Conference Retreats at Manresa are offered during the week and on weekends and last three or four days. Retreat directors present reflections to retreatants as a group. Typically, a series of talks is given to prepare retreatants for individual reflection and prayer. The retreats usually follow the themes of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Some of these retreats are topical retreats that are addressed to specific groups with specific needs.
While these retreats are often associated with a particular parish or organization, all adults (18+) are welcome to attend Conference Retreats at Manresa. Retreats are open to Christians of all denominations and others having a grounding in Christian teaching.
What can I expect on a retreat?
Besides the talks offered by the retreat director and time on your own for personal prayer and silence, you may participate in a variety of other activities such as:
- Healing Services
- Praying the Rosary
- Morning Prayer
- Watching Videos
- Faith Sharing
- Stations of the Cross
- Eucharistic Adoration
- Praying with Scripture
- Lessons in Prayer
Retreatants may attend whichever activities might be helpful and most spiritually profitable for them.
Our cost for a weekend retreat (Friday evening through Sunday Noon) is $325. Your donation may be less, equal to or more based on your financial situation.con
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Conference Retreat
A conference retreat brings together a number of inviduals to listen to a series of short talks in a group setting over the course of three or four days, over a weekend or sometimes in midweek, to assist retreatants in their reflection and prayer. Other common forms of prayer are available like morning prayer, rosary, benediction, Stations of the Cross, praying with Scripture, healing prayer or Eucharistic devotions.
What is a retreat and why make one?
A retreat is a time of quiet when one can get away from the ordinary busyness, turmoil and demands of life, It can be a time to get a better perspective on the deeper meaning of your life, a time to come into closer contact with God or a time of reconciliation and peace. It is a time to be good to yourself.
What time is involved?
A weekend retreat at Manresa generally begins on Friday evening with supper at 6:30 PM. This allows those who work to participate fully. People usually begin arriving around 5:00 PM. The weekend goes all day Saturday and closes with Mass at about noon on Sunday. Departure is a little before 1:00 PM. Manresa also has some four-day and midweek retreats.
What happens during a retreat?
The retreat director gives six presentations, each about a half hour in length. Based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, these talks are not academic lectures, but reflections on life’s fundamental directions seen in the light of the Gospels and our Christian Faith. A seventh presentation on methods of prayer is given by a spiritual companion.
What are The Spiritual Exercises?
The Spiritual Exercises are, in brief, a “pathway to God,” an experiential approach to personal faith and union with God. That is why, in the retreat schedule, there is a time for private reflection and personal prayer. In addition, the Eucharist is celebrated each day and devotions are offered for those who find them helpful. There is opportunity for individual discussion with Manresa’s retreat staff and experienced visiting spiritual companions.
What does the schedule look like?
The retreat director may adapt the schedule, but it typically follows this pattern:
6:30 PM Dinner
7:15 PM Orientation
8:45 PM Opening Presentation 1
8:15 PM Mass
8:45 PM Personal time / Retire
8:05 AM Morning Prayer
8:15 AM Breakfast
9:15 AM Presentation 2 / Personal Time
10:30 AM Rosary
11:15 AM Presentation 3 / Personal Time
12:00 PM Lunch
Saturday Afternoon and Evening
2:00 PM Presentation 4 / Opportunity for Reconciliation
4:00 PM Presentation on Methods of Prayer / Personal Time
5:15 PM Mass
6:00 PM Dinner
7:30 PM Healing Service
8:00 PM Holy Hour or Eucharistic Vigil
8:05 AM Benediction
8:15 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Presentation 5 / Personal Time
10:30 AM Stations of the Cross or Sharing
11:15 AM Presentation 6
12:00 PM Closing Mass
What happens during personal time?
This is time for private prayer and reflection on the subject matter of the conference or whatever else you are drawn to pray about. Frequently the retreat director will hand out notes or material for your reflection. You may also do some reading. Reading materials are offered at Manresa, some in the library for borrowing, others in the bookstore for purchase. It is a time when you might meet one-on-one with a spiritual director.
What should I bring with me?
In general whatever you would bring for a couple nights in a hotel. Be comfortable; informal dress is usual and acceptable. Manresa provides such things as towels, linens and blankets. Each retreatant has a private room with half-bath.Community shower rooms are available for your use each containing three to four private showers.
What about talking and silence?
Manresa retreats are silent retreats; retreatants do not ordinarily speak with each other. This tradition of maintaining silence during the retreat is common to all Jesuit retreat houses. This silence is not an invention of the Jesuits; it has found a place in all religious orders for the last 1500 years, and is to be found in many other faith communities and religions as well. It is not a disciplinary measure or a penance, but a method of freeing ourselves from distractions and superficialities and opening ourselves up to God, a way of listening to hear God’s word in our hearts, a means of maintaining a prayerful atmosphere for all. Through silence we are ourselves alone with God and we allow every other person there to have the opportunity to be alone with God in a privileged way.
How much does a retreat cost (and can I use a credit card)?
Other than a $50 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit required at the time of registration, there is no set amount charged for group retreats. The cost to Manresa for a three-day weekend retreat is $325 per person. If you are able to pay this amount we’d appreciate it. However, Manresa is here for your spiritual growth and for deepening your relationship with God and others. We ask that you pay what you are able and don’t make “cost” a reason not to attend. Some retreatants are in a position to give more than the cost of a retreat so, in God’s Providence, it evens out. The full amount donated for the retreat is tax deductible (deposit is not tax deductible). For each retreatant’s convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards.
Anything else I should know?
We serve very good meals at Manresa. We do our best to accommodate those who have special dietary needs (please note this when registering). Our capacity for a weekend is 45-50. Sometimes we fill the house; at other times the number is less. You should not feel you have to know anyone else on the retreat. Just bring yourself. God will do the rest!
How do I make a reservation for a conference retreat?
Click on the Events tab, click on the retreat date and then instructions noted there.
How do I get to Manresa?