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Autumn Retreat

The Way of Belle Coeur:

Sacred Practices, Prayers,

 and Sisterhood 


A Spiritual Formation Program

Inspired by the book,

Ink and Honey

 Facilitated by Ink and Honey author 

and spiritual director,

Sibyl Dana Reynolds


Belle Coeur wisdom teachers

Sister Pamela Jean Sampel and Sister Mary Ann Matthys


 October 20-24, 2014

Loretto Spirituality Center

Littleton, Colorado

The personal revelations and observations regarding readers’ responses to my book, Ink and Honeyinspired the first Way of Belle Coeur retreat in October, 2013.  Eleven women gathered in Colorado at the beautiful and sacred Loretto Spirituality Center  to experience the sacred practices, prayers, and creativity of Belle Coeur, in the context of actual “real time” spiritual sisterhood. This numinous event was transformative in both subtle and profound ways for all who attended.
Due to the enthusiastic responses and requests for the Belle Coeur experience, I am called to offer the second Way of Belle Coeur retreat and spiritual/creative formation program for twelve women in Autumn, 2014.  This fall, I am blessed to be assisted by two guest Belle Coeur teachers who became sisters of Belle Coeur at last year’s program. Sister Pamela Jean Sampel and Sister and Spiritual Director, Mary Ann Matthys, will be sharing Belle Coeur wisdom and sacred art-making practices with you during our time together.
The information provided on this page invites you to discern if you are called to make your application to this program and The Way of Belle Coeur, to become a sister of Belle Coeur.

Please spend reflective time to carefully read the following detailed description of the retreat before prayerfully discerning if you are called to apply for participation.  The nature of this retreat will be deeply spiritual (drawing from the ancient Christian mystical tradition, the Divine Feminine, and the Natural World). Our time together will be prayerful, reflective, and also creatively inspiring and celebratory. We will gather in a spirit of sisterhood, inspired by the archetypal women in the story of the sisters of Belle Coeur (Ink and Honey).

Image 6The first contemporary Sisterhood of Belle Coeur
October, 2013
The Call 
This retreat and spiritual/creative program will be beneficial if you…
  • long to be part of a spiritual and creative sisterhood, rooted in an ancient Christian and mystical tradition, as depicted by the sisters of Belle Coeur in the pages of Ink and Honey.
  • desire ongoing connection and continued growth (spiritually and creatively) through the sisterly sharing of resources, wisdom, and story.
  • welcome ways to share your passion for God, Creation, and the sacred life-arts with a sisterhood of kindred spirits.
  • yearn to explore new forms of prayer and spiritual/creative practices while celebrating Christ’s teachings, the Divine Feminine, and the beauty of Nature.
  • hope for the discovery of enrichment through the sacred life-arts; craft, journaling, cuisine, gardening, and other forms of creative expression.
  • look forward to learning, sharing, exploring, growing, creating, and witnessing what is possible when women gather and open their hearts, minds, and stories with one another in a spirit of acceptance and co-creation, in shared love of God, and the mysteries of Creation.
The story of the sisters of Belle Coeur (Beautiful Heart), as revealed in the pages of the historical novel, Ink and Honey, invites women today to contemplate the value and meaning of spiritual sisterhood and the sacred life arts.  This retreat is a call and invitation to experience ancient Christian spirituality and mysticism, spiritual practices, prayers, and contemplative art-making in a safe and nurturing sacred space, while in the company of a spiritually centered, intentional community of women.
We will draw wisdom from the archetypal characters and stories of the sisterhood of Belle Coeur to inspire our creative hearts. The Way of Belle Coeur will invite us to look to the past to inform the present, through the stories of the sisters of Belle Coeur and our ancestral history and herstory. Together, we will merge the ancient stories with the present day todetermine our common and individual spiritual callings, as we co-create a contemporary sisterhood of Belle Coeur.
October 20-24, 2014, Monday evening through Friday noon, we will experience community in a monastic setting.  The flow for each day is detailed below.  This retreat, with a Christian (first century and medieval) focus, will provide the opportunity for the in depth exploration of ancient sacred practices and art-making.
The Intention for this retreat is…
  • To explore the ancient prayers, practices, Christian spirituality, mysticism, and sacred life-arts detailed in the book, Ink and Honey, to fully appreciate the potential wisdom offered for the feminine journey today.
  • To provide the opportunity for the sharing of personal story and wisdom through the experience of an intentional women’s circle community.
  • To co-create and initiate the formation of a contemporary sisterhood of Belle Coeur. Beauty, sacredness, celebration, and prayerful reverence of the Divine Presence and one another will set the tone for our time together.
  • To be on retreat.  To be part of a community of women to share, pray, make art, celebrate ritual, and rest.  We will renew our creative hearts and spirits as each of us celebrates and practices self-care.
  • To establish a form to remain connected in an ongoing spirit of sisterhood following the retreat, via online connection, shared prayer and spiritual practices, and other forms of virtual, and real communication and companionship.
The Setting 
 The Lorretto Spirituality Center in Littleton, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) will provide a tranquil monastic setting for our time together. The Loretto Center was originally built in 1964 as a novitiate and Western provincial house for young Loretto sisters. In 1993 the sisters opened it as a spirituality center.  Though, in urban surroundings, the beautiful grounds, labyrinth and tranquility of the place provides a contemplative and restorative environment for the spirit.  You will enjoy a private and simple monastic style room with private full bath.  All meals and snacks will be provided.
Image 1
The Experience
Our time together will serve as both retreat and spiritual/creative formation program. We will follow a prayerful and contemplative rhythm throughout each day, beginning with morning prayer and meditation.  The content offered during each morning session will be rich and plentiful with time for personal/group sharing, as well.
Afternoons will be spacious with open free time for napping, labyrinth walks, reading, art-making, journaling, or whatever your soul needs for replenishment.  Our art-making space will maintain silence in the afternoons to provide a quiet environment for diving deeply into creative thought and exploration.
In the evening, after dinner, we’ll gather to share the day’s experience. We’ll close each day with prayer and meditation.  A co-creative Communion liturgy will be celebrated during our closing celebration.
Periods of community time blended with space for private reflection and contemplation will ensure a balance of dialogue and silence, activity and rest, sharing and solitude. Participants will be invited and encouraged to practice self-care during the retreat.
What’s included
  • 4 night’s accommodation in a private room with private full bath
  • All meals beginning with dinner the day of arrival and ending with lunch the day of departure
  • Snacks, tea, coffee throughout each day
  • Pilgrim’s packet (to arrive by snail mail in early September in preparation for our time together)
  • Daily handouts
  • Daily inspirational “take-aways”
  • Supplementary art materials
  • 8 facilitated group circle teaching sessions
  • Optional 30 minute, private spiritual direction session with Dana
  • Closing sacred celebration and blessing ceremony
  • Ongoing private Facebook page for our group to maintain virtual group connection following the retreat


