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As we walk together, we do so, mindful that the Holy Family walked a particular camino together, where they found no welcome, no room at the Inn, no acceptance - and yet were in complete communio with God and with each other as they welcomed the baby Jesus in to the world.  A world, very much in need of a savior.

As we wish you Merry  Christmas from Santiago Retreat Center, we do so with much gratitude and appreciation for your friendship and your ongoing support.

We also acknowledge with much gratitude, the leadership of our recently deceased friend and Vice President of Philanthropy, Hank Evers.  It was Hank who conceived of the
Siempre Adelante Philanthropic Endeavor, and as we present this year end edition of the Update, we dedicate it to his memory, and ask for ongoing prayers for Hank and his wife Lori, as she continues to navigate this period of mourning. Our faith assures us of a heavenly home, but our earthly presence makes the separation bittersweet.

As you review the information contained in this Update, please allow us to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and  a Happy New Year.  Be assured, your intentions are carried to the altar in our daily mass.

Buen Camino!

For many, Santiago Retreat Center is a starting point on their Camino, or walk with the Lord. Like the road to Emmaus, retreatants find their eyes opened and recognize, some for the first time, that Jesus is truly with them. For most, it is a metanoia experience - deep interior conversion toward Christ. 

We are a 501c(3) corporation that exists to serve the Catholic communities of southern California by providing facilities for retreats, marriage encounters, summer and science camps, and special events in a safe and secure and stunningly beautiful 500 acre setting.




In a time when much of parish based ministry has been radically reduced and restructured, the active life of the apostolate at Santiago Retreat Center has grown. With the leadership of our Chaplain, Fr. Glenn Baaten, our communal life of prayer grew through the sacramental life of the Church, our Missionary Community grew to include young adults from Michigan, Nebraska and California who made 18 month commitments to live the life of prayer and service in living the mission. With their help our ongoing regular programs were able to provide monthly:


        • Quo Vadis formation weekends for boys

        • Fiat enrichment weekends for girls

        • Catholic Family Campouts for the whole family


With the help of the Knights of Columbus, during Lent were able to fill the gap in parish based weekly fish fries - on Good Friday we were once again able to walk our Stations of the Cross in real time, and our summer season provided five weeks of summer Camps:     

        • Vacation Bible Camp

        • Camp el Camino Middle School Camp

        • Blossom, the Catholic Camp for Girls

        • Quo Vadis, the Catholic Camp for Boys

        • Catholic Family Camp


Along the way we hosted monthly periods of 24 Hours with the Lord Eucharistic Adoration, and thanks to our new Parish Partnership Program were able to offer parishes a way to continue, school retreats, family retreats, young adult retreats and retreats for parish based spiritual movements.  The Shroud Center of Southern California was able to present the scientific study of the Shroud of Turin to thousands of pilgrims. Our digital media ministry team was able to serve Catholic Charities, the La Habra Life Center, and parishes in need of digital communication expertise, and our Catholics at Work OC Santiago Business Club worked with our friends from:    

        • Catholic Medical Association OC    

        • Legatus Orange County Chapter    

        • St. Thomas More Society Orange County Chapter    

        • First Friday Friars    

        • Young Catholic Professionals OCF

to continue to evangelize the marketplace and encourage Catholics to more closely integrate our lives of work and faith - more necessary now, than ever.



ALL of this took place under the patronage of St. Joseph, whose Holy Year we observed and acknowledged with a special consecration which took place on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker when we inaugurated the new, hand carved hiking trail - the Footpath of the Patriarchs - which leads to the hilltop Shrine of St. Joseph which sits at 1500 foot elevation.  It is a spectacular vista from that spot and will soon boast a majestic 6’ statue of St. Joseph holding the Christ Child.


So, even during this Covid impacted year - thanks to the Lord’s blessing, your ongoing support and the work of our team - ministry to God’s people not only continues, it THRIVES!


As we look forward (siempre adelante) to the new year, we do so appreciating your ongoing support:

        • For Our Lady of Fatima Scholarship Fund

        • For our Blessed Frassati Missionary Community Fund

        • For our Saint James Building Fund


Thank you in advance for walking this pilgrimage of 

Encuentro, Communio, and Camino - Together.

Siempre Adelante!

The mission of Santiago Retreat Center has been expanded to  meet the needs of the individual family, the domestic Church.  We achieve this through providing full-service programing that  addresses the needs of our schools, parishes, & the individual family: 

    • Youth boys formation weekends 

    • Youth girls enrichment weekends 

    • Catholic family campouts 

    • Confirmation formation programs 

    • School facilitated retreats 

    • Youth summer camp programs 

    • Missionary Discipleship program 

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