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,  A Woman's Retreat with Jan Phillips: Creative Seeing, Creative Being -- Diving Deep into Our Wells of Wisdom; A Sacred Journey into the Second Half of Life; 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    

Saturday, May 26 - Saturday, June 2                 $610
with Eleanor Guerin, RSM FILLED
Julia Grey, OP FILLED
Andrea Minelli FILLED
Gail O'Donnell, RSCJ FILLED

Sunday, June 24 - Sunday, July 1                      $610
with Nan Bouche FILLED
Joannie Cassidy, SSJ FILLED
Carol Conly, RSM FILLED
Roberta Cote FILLED
Mary Fahy, RSM FILLED 

Sunday, July 1 - Sunday, July 8                        $610
with JoAnn Bourquard  FILLED
Fr. Tom Sievel  FILLED
Carol Villaggio  FILLED

Sunday, July 22 - Sunday, July 29                    $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                 $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       $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    $610
with Ann Duhaime, RSM (waiting list only)
Eleanor Perfetto, ASCJ

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 (waiting list only)
Week 2: Sunday, August 12 - Friday, August 18             $575  (waiting list only)
                                                                                             (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

My Retreat in Everyday Life: 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises

with Patty Cook, RSM, Ph.D.

Do you long to make a deeper connection between your faith in God and your ordinary, daily life in the "real world"? Here is a spiritual opportunity: a contemporary adaptation of the classic Ignatian 30-day retreat, known as the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises, for those who are not able to be away from family, work and other responsibilities. The central purpose of this retreat is to grow in spiritual freedom and find intimacy with God in the midst of action.

Individuals engage in a guided prayer experience over 37 weeks through a commitment to :

  • Daily personal prayer and reflection
  • Meetings with a retreat director
  • regular faith sharing with a small group of fellow retreatants
  • one overnight gathering

The group, which meets on alternating Thursdays from 1-3 p.m., began on September 7, 2017, and will end on May, 10, 2018. The cost was $700. 

Participation is limited. The application process includes a brief written application and conversation with the retreat director. For more information, contact Rosemary Jones at 203.245.0401, ext. 114 or via email:

Patricia Cook, RSM, Ph.D, has served as an educator in secondary school settings as well as college and graduate school; a missionary in Guatemala; an administrator for the formation of lay ministers and deacons; and, more recently, as a prison chaplain. She is an experienced spiritual director and retreat director as well as a supervisor of spiritual direction formation. One of her favorite interests is being the spiritual director and tour host of pilgrimages to the Holy Land.