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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
(1/27-1/29) Retreat for Al-Anon Women. Click HERE.
(1/27-1/29) Spiritual Freedom in the Second Half of Life. Click HERE.
(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.
(5/26-5/28) Retreat for Women in Recovery. Click HERE.
(6/9-6/11) Hispanic Retreat (Spanish) for Men and Women. Click HERE.
(9/22-9/24) Healing Retreat. Click HERE.
(11/24-11/26) Retreat for Women in Recovery. 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 Sessions
Each 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.
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 Sessions
From 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.
Please make sure your dates have been approved by the front office before submitting your application.
For September through April retreats apply online here or download this application form, fill it out and mail it to Fr. Peter Fennessy at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, 1390 Quarton Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.
Cost for September through April Individually Directed Retreats: $95 per day.
To inquire further about individually directed retreats call the office at (248) 644-4933 Ext. 0.
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.