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Other Resources Many other aids are available at Manresa to help you grow spiritually. They are at your disposal to peruse. We offer daily Mass on most weekdays Monday through Friday, and have a faithful community that gathers at it. We have a well stocked book store and can special order items for you. We have a spiritual and a theological library you can use. We can help you locate a spiritual director who is especially appropriate for your needs. We offer occasional pilgrimages. And we even have the largest  paved labyrinth in Michigan. If you wish you may book the use of our facility for spiritual or religious purposes in accord with our own.
Book store One of the hidden spiritual treasures of the Detroit area, well known to Manresa’s retreatants and other visitors but not to most others, is the bookstore at the Manresa Jesuit Retreat House When the new administration wing was built in 1984 shelving was included in the entrance lobby to provide space for about 200 titles to be attractively presented, face outward. The content of the shelves changes regularly; each year about 60 titles are dropped and 60 new ones are added, so that it’s always worth a look when you return even after just a few weeks. Many recent titles may be found here before they become available elsewhere in the area. Our titles are mostly religious, focusing on spirituality and prayer. The bookstore also stocks note cards and Manresa memorabilia in the form of coffee mugs, sweatshirts, T-shirts and caps.  Fr. Fennessy is the manager and can special order for you many books that are not currently on our shelves, or he may be able to help you locate them elsewhere. The store is open to the general public whenever our doors are unlocked—usually Monday to Friday 7:30 AM to 4 PM—and to those visiting us for weekend or evening programs. Payment for purchases can be made to the secretary when the front office is open. But the store is run on the honor system and a deposit box is available for cash, checks or credit card slips. State sales tax is already included on the price tags.
Pilgrimages You are invited to join the Manresa community each weekday, Monday to Friday, for morning 8 o’clock Mass in our main chapel. Mass on the last Friday of the month (earlier in December) is offered for the deceased members of the Manresa family, particularly those who have died in the previous month. After Mass on selected First Fridays of the Month, join us for a light breakfast.
Our main building has accommodations for about 70 retreatants and houses the main chapel, two small prayer chapels, a comfortable library, dining room, offices, and two large meeting rooms. Three separate cottages as well as rooms adjoining St. Joseph’s Jesuit residence provide quarters for longer-term retreatants. The former waterwheel house has been converted into a prayer chapel. The gatehouse, barns, garage and workshop from the original estate survive and are still in use. Take a virtual tour of our main building. [ngg src=”galleries” ids=”1″ display=”basic_slideshow” template=caption]

These facilities are available for use by groups with aims compatible with Manresa’s.

Our facilities are available for use by other groups with compatible aims. Many associations have their regular meetings here or run their own programs in our setting. Though we are a Roman Catholic organization, at least 50 groups of other denominations have recently found Manresa a convenient and sympathetic place to gather. Take a tour of the grounds here. For further information contact us.

Spiritual DirectorWhat is a labyrinth?

A labyrinth is an intricately designed pattern composed of a single circuitous path that leads to the center and back out again. Unlike a maze, there are no choices, no dead ends, no chance of becoming lost.

Is the labyrinth Christian?

The labyrinth is a natural idea that dates from 2000 years before Christ. It was used by different cultures and religious traditions. Once the Edict of Milan in 313 AD ended religious persecution, the Church, as it has done with many other pre-Christian customs, adopted and baptized the labyrinth for its own use, but keeping its labyrinths almost exclusively on holy ground within churches, and transforming what was once a symbol of fear into a sign of hope.

The first Christian floor labyrinth we know of was in a basilica in Algeria, built in 324 AD, its center inscribed Sancta Eclesia (Holy Church). The first wall labyrinth, meant to be traced with the finger to quiet the minds of those who entered, is in the 9th century Cathedral of San Martino, Italy. In the 12th to the 14th centuries especially, labyrinths became fixtures in churches like the cathedrals of Chartres, Reims, and Amiens, and the abbey church of St. Bertin in Saint-Omer, France. One use of it seems to have been as a substitute Holy Land pilgrimage for those who were unable to travel.

For the last several centuries the labyrinth as a prayer form had fallen pretty much out of use. The modern Christian revival of the labyrinth tradition began in 1991 at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco, and since then it has grown in popularity at Christian institutions and retreat houses throughout the world.

The Labyrinth at Manresa

The Labyrinth at Manresa was installed in the summer of 2015, so that retreatants could experience another way of praying. It is based on the eleven-circuit design at Chartres Cathedral, but with a diameter of 62 feet it is almost 50% wider. The path from start to center is 1200 feet long. Much symbolism is connected with this design, but there is no need to know any of it in order to experience the labyrinth.

Why Walk the Labyrinth?

  • – To walk silently in and out at a prayerful pace is a centering prayer that will quiet the mind and heart.
  • – As a metaphor for entering within or the journey of life or our pilgrim path to God, it may teach us we can walk with faith in a God who guides our steps on the one true way amid all the apparent confusion of life.
  • – The actual experience of modern people walking this circuitous path has produced a wide variety of positive results. They say they have found release from stress, solace amid sorrow, calming of fears, resolution of problems, inner healing, deeper self-knowledge, clarity of mind, empowering of greater creativity, and the list goes on. You will bring your own material to your walk each time you come and you may find that you will at different times experience different blessings.

How to Pray the Labyrinth?

Walk at your own pace; if others are also walking you may quietly pass them or be passed in either direction. There is no right or wrong way to pray the labyrinth. Because of its simplicity you can approach its path on your own terms. But here are some ways you might find fruitful:
  • – Simply recall that you are always in God’s presence, and walk in and out in quiet and silence, noticing what God may bring to your mind
  • – Allow yourself to have a quiet conversation with God as you walk along with him.
  • – Ask God a question upon entering and keep your mind open as you walk. Pray for yourself on the way in, experience God’s love in the center, and pray for others on the way out.
  • – Recite the Our Father as you walk. Or recite some other prayer or prayer word or familiar scripture, repeating it as you go along.
  • – As you move toward the center, focus on letting go of distractions or worries that keep you from God. In the center, reflect on your relationship with God and be aware of God’s presence. As you return give thanks and praise for all that God has done.
  • – Finally, if a way of praying works for you, use it, if it does not work for you, then try something else.

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