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Retreat Descriptions

For You alone my soul waits in silence. (Psalm 62:1)

Silence is that place just before the voice of God. It is the void in which God and I meet
in the center of my soul. It is the cave through which the soul must travel,
cleaning out the dissonance of life as we go,
so that God who is waiting there for us to notice can fill us. 
(Illuminated Life - Joan Chittister OSB)

We deeply respect silence in order to provide an atmosphere of reverence for each retreatant's encounter with God. Silence is observed throughout the house on all five, six, and eight day directed and guided retreats, day and night, including meals.

Saint Mary by-the-Sea offers both directed and guided retreats as well as spiritual enrichment programs:

A directed retreat is a one-on-one experience. A director meets with the retreatant each day to reflect on the interior movements of the retreatant’s prayer and to discern with the retreatant the presence of the Spirit. Silence is observed. The only communal gathering is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It is requested that one have some knowledge and experience of a shorter silent directed retreat prior to participation in an extended retreat.  Requests for a particular director are honored as far as possible.

A guided retreat is based on a theme and may have one or several directors who provide daily input to the group.  Considerable time for personal prayer is included.  While silence is generally observed throughout the day, there may be some time for sharing.  Liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated daily.  Some guided retreats include occasional times for private interviews with the director.

A spiritual enrichment program is based on a theme, has one or more directors, is usually two to four days, and allows for less structured silence and time for sharing.  Liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated on Sunday with the possibility of other days as well.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia and  Saint Mary by-the-Sea Retreat House are committed to care for our planet, Earth.

We are happy to save many trees by distributing the 2018 Retreat Brochure electronically.

To save even more trees, please do not print a copy of the brochure. Rather, read it online, and then print out the reservation form to complete and mail.