Directed & Themed Retreats

Mercy by the Sea through the Catherine McAuley Institute of Spiritual Formation offers a variety of silent retreats throughout the year.  Please find the retreats and their descriptions below.  You can also download and print a PDF of the full 2019 calendar of retreats.

Themed Retreats

While primarily silent, these retreats offer guided prayer and meditations related to the retreat theme, input from the directors and an opportunity to share with other retreatants. Spiritual direction is not routinely offered. For 2019, we will offer Contemplative Ways of Being: A Silent Retreat with Fr. Michael Fish, OSB, CAM and once again Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: An Interfaith Retreat with Roshi Robert E. Kennedy, S.J.

Directed Retreats

Retreats, especially silent directed retreats, allow us to withdraw from the busyness of life and to reflect on and deepen our relationship with God. Directed retreats offer an experience grounded in solitude, silence, prayer and daily meetings with a spiritual director. Directed silent retreats call for receptivity to the movements of the spirit and are adapted to the needs of each individual. Mercy by the Sea, located on the shores of Long Island Sound with 33 acres of grounds, offers a safe sacred space in which to explore who we are and who God is.

Retreat check-in is between 4 and 5 p.m. with a light supper served at 5:30 p.m. The silent retreat will open with a gathering at 7 p.m. and end with breakfast on the last day. Check-out is 10 a.m. Mass will not be available onsite except for those retreats where there is a priest director. However, a schedule of area masses and church services is available.

2019 Directed Retreats    

Requests for retreats and Summer Sabbath will be accepted by e-mail and telephone. Email Sister Ann McGovern at or call her at  203.245.0401, ext. 111. 

Directed Retreat
Friday, May 24 - Friday, May 31     $625
Jean Marie Holup, SSCM
Joan Bernard, OP
Gail O'Donnell, RSCJ FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Julia Grey, OP

Directed Retreat
Sunday, June 9 - Sunday, June 16     $625
Judy Fortune, RSM    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Ellen Keane, SNDdeN
Suzanne Lavoie    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
JoAnn Walsh, RSM

Directed Retreat
Sunday, June 16 - Sunday, June 23     $625
Mary Fahy, RSM    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Catherine Morgan, OP  
Lisa Irish
Nan Bouche
JoAnn Bourquard

Contemplative Ways to Being:  A Silent Retreat On-site rooms are booked; Commuter spaces available. $600 includes program & meals.
Sunday June 23 - Sunday, June 30
With Michael Fish, OSB CAM. 
Learn more.

Directed Retreat
Sunday, June 30 - Sunday, July 7     $625
Sue Wieczynski, RSM
Cathleen Murtha, DW  FULLY BOOKED (waiting list open)
Mary Costello, RSM    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Carol Villaggio
Andrea Minelli

Directed Retreat
Sunday, July 7 - Sunday, July 14     $625
Joannie Cassidy, SSJ  FULLY BOOKED (waiting list open)
Eleanor Guerin, RSM   FULLY BOOKED (waiting list open)
Kathleen L. McNamara
Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager
Vincent Pelletier, FSC

Directed Retreat 
Sunday, July 21 - Sunday, July 28     $625
Fr. Terry Moran    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Maureen Christensen, RSM    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Honora Nicholson, RSM    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Carmela Garofalo, RSM    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Mary Elizabeth Looby, GNSH    FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)

Directed Retreat
Sunday, July 28 - Sunday, August 4     $625
Fr. Tom Sievel
Patricia Cook, RSM FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Ann Duhaime, RSM FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Cynthia Giardina FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Jan Webb

Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit:  An Interfaith Retreat   $675, single; $560, double; $80 daily commuter fee
Sunday, August 18 - Saturday August 24
Roshi Robert E. Kennedy, S.J.
For those staying onsite, check-in is at 4 p.m. on Sunday with dinner served at 5:30 p.m. Departure is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 24.
Register Online.

Directed Retreat
Sunday, August 25 - Sunday, September 1     $625
Margaret Galiardi, OP FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Connie Messitt, CSJ    FULLY BOOKED (waiting list open)
Mary Trainer, RSM      FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Ann Rodgers, CP        FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Marge Milanese

Directed Retreat
Sunday, September 1 - Sunday, September 8     $625
Marie Danaher, OP
Susan Blasi
Gail DeMaria, CSJP FULLY BOOKED (waiting list open)
Kathleen McAlpin, RSM  FULLY BOOKED (waiting list open)

Directed Retreat
Sunday, October 27 - Thursday, October 31     $400
with Patricia Cook, RSM

Directed Retreat 
Sunday, October 27 - Sunday, November 3     $625
with Janet Weber, RSCJ FULLY BOOKED (waiting list open)

Directed Retreat
Sunday, December 8 - Sunday, December 15     $605
(winter rates apply)
Judy Fortune, RSM
Claire Rusowicz
Suzanne LaVoie

Summer Sabbath

Come to the water to renew your connection with life's animating Spirit and recover your potential for joy and peace. Sabbath time can be as unplanned and open as you wish. Time to gather for reflection and prayer will be offered during the week, and spiritual direction is offered by request, although not on a daily basis.

Week I:  Sunday, August 4 - Sunday, August 11        $675  FULLY BOOKED  (waiting list open)
Week II:  Sunday, August 11 - Friday, August 16        $575
With Andrea Minelli and Carol Villagio

The retreat directors for the Summer Sabbath are Andrea Minelli and Carol Villaggio, both of whom are Mercy Associates.

Individual Directed and Personal Retreats

If you cannot participate in one of our scheduled directed retreats, you are invited to come at your convenience and stay for up to a week; spiritual direction is included. To discuss how we can serve your needs with regard to this retreat, contact Rosemary Jones at (203) 245-0401 ext. 114 or via email:

Recognizing that not everyone desires a directed retreat experience, we occasionally designate time for individuals who desire a private retreat.  While the retreat center may not be in silence, you can still benefit from our prayerful and peaceful setting. If you desire silence during meals, you are free to use the upper dining room. To check availability, please call Rosemary Jones in Guest Services at 203.245.0401, ext. 114, or email her: