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, clearing out the dissonance of life as we go, so that God who is waiting there for us to notice can fill us.
(Joan Chittister OSB—Illuminated Life)
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.
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. The only communal gathering is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It is suggested that one have some knowledge and experience of a shorter silent directed retreat prior to participation in an extended directed 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 usually observed, 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 silence as well as time for sharing. Liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated on Sunday with the possibility of other days as well. P