Mundelein Seminary was the venue again this year for the retreat of the Society of the Sacred Heart, held from May 27th to May 29th. In attendance this year were Monsignor Wach, our Prior General, Canon Talarico and Canon Estrada, along with Fr. David Ireland, an associate priest of the Institute from Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, four Sister Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus also made the long journey from Maria Engelport, in Germany, to share their time as well as their talent by providing the beautiful Gregorian chant for the various liturgical celebrations. We were also blessed with the attendance of many returning members of the Society.

The Retreat opened on Friday evening with Solemn High Mass celebrated by, Monsignor Wach followed by Adoration and Benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament. This was followed by our singing of the Office of Compline in community. Afterward, we were then able to retire to the common room in the residence hall to partake in a reception for Msgr. Wach, and to take the opportunity to rekindle our relationships with our friends from around the country. There were people in attendance from the apostolates in Oakland, St. Louis, Chicago, Wausau, Milwaukee, Green Bay, East Orange and Rockford. Also present were members from Colorado, South Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Virginia.

Saturday was a day filled with a plethora of opportunities for spiritual reflection and growth. There were several formal liturgical celebrations during the day including Solemn High Mass and a community recitation of the Most Holy Rosary. In addition to these events, there were three spiritual conferences given during the course of the day. Canon Talarico shared his reflections in a talk entitled “Spreading the Social Royalty of Christ the King in the Missionary Spirit of the Institute.” This was followed by Dr. Sutherland who gave a conference entitled “The History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” The final conference of the afternoon was given by Monsignor Wach assisted by Canon Talarico who provided the impromptu translation of Monsignor’s thoughts on the Liturgy and its history and its importance in the life of the Church. These conferences as well as the conferences from years past, are available on CD’s, through the Institute’s Offices in Chicago.

Perhaps this highlight for the new members of the Society was held in the evening, when Monsignor Wach presented the Cross of St. Francis de Sales to some twenty new members of the Society during the Rite of Admission to the Society of the Sacred Heart followed by the renewal of the membership of the existing members. We then, again, had the opportunity to participate in the Office of Compline together.

On Sunday morning, the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus participated in a question and answer session so that we might learn more about the lives of the Sisters in their various Apostolates in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. This was warmly received by the members of the Society and we look forward to greeting the Sisters again next year at Mundelein, God willing. We closed the Retreat again with Solemn High Mass followed by a reception for new and old members alike.

Mundelein Seminary is an Idyllic setting for the retreat. The beautiful grounds and the lovely chapel combine to provide an atmosphere conducive to quiet reflection so necessary and oft forgotten in the hectic lives of our lay members. It provided us with the opportunity to recharge and refresh ourselves as we all set out to return to our various apostolates and homes across the country in anticipation of next year’s retreat.

- Dr. James Sutherland
Governor of the Society in the United States

Four members who could not attend this year’s retreat for health reasons were received into the Society by Monsignor Wach during his visit of their local Institute apostolate.