USCCB Release: WASHINGTON— The U.S. Bishops have received a letter from Pope Francis as they gather in northern Illinois at Mundelein Seminary this week. The weeklong retreat is taking place at the invitation of Pope Francis who has asked all bishops in the United States to pause in prayer as the Church seeks to respond to the signs of the times.
The Preacher to the Papal Household, Capuchin Friar Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., is directing the retreat under the theme of “He appointed Twelve, to be with Him and to Send Out to Preach” based on Mark 3:14. The structure of the retreat includes time for quiet reflection, including silent meal times, daily Mass, time for personal and communal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, vespers, and an opportunity for confession. No ordinary business is being conducted during the retreat.
Mundelein Seminary, located on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, is the principal seminary and school of theology for the formation of priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and educates nearly 200 seminarians from 34 dioceses across the country and around the world.
**As the retreat is one of prayer and silence, there will be no interviews or press conferences and no media access to the Mundelein Seminary campus. **
FULL TEXT Letter of Pope Francis to US Bishops
 Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 76.
 IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, Spiritual Exercises, 135.
 Cf. JORGE M. BERGOGLIO, Las Cartas de la Tribulación, 12. Ed. Diego De Torres, Buenos Aires (1987).
 Cf. JOHN XXIII, Pacem in Terris, ed. Carlen, 47.
 PAUL VI, Ecclesiam Suam, ed. Carlen, 85.
 Gaudete et Exsultate, 50.
 Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 96.
 PAUL VI, Ecclesiam Suam, ed. Carlen, 87.
 Gaudete et Exsultate, 97.
 MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA, as cited in Gaudete et Exsultate, 107.