From its 1926 beginning, Manresa has offered three-day and four-day conference retreats, and has since added individually directed retreats. But Manresa is more than a Retreat House; in reality, it is a Spirituality Center with many other opportunities for spiritual growth.Four mini-courses, available in concentrated weekend workshops, will introduce you to Ignatian Spirituality. Those who complete the mini-courses may apply to the Internship in Spiritual Companionship to learn to be a spiritual leader, retreat director and/or companion. Other programs teach topics such as Scripture, discernment and methods of prayer. There are single days or evenings of prayer, outdoor meditations with nature, musical concerts, Christian yoga, support groups for both men and women, book studies for women, and a variety of other programs that change from year to year. Visit our “Other Resources” page to discover additional spiritual offerings that are available to you. If you want to register online for any of our programs or events, click on the Programs and Events Calendar or Programs and Events List. If you prefer to register by regular mail, download the Programs and Events Form and mail the completed form with any required deposits. To pay for a program for which you have already registered, click on the Payment Link.
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL DIRECTION?
Spiritual direction is about intensifying one’s relationship with God. It is noticing and savoring God’s presence in everyday living.
Because every aspect of your life affects your relationship with God, ordinary concerns such as work, family, relationships, emotional hurts, joy, anger, fears, anxieties, addictions or dreams are shared in spiritual direction. A director helps you explore whatever may block you from knowing God’s loving presence as well as whatever may increase that awareness. You are helped to truly see yourself through God’s eyes as the gift you are.
Spiritual direction helps develop the skill of discernment, which enables you to be more attentive to how God is leading and guiding you. You grow in noticing the ways in which God is touching your life, directly or indirectly.
Some people prefer the term “spiritual companionship” because “spiritual direction” sounds like one person giving directions, or orders, to another. What you call it doesn’t make any real difference. The reality remains: it is conversation about your life in the light of faith.
Spiritual direction is not counseling. It is not therapy. It is not financial advice. It is not a friendship.
MUST I COME TO MANRESA TO MEET WITH A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR?
While there are spiritual directors who meet with persons at Manresa, there are directors who meet with individuals throughout southeastern Michigan and Ohio.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR?
A spiritual director is someone called to and well prepared for this ministry. She or he should be grounded in the Scriptures, sustained by a deep prayer life and carefully trained in the area of discernment. It may be helpful if she or he has experience or expertise in areas related to your life situation. But it is not essential.
The relationship between you and a director is based on confidentiality and a sense of trust, which enable you to be comfortable and open with your director.
HOW OFTEN DO I MEET WITH MY SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR?
Frequency varies with individual need and circumstance. Generally, meeting every four weeks or so is ideal. More or fewer sessions may be appropriate for others.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
It is customary to offer a stipend to support the spiritual director in this ministry. You and the director should discuss this during your first session.
HOW DO I BEGIN?
If you are interested in learning more about spiritual direction or would like to meet with a director, contact Ann Dillon. She is a member of our staff who can answer your questions. She will also help you find a director who would be a good match for you. Ann can be reached by calling Manresa at 248.644.4933 Ext. 107, or you may email Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for the brochure.
PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN AND/OR MEN
Programs for Men and Women: 2022-2023
- Sunday Afternoon Reflection: Advent | Dec. 11, 2022 | Register here
- Christian Yoga Classes | Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30 | Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27 | Mar. 6, 13, 2023 | Register here
- Lectio Prayer Group | Jan. 9 | Feb. 13 | Mar. 13 Apr. 10 | May 8, 2023 Register here
- Praying with Art: The Parables | Sept. 6, 20; Oct. 4, 18; Nov. 1, 15, 2022 | Register here
- Facets of Grief | Sept. 11, Nov. 6, 2022; Feb. 5, Apr 16, 2023 | Register here
- Book Study: Braving the Thin Places | Sept. 12, 26; Oct. 10, 24, 2022 | Register here
- Scripture Study: The Gospel of Mark | Sept. 13, 27; Oct. 11, 25; Nov. 8, 22; Dec. 6, 2022 | Register here
- A Day to Call Your Own | Sept. 19, Oct. 20, Nov. 16, Dec. 7, 2022 | Register here
- Ignatian Spirituality Through Film & TV | Sept. 21, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Oct 26, 2022 | Register here
- Sunday Afternoon Guided Contemplative Prayer/ Domingo de oración contemplative guiada | Sept. 18, Oct. 23, Nov. 13, Dec. 4, 2022 | Register here
- Sunday Afternoon Reflection: Advent | Dec. 11, 2022 | Register here
If you are interested in any of these events, click on it and you will be presented with further information and a “Register” button if it is necessary to register. Complete the registration process as instructed.
