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 2018 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 the rest of 2018, we will be offering several themed retreats.  For specific information as to dates, retreat descriptions and costs, click on the following links: Journey Into Stillness: A Contemplative Weekend, In Communion with our Biblical Sisters and Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: An Interfaith Retreat with Roshi Robert E. Kennedy, SJ.

Directed Retreats

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.

Reservations are now being taken for the directed retreats. This page will be updated periodically as spiritual directors and the retreats fill. If the retreat is filled, you can put your name on a waiting list; retreatants sometimes cancel. To reserve a place or put your name on a waiting list, please call Ann McGovern, RSM, at 203.245.0401, ext. 111, or email her at

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.mMass 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.

2018 Directed Retreats    

Sunday, July 1 - Sunday, July 8  (wait list open)                       $610
with JoAnn Bourquard  FILLED
Fr. Tom Sievel  FILLED
Carol Villaggio  FILLED

Sunday, July 22 - Sunday, July 29  (wait list open)                   $610
with Shirley Agnew, RSM FILLED
Mary Costello, RSM FILLED
Carmela Garofalo, RSM FILLED
Jo Ann Walsh, RSM FILLED
Fr. Bob Uzzilio FILLED

Sunday, July 29 - Sunday, August 5   (wait list open)              $610
with Susan Blasi FILLED
Maureen Christensen, RSM FILLED
Fr. Terry Moran FILLED
Fran Repka, RSM FILLED
Mary Trainer, RSM FILLED

Sunday, August 5 - Sunday, August 12             $610
with Judy Fortune, RSM, in Seascape FILLED

Sunday, August 26 - Sunday, September 2   (wait list open)    $610
with Patricia Cook, RSM FILLED
Marie Danaher, OP FILLED
Kathleen McAlpin, RSM FILLED
Honora Nicholson, RSM FILLED
Ann Rodgers, CP FILLED

Sunday, September 2 - Sunday, September 9 (wait list open)   $610
with Ann Duhaime, RSM FILLED
Eleanor Perfetto, ASCJ FILLED
Julia Grey, OP FILLED

Sunday, November 11 - Thursday, November 15   $400
with Patricia Cook, RSM FILLED  (waiting list open)

Sunday, December 2 - Sunday, December 9       $610
with Judy Fortune, RSM FILLED
Connie Messitt, CSJ
Claire Rusowicz

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 1: Sunday, August 5 - Sunday, August 12             $625 FILLED (waiting list only)
Week 2: Sunday, August 12 - Friday, August 18             $575  FILLED
                                                                                             (Both weeks for $1,150)
Both weeks with Andrea Minelli and Carol Villaggio

To register, call Ann McGovern, RSM, at 203.245.0401 or email her at

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 desiring a private retreat. The next open private retreat time is March 16-18, with check-in on Friday at 4 p.m.; check-out is Sunday at 10 a.m. There is a longer open retreat time from Sunday, June 3, to Friday, June 8. Check-in is at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday with dinner at 5:30 p.m.; check-out is at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. While the retreat center will 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.

The cost of the March retreat weekend is $250, including Friday night dinner, all meals on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. The cost for the June retreat is $500 including all meals. Please note that one must register for both nights in March, and for all five nights in June to receive this discounted price. To reserve a room, please contact Rosemary Jones in Guest Services at 203.245.0401 ext., 114, or email her at