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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers

  1. When will I receive more information on the program details?
    1. A mailing of materials will be sent to you at the address you provided on your application at least one month before the start of each of the weeks of the program. A detailed schedule, program topics, and other program information will be included. If you do not receive this mailing one month before the start of the week, please contact the IPF office.
  2. When should I plan my arrival and departure?
    1. Arrival is Sunday evening in time for our opening conference at 7:30 pm in the Conference Classroom Building room #202. Dinner (sandwiches etc.) will be available Sunday evening from 5 to 7:30 pm in the Coffee Room of the Conference Classroom Building first floor.
      The program concludes on Friday at 11 a.m. You can plan your departure to leave the Mundelein campus at 11:15 a.m. or later.


  1. What airport do I fly into?
    1. There are two airports in Chicago: O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW). We recommend using O’Hare since it is closer to Mundelein Seminary.
  2. How much time does it take to reach the Conference Center from the airport?
    1. From O’Hare airport, allow 60 minutes of travel time to arrive at the Conference Center at Mundelein. From Midway, estimate 90 minutes to reach the Conference Center. Keep this in mind when planning return flights at the conclusion of the week on Friday. When possible, try to avoid Chicago rush hour traffic, which starts early and ends late.
  3. Is there transportation from the airport to the Conference Center at Mundelein Seminary?
    1. Our primary recommendation for travel from the airport to Mundelein Seminary is North Shore Limousine Service, Inc. In order to make a reservation with North Shore Limousine call 847-816-7474 or 800-242-2657 or visit the website. When calling in a reservation, you will need to identify yourself as a member of the Institute for Priestly Formation Group to be given the correct discount. When booking a reservation online, be sure to include IPF’s frequent user code: IPF38986. You will need to use a credit card to book an online reservation, but your card will not be charged until the date of travel, and you will receive an email with a receipt once your card has been charged. Prices are all-inclusive with the exception of gratuity (customary, but at the passenger's discretion). Deeper discounts apply when you book with other passengers:
      • 1-2 passengers $53.00 (plus any gratuity)
      • 3 passengers $68.00 (plus any gratuity)
      • 4-6 passengers $88.00 (plus any gratuity)
      • Larger vehicles available for groups of 7 or more.
      When booking, you will need to provide a cell phone number where you can be reached, an email address where you can receive your reservation confirmation and receipt, as well as your travel information (Airline, Flight # and the airport at which you will be arriving).
      Once you have arrived at the airport and picked up your bags, call either 847-816-7474 or toll-free 800-242-2657 and be ready to meet your ride on the lower level by baggage claim. The vehicle will be holding in the staging area at the airport but cannot be dispatched to the terminals until you call to say you are ready to be picked up. If you have scheduled your ride with other passengers, Northshore cannot send the vehicle until all passengers are ready to go.
      Northshore will track your flight on the day of your arrival so it is not necessary to let them know if your flight has been delayed. However, if your flight cancels or changes please call them ASAP to advise them about your updated flight information. If you wish to cancel your reservation, a minimum 2-hour notification required.
      Another option for airport transportation is American Taxi. You can reach them at 800-244-1177 or 847-201-1987. They have a flat rate – around $41 + tip.
  4. How do I find the Conference Center on campus?
    1. Enter the University of Saint Mary of the Lake campus at the south entrance on IL Route 176. Take the first left fork and cross the long, one-lane bridge. Take the next left fork passing up any right turns until you reach the Conference Center parking lot (near the water tower). Turn right to enter the parking lot (purple lot). Signs direct drivers to the Conference Center parking lot at each intersection on Mundelein’s campus.
      For limousine drop-off, the limo driver should follow signs for the Conference Center and turn right onto Principal Avenue toward the Conference Center Residence Hall. Limo parking is in the first parking lot on the left (green lot), with a sidewalk leading directly to the residence hall side entrance.
  5. What should I do once I arrive on campus?
    1. Obtain your room number and key at the Registration Desk at the middle of the first floor of the Conference Center Residence Hall. Dinner (sandwiches, etc.) will be available on Sunday evening from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Coffee Room of the Conference Classroom Building, directly across from the residence hall. Our opening conference begins Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in room #202 of the Conference Classroom Building. Program materials and books will be provided there.
  6. Tell me about the Conference Center.
    1. The Conference Center sits on the campus of St. Mary's of the Lake with walking paths, gymnasium for basketball / volleyball, swimming pool, classrooms and multiple chapels. The Center has wi-fi accessibility as well as a small computer room with a printer. For more details, please check the website.


  1. What will the program be like?
    1. The program fosters a retreat-like atmosphere and will include lectures, seminar conversations, practicum groups, case studies, fraternal sharing, as well as time for individual and communal prayer. In addition, you will meet with a spiritual director and a program mentor throughout the program.
  2. What can I do to prepare for the week?
    1. The best preparation is special attentiveness to your daily prayer and to noticing and articulating the Lord’s desires that He has placed in your heart. In addition, you might reflect on the following Program Goals:
      • To encounter more personally the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Mary so as to live in intimate and unceasing union with God.
      • To anchor the priest’s identity more firmly as a priest of Jesus Christ in the light of his deepening relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Mary.
      • To be equipped to draw others into the Blessed Trinity’s love in all aspects of the mission of diocesan priesthood, particularly through the charism of spiritual direction.
  3. What do I need to bring?
    1. You should bring an alb and a stole, a Bible, your Liturgy of the Hours book, your prayer journal if you keep one, a notebook and pen or whatever you desire to use to take notes. Dress will be casual. Program materials will be provided after arrival.
  4. Can I extend my stay?
    1. If you wish to arrive early or stay later, you can contact the IPF office to request this. An extra per diem charge of $66.25 will be added for each extra night that you stay. Payment is due to the Conference Center staff upon arrival. More details will follow.
  5. What if I am unable to attend a session?
    1. All participants are expected to attend each week of the program. However, in the event of sickness or emergency, please contact the IPF office (402-546-6384) as soon as possible so that IPF is not charged for a room not in use.
  6. Can I attend a week in the other section if needed?
    1. Because of room availability as well as the assignment of spiritual directors and mentors, it is not possible to switch from one section to another for a certain week. It is necessary for you to attend all weeks with the same section.
  7. What will the October retreat week be like?
    1. Each October the format of our week will be a silent individually directed retreat which runs from Sunday evening to Friday at 11 a.m. However, we highly recommend that you extend that time if at all possible. The retreat serves as the heart of the program and extended time will allow you to receive the fullest quality of graces possible. We have made arrangements so that you can extend your days of retreat if you desire. The per diem rate for these extra days is $66.25 and will be paid directly to the Conference Center.
  8. When will I be billed?
    1. The cost for the program is $2,275 for EACH YEAR ($6,825 for the full program). Invoices will be sent in the spring before the beginning of each new year to the person you indicated on your application form; all payment is due by September 1st of each year. Continuation in the program depends on the timely payment of bills.