DAYS OF PRAYER AND RECOLLECTION
I – Days of Recollection
Days of Recollection are offered for groups of parishioners or others with a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 80 people.
The schedule for such days can be determined by the group organizer. A typical schedule might be the following:
Welcome: Coffee & Pastry
Conference / Private Prayer
Holy Hour or Healing Service
Conference / Private Prayer
Mass or Prayer Service
A group may decide on different arrival or departure times and on the structure of the day.
The cost for a Day of Reflection (including lunch) is $40 for adults and $30 for seniors.
The cost for student and youth retreat days (including lunch) are priced as follows:
- $25 per person (using a Manresa presenter/facilitator)
- $22 per person (using its own presenter/facilitator)
II – Time Away for Parish Staff, Lay Leadership, Committees & Groups
Manresa is an attractive place for parish staff, parish lay leadership, or parish committees or other groups to meet, whether for a part of a day or an evening, for a whole day, or for an overnight. If desired, the Manresa staff can supply some appropriate input.
III -Younger People
Manresa can host prayer days and prayer experiences for youth groups or for those preparing for Confirmation. The parish sponsoring such experiences must bring their own director and prefects.
III -A Day to Call Your Own
Manresa offers you a “day to call your own” one day a month to get away from the busyness and noise of everyday life. We provide you with a private room and a simple soup lunch. Enjoy the silence and peace that is Manresa. We have four chapels, a comfortable library, a bookstore; pray at our outdoor labyrinth or Stations of the Cross; enjoy the nature and beauty of our grounds.
The day starts 8:00AM and goes to 3:30PM. Reflect, meditate, pray, walk, soul-search, read and just be.
Our next opportunities will be:
2022 Schedule: Click HERE for the flyer
Click topic for details:
Conference Retreats at Manresa last 3 or 4 days during which a retreat director will offer reflections to people as a group. The conferences or talks are about the spiritual life in general, and the retreats are for either men or women.
Some of these retreats, however, are Topical Retreats that are addressed to specific groups with specific needs, and these retreats are sometimes coed.
We also offer silent Individually Directed Retreats, where the retreatant and director meet one-on-one for a period of 4 to 8 days. You may usually make these on the days of your choice from September to April; during the summer they are limited to four scheduled sessions. If you want to register for any of the retreats, click on the Retreat Calendar or Retreat List . If you prefer to register by regular mail, download the Retreat Form, and mail the completed form with any required deposits. To pay for a retreat for which you have already registered, click on the Payment link.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOURSELF?
- Healing Services
- Morning Prayer
- Video Presentations
- Faith Sharing
- Stations of the Cross
- Eucharistic Adoration
- Praying with Scripture
- Lessons in Prayer
CONFERENCE RETREATS ON A SPECIAL TOPIC
Retreat directors adapt the Exercises in different ways. Sometimes the adaptation is such that we may speak of “Topical Retreats.” These are retreats that complement Ignatian spirituality, rather than explicating it, and some retreats are special in the sense that they address particular audiences, needs, times or themes. Among such retreats that are usually offered at Manresa are:
2023 Dates: Upcoming events
(2/3-2/5) Retreat for Men in Recovery. Click HERE.
(3/3-3/5) Healing Retreat for Men and Women. Click HERE.
(3/31-4/2) Palm Sunday for Men. Click HERE.
