Virtual Spex Header 4

Experience an Ignatian-style retreat from the comfort of your own home!

Virtual Spex Headshots Posts

We are pleased to offer our Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in an on-line format.  While unconventional, we whole-heartedly believe that a virtual retreat is better than no retreat at all. With that said, we want to make this process as simple as possible for you. 

See dates of upcoming virtual retreats and links to register below.

Please note: All times are Eastern Daylight Time.

Day 1 Evening

  • 7:00 PM Introductory Talk
  • 8:00 Meditation 

Day 2 All Day

  • 9:00 Morning Offering & Meditation 
  • 10:30 Conference
  • 11:15 Mass 
  • Lunch/Rest
  • 2:15 Stations of the Cross
  • 3:30 Meditation 
  • 5:00 Meditation
  • 6:00 Dinner
  • 7:00 Conference
  • 8:15 Meditation 

Day 3 Morning

  • Morning Offering on your own
  • 9:00 Meditation 
  • 10:00 Mass

Minimum Contribution: $75
for Spiritual Exercises Weekend Retreats

Minimum Contribution: $225
for Spiritual Exercises Week-Long Retreats


Generous contributions have made it possible for us to offer virtual retreats during the Coronavirus shutdown, helping to cover additional technology costs,  fixed on-going expenses and our ability to support our priests.  However, if money is an issue and you need financial aid to attend, please contact us to discuss options. We are trusting in the generous support of many to enable us to provide retreat experiences for anyone regardless of financial ability/resources.

In addition to registering for this event, you can donate in three ways:  

  • Venmo to @OLBinDC
  • Credit card on our donation page
  • Check addressed and mailed to :
    Our Lady of Bethesda
    attn: President
    7007 Bradley Blvd
    Bethesda, MD 20817

Tips for finding silence. Virtual Prayer Corner

  • Create a spot in your home where you can be away from any other activity. Here are some ideas for Creating a Prayer Corner in your home.
  • Discuss with other family members your desire to spend this quiet time in prayer. If appropriate, invite them to join you on this journey. 
  • Plan your mealtimes to allow you to continue your prayer time. Make something ahead of time, or make the task of preparing the meal a prayer itself. 

Technical preparations

  • If you don't have ZOOM installed on your computer, download the app and try to familiarize yourself with the controls.
  • Watch the Pre-Retreat Technical Orientation Video.


Virtual Retreat Etiquette and Suggestions for Success

Watching a retreat from home is a new experience for many of us. Here are some suggestions, requests and reminders to help us all stay focused: 

  • Troubleshoot your ZOOM connection early
    Make sure you have the most recent ZOOM download.  Even if you are a pro at video conferencing, it never hurts to double-check your settings and make sure your audio and camera are correctly configured. 

    If you are new to ZOOM, please familiarize yourself with the controls and options of your version. We have prepared a short “Tech Orientation Video” to help walk you through some common problems; please take the time to review this video. After all of this, if you still have questions or concerns, please contact the Tech Manager assigned to your retreat. 


  • Please keep your camera on during the retreat
    Your camera will be turned on upon entering the ZOOM meeting room. It is helpful to our priests and other speakers for everyone’s video to remain on during each talk. Presenting a talk to an empty room can be difficult for anyone, even our priests! They have requested that your camera remain on because having the ability to see your responses and body language while they are preaching encourages them as they strive to be instruments of the Holy Spirit. Of course, if you prefer the privacy, you may turn your camera off.


  • Eliminate distractions from your computer to help you focus on the retreat
    Notifications from messaging applications, ringtones, and applications running on your desktop can be distracting to you, which can make your speaker feel disrespected and undervalued. Mitigating these distractions helps keep you focused on the content.


  • Remember: we can see you
    As mentioned above, we are asking everyone to leave their cameras on. To avoid becoming a distraction for the speaker and other participants, please try to attend the retreat from a quiet area that has minimal background noise and movement. 


  • Maintaining common courtesies
    Though this may seem obvious, video conferencing is just like an in-person interaction, therefore it is important to use the same courtesy you would use if you were in the same room. This includes being on time, paying attention to the speaker, minimizing multitasking and background noises, and refraining from interrupting.  

Upcoming Virtual Retreats


Theme: In the Beginning...  Virtual Spex Advent Lemos Posts 2
When: January 22-24, 2021

Preacher: Fr. Antônio Lemos, LC

Register Now

As we start a new year, we will meditate on God's love for us through the wonderful works of creation and redemption. This retreat will focus on selections from the Book of Genesis the Gospel of John.

Fr. Antônio Lemos, LC
Born in Curitiba, Brazil, Fr. Antônio Lemos was ordained in Rome in 2017 after completing his theological studies there. He is a big fan of the Brazilian national soccer team, 1980´s pop culture (especially movies), and St Thomas Aquinas. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology at the University of Notre Dame. 


