Journey Center of Chicago


  • Kitchie Ranillo Bakken
    Kitchie Ranillo Bakken
    Spiritual Director, JCOC Board Member

    Kitchie Ranillo Bakken was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She is a child of immigrants from the Philippines and grew up in a bi-cultrual home. She moved to Chicago, IL for college. Surprisingly, the skyline and the lake captivated her Californian heart enough to withstand the harsh winters, and she has been here since. She studied at North Park University and received her bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. After college, she began working in the non-profit world as an administrative coordinator and event manager. She has planned and executed countless events and enjoyed doing so. Her passion is to always create a space where people feel loved, cherished, and seen. Ultimately, this passion is what brought her into her work of spiritual direction. She desires to walk with people so that they can experience how much the Divine loves and cherishes their full authentic selves. She is especially passionate about the intersection of spirituality and culture.
    Kitchie is a life-long partner to Tommy Bakken and is a dog mama to a mini schnauzer named Todd. She describes herself as a serial hobbyist because ultimately her favorite hobby is trying new hobbies. However, of her many hobbies, her favorites are food-related. Whether it is cooking or going out to eat to new restaurants, there is no greater joy than sharing a meal together. Especially when it is a labor of love. 🙂



More Info



Dec 09 2023


10:30 am - 12:00 pm





Advent Retreat: Waiting in the Darkness

After Thanksgiving (or for those like me… after Halloween), we’ll spend the next few weeks in preparation for Christmas. We put up Christmas lights, listen to Christmas music, buy and wrap presents, sing carols, and so on. It’s bright, happy, fun, albeit a little chaotic.

I think these small things help us get through the darkest days of the year, but I wonder what we might be missing as we distract ourselves from the darkness. The Church I attended growing up always had a candlelight service on Christmas Eve, and I was always captivated by the moment when we turn off all the lights and sit in the darkness as we wait to light each other’s candle one by one. That moment, standing in the darkness together knowing and anticipating the light is coming, is peaceful and beautiful.

As we are all bombarded with advertisements, bright Christmas lights, to-do lists and all that comes with the Christmas season in the 21st century, I invite you to join us on December 9th, from 10am – 12:30pm (Central) for our Advent Retreat as we pause and wait in the darkness together.

When: Saturday, December 9

Time: 10:30- 12 noon

Cost: $35. If this is financially challenging, pay what you can.

Click here to pay and register:

Retreat Leader: Kitchie Ranillo Bakken, Spiritual director and Journey Center of Chicago Board Chair