RETREATS

In the Beginning: A New Year's Retreat

January 6-9, 2022

In the Beginning: A New Year's Retreat

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, we are at the beginning. 

In The Beginning invites us to return to the story where everything started: the seven days of creation. Beginning the New Year with the first words of Scripture allows us to return to our roots while asking our deepest questions:

How is God leading us to live in the world? 

What love and work will fill our days? 

Where is God calling us to create anew? 

Starting on the Feast of Epiphany, we will enter into a time of prayer and reflection together as we begin the New Year. This holy season of light can illuminate our questions and invite each of us to create in our own lives.

Every human made in the image of God is called to create. If you wonder what this means for you, In The Beginning is the perfect place to dive into the story of creation we all share.

Whether you feel creative by nature or simply want to start the new year with a spiritual boost, the story of Genesis asks each of us to reflect on our own lives. Far from a simple story, the seven days of creation offer a fruitful framework for our own callings.

In The Beginning is a virtual retreat, coming to you in the comfort and convenience of your own home. We’ll gather on Zoom each day during the retreat and spend time in prayer outside the group sessions. 

The companion e-book will give you a complete retreat guide: prayer, Scripture, reflection questions, and creative ways to pray in the New Year. 

Join us on January 6-9, 2022, to celebrate creation and creativity together.

May the light of Epiphany and the hope of New Year’s be yours as we begin.

In The Beginning is for you if:

  • You are weary after a long year and need hope
  • You love starting the New Year with prayer and intention
  • You create in everyday ways—working, parenting, cooking, gardening, etc.—but have never considered this “creative”
  • You are drawn to art, writing, or music and want to reflect on spirituality & creativity
  • You want to make a retreat but can’t do an in-person retreat right now
  • You’ve ever glazed over Genesis and want to go deeper

The retreat will offer large group presentations, optional small group conversations, and ideas for creative ways to pray and reflect on your own throughout the retreat days. 

The retreat will run from January 6-9, 2022.

We’ll gather on Zoom for 4 one-hour sessions of presentation, prayer, and reflection:

Session 1: 7:00 pm CDT, Thursday, Jan. 6th  

Session 2: 7:00 pm CDT, Friday, Jan. 7th 

Session 3: 3:00 pm CDT, Saturday, Jan. 8th 

Session 4: 3:00 pm CDT, Sunday, Jan. 9th 

Each day of the retreat, we’ll dive into the days of creation, discovering the inspiration they offer for our own lives and creativity, and go forth with questions to ponder in prayer. 

Participants will have the chance to join small group discussion for 30 minutes following each large group session—often the heart of our virtual retreats but always optional!

Zoom links will be sent to participants via email, and all sessions will be recorded if you’re unable to join live (or simply want to listen again). 

In The Beginning includes an e-book that will guide you through the retreat and give you resources to keep reflecting:

  • tips for making an at-home retreat
  • Scripture, prayers, reflection questions, and creative ways to pray
  • space for journaling or drawing/painting

This retreat is designed to fit your life. You can watch the recorded live sessions later according to your needs, and spend each day in reflection and prayer whenever it fits your schedule. 

Together we’ll create time and space set apart to encounter God. In The Beginning will meet you right where you are, at the start of a new season.

The retreat costs $100, which covers:

  • 4 retreat sessions held on Zoom on Jan. 6-9, 2022
  • the companion e-book with complete retreat materials
  • all preparation and follow-up materials sent via email
  • access to recorded Zoom sessions and videos following the close of the retreat
  • optional small groups that will meet for 30 minutes following the large group session each evening

Laura Kelly Fanucci is an author and speaker who spent over a decade working on theology of vocation at the Collegeville Institute at Saint John’s University where she earned her Master of Divinity degree. Laura is an award-winning columnist for Catholic News Service and the author of books including Living Your Discipleship: 7 Ways to Express Your Deepest Calling and Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting. Laura has spoken nationally on topics ranging from vocation and calling to grief and discipleship. She and her husband live with their five sons in Minnesota.

What do I need to make a virtual retreat?

All you need to join the retreat is a Zoom account. Once you register for the retreat, you’ll receive instructions for joining retreat sessions via Zoom.

 

The retreat e-book will be available as a digital download to help you prepare and plan.

 

To enter into the retreat experience, it would be helpful to have:

 

  • a Bible 
  • a candle: essential for Epiphany!
  • a sacred image to keep before your eyes: a cross, icon, or artwork
  • a journal 
  • a quiet space in your home (even a chair) free from distraction

 

The companion e-book includes ideas for making a virtual retreat possible in your daily life: ways to plan ahead, suggestions for setting aside the space you need, and practical tips for at-home retreat time.

Can I give the retreat as a gift?

Absolutely! Simply enter the recipient’s email address when you register, and they’ll be added to the participant list. 

 

A virtual retreat makes a wonderful Christmas gift. Once you note that your registration is a gift, we’ll send you a gift certificate to print out or send to your recipient.

Can I make the retreat with others?