(4/6-4/8) Holy Week for Men and Women. Click HERE.
(5/5-5/7) Christian Meditation for Men and Women. Click HERE.
(5/12-5/14) Mother’s Day Retreat Click HERE.
Registration: If you want to register for one of these retreats, click on the link of the date on the list and you will be presented with more information about the retreat and a “Register” button to register. Complete the form and pay the required deposit.
RETREATANT’S DAY OF REFLECTION
Many people have said that they wished there were an opportunity for a spiritual tune-up between their annual retreats. Twelve months is such a long time to go without some kind of revitalization. Manresa is now offering afternoons for those who have experienced a retreat to renew their retreat experience or to introduce a friend or family member to Manresa.
The day will include a talk or discussion, time for private prayer/devotion, Mass and a dinner to round out the evening. Our first sessions have been very well received. Here are some comments from some of the attendees:
- “I didn’t realize the beauty of Manresa. I never had a chance to see it at this time of year.”
- “I appreciated the time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.”
- “This opportunity to enjoy the serenity of Manresa has reinvigorated the promises I made while I was here last spring. Thank you for the chance to touch base.”
- “It was very nice to spend the day in prayer, reconciliation and then attend Sunday Mass. I remembered my experience during my retreat here and it gave me the impetus to be more ready when I come next year.”
- “My friend invited me to come and see Manresa for myself. He was after me for many years. I am glad I took the few hours this Sunday to do this. I will be back in the spring for retreat. No wonder he loves this place. It is easy to know that God is close.”
The program starts at 2:00 PM on a Sunday and lasts until 7:00 PM. You can arrive as early as 1:30 PM. The cost for the afternoon is $35, payable upon registration.
Make plans to reserve a place for yourself, a family member and/or a friend for one of the dates shown below; spaces do fill up quickly! Allow the opportunity to meet God in the serenity. You can register today by calling the office or you can register online.
INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREATS
Individually directed retreats involve three parties, the Lord, the retreatant and a spiritual director. They are based upon the principles of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.
The Lord desires to draw closer to each of us in a relationship of love, and invites and inspires us to come aside to a secluded place and rest a while for that purpose (Mk 6:30-32).
The retreatant is seeking a more intimate relationship with the Lord and perhaps the Lord’s will in some particular area of life. The retreatant responds willingly under grace to God’s call. She or he sets aside the normal occupations and preoccupations of daily life and takes the time to grow quiet, to center and to listen for what the Lord will say. Retreatants need experience in prayer, the ability to enter into silence, enough self-awareness to recognize his or her inward movements and feelings, and moments of consolation and desolation in prayer. Retreatants also need enough openness and trust to share these experiences with the director.
The spiritual director is the “spiritual companion on the journey” with the retreatant . . . the journey being led by the Lord. The director listens to and encourages the retreatant in daily meetings to give voice to his or her experience in prayer and to come to a deeper understanding of that experience. Together they try to discover the movements of the Holy Spirit, to discern the direction God appears to be leading, and to choose topics for prayer that seem the most appropriate at that moment.
On a typical day, the retreatant may spend up to four prayer periods in meditation and then share the prayer experience with the director. For Roman Catholics the Eucharist is a focal point of the day. The remainder of the day is spent in other activities designed to deepen awareness of God and our relationship with God. These activities are solitary and contemplative and may include journaling, reading, listening to music, or walking and resting on Manresa’s 39-acre grounds.
The number, nature and length of periods of prayer will depend upon each retreatant’s needs and ability, as will the length of the retreat itself. Most people make retreats of five to eight days. A retreat should be a minimum of four full days because it takes some time to slow down and get into the silence.
To inquire further contact us.
To apply for a retreat of 4 to 8 days select the dates most convenient for you and register by clicking the link below. Among other considerations, acceptance of the application will depend upon the availability of rooms and an appropriate director for the time chosen.
