Fr. Robert M. Hussey, SJ, the Provincial of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, has decided to close the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, effective August 2021. Fr. Hussey announced his decision on 29 May 2020 in a letter to the Province. You may read Fr. Hussey’s letter, accompanying FAQs, and Br. Derby’s letter of response here.
While we are sorrowful at the decision, we are focused on the remaining time of ministry here in Wernersville. As much as possible in this pandemic, the Jesuit Center will be offering retreats, days of prayer, and other programs for spiritual renewal, and hosting groups, through August 2021. You can see our 2020-2021 program calendar here.
Empty My Hands: An Advent Time of Prayer
In-Person and Virtual Options Available:
In-Person: Wednesday, December 9, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM.
Virtual: Over two evenings, Tuesday, December 8
and Thursday, December 10, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM, via Zoom.
The season of Advent calls us to radical hospitality: creating space for the coming Christ in our hearts and in our lives. At a time of year dominated by pressure around gifts and festivities, Advent whispers a different message. It beckons us to sit in the darkness and empty our hands so that we may become more receptive and responsive to the presence of God.
During our time together, we will consider the call to emptiness and ponder the response of various Biblical figures to God’s startling invitations. Carving out a bit of stillness in the midst of the frenzy, we will imagine how to “choose the better part” in this brief and beautiful liturgical season.
The same program will be offered in two different formats on different days (choose the option best suited for you):
IN-PERSON (registration strictly limited to 25 people) on Wednesday, December 9, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM. Participants are asked to arrive between 8:30 and 9:30 AM for check-in, including a health screening. The program will begin at 9:30 AM and will include input from Christine, opportunities for quiet prayer and reflection, Mass, and lunch. The program will conclude at 3:30 PM. Cost: $50 ($25 non-refundable deposit)
VIRTUAL (registration open) over two evenings, Tuesday, December 8 and Thursday, December 10, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM, via Zoom. The program will include input from Christine, as well as opportunities for quiet prayer, reflection, and grace-sharing. Cost: $50 ($25 non-refundable deposit)
Christine Marie Eberle is a writer, speaker, and retreat facilitator who passionately connects Scripture, spirituality, and everyday life. A graduate of Saint Joseph’s University and Boston College, she enjoyed a 26-year career as a college campus minister in the Philadelphia area before taking the risk to pursue her writing and speaking ministry fulltime. She is the author of Finding God in Ordinary Time, a book of daily meditations grounded in Ignatian spirituality, and is at work on her next book, tentatively titled Finding God Abiding. You can follow her at
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