Yes: if each person registers separately. The beauty of a virtual retreat is that you can gather with friends across the country (or around the world) to pray and reflect together. 

 

Imagine ways you might make the retreat together—with friends, family members, or a small group:

 

  • set up your own short Zoom call before or after the daily session to talk further about your reflections
  • text each other after you’ve read the day’s Scripture
  • connect during the weekend before and the weekend after the retreat, to prepare or plan next steps to continue praying together

 

You could also make the retreat together with your spouse, partner, or roommate.

 

Please note: Participants within the same household may join under one registration, but retreat sessions/links may not be shared with anyone else during or after the retreat.

What if I have a conflict during the retreat sessions? 

Life, work, and family needs may overlap with the retreat—this is natural for an at-home retreat.  We’ll record each Zoom session so you can watch it later at your own convenience. You can stretch the retreat over several weeks if it’s easier for your schedule. 

 

Retreat sessions will remain available online for 30 days following the close of the retreat.

Is financial assistance available?

Absolutely. Our goal is to keep this opportunity affordable and available to all. If you need help with registration fees, please inquire about a sliding scale or scholarship funds. 

 

If you are interested in donating toward scholarship funds to support others, please email retreat@laurakellyfanucci.com. Thank you for your generosity and support.

Feedback from Retreat Participants

"This retreat was life-changing for me. From the first night, my eyes were opened to a new way of looking at things I had struggled with for years. Laura, your honesty, your insights and your humor have helped me navigate this difficult year and feel inspired about what God has in store for me next."

"Having the retreat stretched out over four days and in between daily responsibilities was a gift to me. It gave me time for reflection (both conscious and unconscious) as well as immediate connection to my daily life. In addition, I'm so grateful you added in the small group discussion. It was a piece of what made the retreat so rich for me."

"I was so surprised how intimate and 'in person' the zoom retreat was. While there would be benefits to in-person, I also loved that the virtual format reached more people and allowed for the participation of kids, etc."

"I loved this retreat. The guidebook was very helpful to me, and the option of being able to access the retreat on your own schedule and go back to repeat sessions is so helpful for those of us whose schedules might be irregular. So looking forward to the next retreat!"

Past Retreats

Book Reviews

Grieving Together by Laura Kelly Fanucci & Franco David Fanucci

Grieving Together is a godsend for anyone grieving the loss of a pregnancy. It’s written with clarity, sensitivity, and compassion, and is equally accessible to women and men. Losing a pregnancy can feel like wandering through the wilderness, but this book is an invaluable guide and the Fanuccis are the wisest and most encouraging of fellow travelers. It’s not a stretch to say that lives will be changed by this beautiful, much-needed book.” 

— Ginny Kubitz Moyer

Author of Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses and Random MOMents of Grace: Experiencing God in the Adventures of Motherhood
To Bless Our Callings by Laura Kelly Fanucci

"Laura Fanucci’s book To Bless Our Callings  is a theological, spiritual, and liturgical gem. Filled with insight into how callings relate to the stages of life, paid and unpaid work and the professions, and the liturgical year, it provides a comprehensive and eminently usable resource for pastors, religious leaders, and anyone who wants to relate their faith to every aspect of human life."

— Douglas Schuurman

Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College and author of Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life
Everyday Sacrament by Laura Kelly Fanucci

"With heart, honesty and humor, Laura Kelly Fanucci’s offering of a peek into her quest for God in the midst of the craziness of parenting will help inspire you along your own path to God. Full of tender moments and truth, Everyday Sacrament is a book that every Catholic who ever lived in a family will appreciate."

– Lisa M. Hendey

Founder of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes

Book Reviews

Grieving Together by Laura Kelly Fanucci & Franco David Fanucci

Grieving Together is a godsend for anyone grieving the loss of a pregnancy. It’s written with clarity, sensitivity, and compassion, and is equally accessible to women and men. Losing a pregnancy can feel like wandering through the wilderness, but this book is an invaluable guide and the Fanuccis are the wisest and most encouraging of fellow travelers. It’s not a stretch to say that lives will be changed by this beautiful, much-needed book.” 

— Ginny Kubitz Moyer

Author of Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses and Random MOMents of Grace: Experiencing God in the Adventures of Motherhood
To Bless Our Callings by Laura Kelly Fanucci

"Laura Fanucci’s book To Bless Our Callings  is a theological, spiritual, and liturgical gem. Filled with insight into how callings relate to the stages of life, paid and unpaid work and the professions, and the liturgical year, it provides a comprehensive and eminently usable resource for pastors, religious leaders, and anyone who wants to relate their faith to every aspect of human life."

— Douglas Schuurman

Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College and author of Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life
Everyday Sacrament by Laura Kelly Fanucci

"With heart, honesty and humor, Laura Kelly Fanucci’s offering of a peek into her quest for God in the midst of the craziness of parenting will help inspire you along your own path to God. Full of tender moments and truth, Everyday Sacrament is a book that every Catholic who ever lived in a family will appreciate."

– Lisa M. Hendey

Founder of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes

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