SCHEDULING AN INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREAT
May to August SessionsEach summer, May to August, we set certain dates aside for individually directed retreats. We invite experienced men and women, Jesuits and others, to form a team so that amid this variety of directors each retreatant may have a compatible person to walk with them through the Spiritual Exercises. The dates allow for 8-day retreats as well as retreats of shorter duration. Retreat arrival begins at 5:00 PM on the first day of the summer retreat session. Dinner is available at 6:00 PM, with the retreat itself beginning at 7:30 PM. The retreat ends at 10:00 AM on the closing date of the retreat session. Those who wish to make a retreat shorter than 8 days should stay within the respective start and end dates and times. Click here for 2023 Summer schedule. For summer session retreats of 4 to 8 days you may register online by clicking on one of the sessions above. Or you may download the appropriate application form HERE, fill it out, and mail it to: Fr. Peter Fennessy at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, 1390 Quarton Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. Cost for Individually Directed Retreats: – May through August (within dedicated session dates and times only): $90/day – All other times throughout the year, based on calendar and director availability: $95/day Summer sessions fill up quickly so we recommend that you register early.
September to April SessionsFrom September to April individuals may generally choose the dates they wish for individually directed retreats (minimum 4 days required), provided staff is available and no youth retreats are in session.
THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
The Spiritual Exercises
St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, underwent a profound experience of God during his stay in the little town of Manresa in Spain in 1522. To share his experience with others, he eventually wrote a small book of directions called, The Spiritual Exercises. It was intended to help the person who directed another in a structured 30-day or even 10-month-long program of prayer and contemplation.
Over the centuries the Jesuits have adapted the Exercises into shorter individually-directed retreats of six to eight days and into conference or group retreats of a few days’ duration in which the director presents various themes of the Spiritual Exercises to a group of people, who pray on their own over the material presented.
The Spiritual Exercises are not a panacea to cure all spiritual ills, resolve doubts of faith or bring about longed-for mystical experiences. Nor is it a spiritual Mount Everest, a challenge to be met that proves one’s abilities or determination. It is rather, for those who are ready for this particular step, an opportunity for significant growth in the spiritual life and in knowledge of oneself, of God and of God’s will.
It is important that those who undertake a retreat of this magnitude be ready for and committed to the undertaking, since it is a major investment of time and energy on the part of both the retreatant and the director. If there is any significant doubt about a person’s readiness it would be advisable to defer such a retreat until a later date.
Some of the major themes normally addressed in the four “weeks” or phases of the Exercises are:
• God’s unconditional, ever-faithful love.
• Sin: our failure and the failure of the human family to respond with love to God’s love.
• God’s ever-greater love, mercy and forgiveness.
• The person and life of Christ.
• Our call to discipleship, ministry and friendship with Jesus.
• Knowing Christ more intimately, loving Him more ardently, following Him more faithfully.
• The ultimate expression of God’s love.
• The suffering and death of Jesus for us.
• The victory of Jesus over death.
• His sharing His joy with us.
• Being missioned by Jesus.
• Being empowered by His Spirit.
Making the Full Spiritual ExercisesThe Full Spiritual Exercises may be done in the form of a 30-day silent retreat at a retreat house or equivalent location. It means leaving family, friends and business responsibilities and dedicating oneself to the discipline of silence and of making several periods of prayer each day. Retreatants meet with their director daily and reflect about their experience in prayer.
Experiencing the full Exercises should normally grow out of previous experience with shorter directed retreats, regular daily meditation, and regular spiritual direction with someone who reflects with you on your experience of God in prayer. Such a spiritual director, familiar with both your spiritual experience and with the demands of the Spiritual Exercises, could confirm for you and for whoever will be directing your 30-day retreat that it is time for you to make the full Exercises.
Retreat houses that have well-developed, 30-day programs usually have certain expectations and requirements of those who wish to make a 30-day retreat:
• Prior experience with silent, individually-directed Ignatian retreats seven or eight days in length,
• Daily substantial meditative prayer,
• Experience of spiritual direction for a year or more that demonstrates awareness of one’s prayer experience, the ability to verbalize it and the trust to share it with another,
• Recommendations that the individual may profit at the present time from this experience from people who understand the 30-day Ignatian retreat as well as the capabilities of the retreatant, for example, a spiritual director or former retreat director.