Virtual Spex Stjoe Brandenburg PostsTheme: Lessons from St. Joseph's Workshop
When: February 26-28, 2021

Preacher: Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC

 Register Now

The Year of St. Joseph poses potential for spiritual breakthroughs. Learn life lessons from St. Joseph, unpacking the fears he faced and how he overcame them with grace to become a courageous and righteous man. God picked him for a special mission, and he wants to work in you, too. 

This retreat will not follow the standard spiritual exercises flow of St. Ignatius. Instead, we will trace the path of God’s work in St. Joseph’s life. Through silence, guided meditations, personal prayer, Christian artwork and music, original reflections on the Way of St. Joseph, and a fresh take on your life plan, you’ll emerge refreshed and poised to crush the Year of St. Joseph!

Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC
Cancer survivor, author and priest, Fr. Daniel Brandenburg will preach this special retreat as we begin the Year of St. Joseph. Fr Daniel was ordained a priest with the Legionaries of Christ on December 22, 2007. In 2016, Fr Daniel survived a heart attack and in 2018 was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer. The experience of suffering and brushes with death has colored his outlook on life. He strives to live each day as a gift from God.  

Fr. Daniel holds summa cum laude licentiate degrees in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy; and he is presently a doctoral student at Creighton University’s Interdisciplinary Leadership Program. Currently, he serves as chaplain of the Lumen Institute chapter and chaplain of Regnum Christi men, both in Atlanta, GA. He is also the chairman of the board of directors for Catholic World Mission

Fr Daniel is the author of four published books: The New Fundamentalists (2007), Better with God? (2012), Until Christ Be Formed in You (2017) and Journey to Joy: Reflections on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (2019). He posts a regular video with insights for life on Instagram and Facebook

Virtual Spex Lent Posts

When: March 26-28, 2021
Preacher: TBA

Theme: Lent

 Register Now


Virtual Spex Easter Kramarz PostsTheme: New Life in the Risen Christ

When: April 23-25, 2021

Preacher:  Fr. Andreas Kramarz, LC 

Register Now


Fr. Andreas Kramarz, LC
Fr. Andreas was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, and acquired Master's Degrees in German Language and Literature and Theology (Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster, 1992/1993). After joining the Legion of Christ in 1994, he studied humanities in Spain and received an M.A. in Philosophy at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College (Rome). In 2013 he earned his doctoral degree in Classical Civilizations at the University of Florida. 

A priest since 2003, he became Dean of Studies of the Legion of Christ College in 2009 and has been teaching courses in Latin, Greek, History, Art, and Music. He also serves as a spiritual director, confessor, and choir director for the seminary and as chaplain for Regnum Christi members in Upstate New York. He is a member of the Society of Classical Studies, the International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and Its Cultural Heritage (MOISA), and the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music.


Journey To Joy Post

Theme: Journey To Joy ~ A Virtual Spiritual Exercises Retreat Based on the 7 Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin MaryWhen: May 14-16, 2021

Preacher: Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC
 Register Now

How can joy and sorrow go together? There is a deep mystery here to unlock! By contemplating the seven sorrows of the Mother of Jesus, we can discover Mary’s method for converting sorrow to joy and find the path to peace, happiness and meaning in our lives.

See above for bio.



Stay Tuned for More

Virtual Spex Header 4


Are you subscribed to our mailing list? That is the best way to be sure of receiving alerts about upcoming programs. Click the link in the footer of this page to join!

What are the Spiritual Exercises?

The Spiritual Exercises are an opportunity to retreat from the hectic, noisy world and encounter Jesus Christ in a more profound and personal way. These retreats touch on so many important aspects of the spiritual life. The central principles are self-knowledge, discernment of God’s will, and the decision to follow Christ our Lord more closely. more

What People Are Saying...

Thank you so much for offering these Spiritual Exercises virtually! I am in Arizona. Our Spiritual Exercises, originally scheduled for this weekend also, got cancelled. I was so happy when I found out about the opportunity to participate after all! It has been a beautiful experience for me."

- Angela all responded in a spectacular way and I know I will try this again should we be confined to our homes. May the Lord continue to bless your efforts to feed our souls!"

- Deanna

Thanks, again, so much! This retreat has blessed my life."

- Anonymous

[This retreat] was such a life changing experience. I haven't known how to put it into words. I hope one day I can come again."

- Anonymous

A huge thank you for offering this retreat to me virtually."

- Louise

Thank you so much for offering these Spiritual Exercises virtually! I am in Arizona. Our Spiritual Exercises, which were also originally scheduled for this weekend, got cancelled. I was so happy when I found out about the opportunity to participate after all! It has been a beautiful experience for me."

- Angela