Application for this retreat is requested to assure that each participant’s spiritual and creative needs will be met by this program.   If you feel called to apply please e-mail me to receive an applicationApplications will be reviewed and participation selected in order of application submissions.  Register early.

You will receive response to your application within two days of submission.


Participants will be asked to read Ink and Honey prior to the retreat for orientation, to ensure familiarity with the story which will serve as the foundation piece for our time together.

A Pilgrim’s Packet will arrive for all participants by snail mail in late August, to assist with preparation for our time together.

What to Bring
We will explore a variety of sacred art-making practices during our time together. The incorporation of personal objects, photographs, and materials will ensure individual meaning for each participant. Glue sticks, scissors, and additional general supplies will be provided.  A list of what to bring will be included in the Pilgrim’s Packet.
The all inclusive price for the retreat (see list above) $1,400
If making full payment at time of registration cost is $1,200
($200 savings)
Payment may be made in full at time of registration at the cost of $1.200 (a $200 savings).

Add to Cart

Following acceptance of application $350 non-refundable deposit is due at time of registration.
Add to Cart

Balance of $1,050 is due by August 1, 2014.

The following payment buttons are created for your convenience.  You may make your payments using any of the various increments, according to your own schedule and desired amount, or you may pay the balance in one payment in full.  Thank you.

Add to Cart $1,050
Add to Cart $150.
Add to Cart $250.
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Payments may be made by check or PayPal.
Cancellation policy
In the event you need to cancel for any reason, all monies paid to date of cancellation will be refunded minus $350 non-refundable deposit.  No refunds after August 1, 2014.   It is advised you purchase trip insurance for reimbursement of your costs in case of illness or other emergency which prevents you from attending.
Travel Details
Plan to arrive and depart Denver International Airport. Shuttle service is available from the airport to the Loretto Spirituality Center, 4000 S. Wadsworth Boulevard, Littleton, Colorado 80123, via Super Shuttle.  Call 303-370-1300 for reservations. Cost is $45 one way.

Arrival and Departure

Check-in will begin at 3 p.m. on October 20th, at the Loretto Center.  Please plan to arrive in time to settle in before we gather for dinner at 5 p.m.
Departure will be after lunch on October 24th.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have while you discern your call to participation for The Way of Belle Coeur.