Contact Fr. Fennessy for information about retreat houses that offer the 30-day retreat experience.
The Spiritual Exercises in Daily LifeKnowing some people would be ready for the experience of the full Exercises but unable get away for a 30-day period, St. Ignatius provided in the Exercises a way to make this retreat in the midst of ordinary daily life at home with guidance from a spiritual director.
Usually called The Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life, it involves a daily commitment of 60 to 90 minutes in prayer and reflection centered on the themes of the Exercises and a weekly meeting with the spiritual director for approximately nine or 10 months. (Because Ignatius describes it in the 19th annotation or introductory note to the Exercises, you will hear it referred to sometimes as a 19th Annotation Retreat.)
As with the 30-day format, entry into this retreat should grow out of experience with shorter directed retreats, regular daily meditation, and regular spiritual direction with someone who reflects with you on your experience of God in prayer. This retreat is for those who seek a deeper relationship with their true self, those who long to know Jesus more intimately, to love Him more deeply, and follow Him more closely, for those who desire spiritual freedom.
For more information contact Ann Dillon, Manresa’s Director of Ignatian Formation, via email or phone at 248.644.4933 Ext. 107.
Frequently Asked Questions about
What are the purposes of the Spiritual Exercises?
The Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life
Ignatius offered this analogy: just as physical exercise has definite purposes, so do the Spiritual Exercises. Physical exercises are good for tuning up muscles, improving circulation and overall good health. Spiritual exercises are good for increasing openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit, for helping to bring to light the darkness of sinful tendencies within ourselves, and for strengthening and supporting us in the effort to respond ever more faithfully to the love of God.
What do I need to make the Spiritual Exercises?
– Openness, generosity and courage. – A willingness to share with and listen to a director. – A director who will help to guide the process. – A Bible and a notebook or journal
Why is a director necessary to the retreat?
The director’s role is to be a helper and guide during the retreat. You receive help by the director’s explaining the different ways of praying. The director helps by suggesting the matter to be considered in a prayer period and does not hinder God’s movements in you by imposing interpretations of Scripture or theology. The Exercises are, above all, a time for intimate contact between God and a retreatant.
Will my director be qualified to guide my retreat?
He or she will have previously made the Exercises and will have received specialized training in guiding the Exercises.
Is there only one way to make the Spiritual Exercises?
No. Ignatius originally designed the exercises to be completed in approximately 30 days but quickly realized not everyone could arrange their schedule to do so. He then suggested another longer format, the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life.
What is the difference between the 30-day experience and the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life experience? The “material” is the same, but the format is different.
|30 Day Format||Daily Life Format|
|Meet with Director||Daily||Weekly|
|Daily Prayer Periods||4 – 5 periods||1 period|
|Length||About 30 days||About 10 months|
Yes, retreats, especially in daily life, require time and energy. For example: if you are employed, are you free enough to devote the necessary time to the retreat prayer and reflection? Is there a major crisis in your family life that requires your energy and attention? Are you laboring under a chronic health problem? Are you in therapy and need to keep strong focus in that area?
Is there a cost for the Spiritual Exercises?
Staying at a retreat house, there is a per diem charge for room and board which also includes some stipend for your director. In Daily Life experiences arranged through Manresa, you will compensate your director for the extensive time and energy this nine- to 10-month experience requires of him/her. We suggest an offering of $25 per session, but you will need to discuss this with your director.
Where would I meet my director for the weekly meetings?
You and your director may meet via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or in-person at a mutually agreeable location.
If I now feel drawn to make the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life, what would be my next step?
Take a few days or even weeks to sit with the feeling. Pray about it. If the attraction and interest continue, please contact Ann Dillon, Manresa’s Director of Ignatian Formation, via email or phone at 248.644.4933, Ext. 107.