhambra, California 91801

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By Carmelite Sisters

Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life Among Families through Healthcare, Education and Retreats

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles strive to give striking witness as a vibrant, thriving community of dedicated women with an all-consuming mission. It is our God-given mission, a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service to the poor, the sick, the needy and the uneducated. Our loving service overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. We strive to reflect His life and hope and His promise to all that light has come into our world and darkness has not overcome it.

A look at the history of our community, with its motherhouse in Alhambra, California, reveals how its life-giving presence has come about. During the beginning decades of the 1900s just as the epic Mexican revolution was subsiding, a ruthless religious persecution was gaining momentum in Mexico. This horrible persecution accompanied the birth and humble beginnings of our community, a legacy that Mother Luisita, our foundress, and her two companions brought with them as religious refugees entering the Unites States in 1927.

Those seeds planted by Mother Luisita, now a candidate for sainthood, have taken deep root in the United States since those early days. People and places have changed throughout the years, yet the heart of our mission remains. As an autonomous religious institute since 1983 we continue to carry out our loving service in our healthcare facilities, retreat houses and schools which remain to this day centers of life and hope. Today we are moving forward together “Educating for Life with the Mind and Heart of Christ” in schools, being “At the Service of the Family for Life” through health and eldercare and “Fostering a Deeper Spiritual Life” through individual and group retreats. At the heart of our vocation is a passionate mission of loving service which facilitates our life-giving encounter with the living God.

The heritage of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the spirituality of Carmel, the Gospels, the Church, with our particular charism derived from our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its roots in a long history and living tradition. The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa's doctrine. Thus our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service to the Church.

Our ideal finds a living expression in the life and charism of our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whose spirit we faithfully preserve and foster.

Our life is characterized by: - A life of prayer and union with God - A deep love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist - Devotion to our Blessed Mother - Steadfast fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church - Praying for priests - Commitment to works of the apostolate in ecclesial service