Directed & Themed Retreats

Mercy by the Sea through the Catherine McAuley Institute of Spiritual Formation offers a variety of retreats throughout the year.  Please find the retreats and their descriptions below.

Themed Retreats

While primarily silent, these retreats offer guided prayer, meditations related to the retreat theme, input from the directors, and an opportunity to share with other retreatants. Spiritual direction is not routinely offered. Examples of past themes include Art Journaling, Contemplative Weekend Retreat, Cosmic Christ Retreat and Step II (Recovery), among others. For more information or to register, contact Rosemary Jones at 203.245.0401, ext. 114 or via email:

Directed Retreats

Directed retreats offer an experience grounded in solitude, silence, prayer and daily meetings with a spiritual director. Directed retreats call for receptivity to the movements of the spirit and are adapted to the needs of each individual.

Registration for the Directed Retreats and Summer Sabbath weeks has begun. The retreat schedule is posted below; please note those that are completely filled. To register, contact Rosemary Jones, by phone at 203.245.0401, ext 114.

Listing of Directed Retreats

Here is the full list of 2017 directed retreats. Please note that some slots with directors are already filled; in these cases, you may request to be placed on a waiting list.

  • Saturday, August 26 to Saturday, September 2 with Gail DeMaria, CSJP; Fr. Tom Sieval; Kathleen McAlpin, RSM; Marie Danaher, OP; and Judy Fortune, RSM, $610   ALL RETREAT DIRECTORS ARE FILLED FOR THIS RETREAT
  • Saturday, September 2 to Saturday, September 9 with Connie Messitt, SCJ FILLED; Eleanor Guerin, RSM; Jo Ann Bourquard; and JoAnn Walsh, RSM, FILLED, $610  Eleanor Guerin and Jo Ann Bourquard have openings; all others are filled.
  • Sunday, October 29 to Sunday November 5 with Margaret Galiardi, OP; Janet Weber, RSCJ; and Cynthia Giardina $610 FILLED
  • Thursday, November 9 to Monday, November 13 with Patty Cook, RSM $400  FILLED
  • Sunday, December 3 to Sunday, December 10 with Judy Fortune, RSM; Claire Rusowicz; and Gail O'Donnell, RSCJ  $610
Check-in time is between 4 and 5 p.m. A light supper is served at 5:30 p.m. Retreats begin with an opening gathering at 7 p.m. Check-out time is 10 a.m. on the last day of the retreatMass is not be available on-site except for those retreats where there is a priest director. However, a schedule of area masses and church services is available.

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.

Summer Sabbath Week I: Monday, July 17 to Sunday, July 23 with Joan Linley and Claire Rusowicz, $625
Summer Sabbath Week II: Sunday July 23 to Friday July 28 with Joan Linley and Claire Rusowicz, $575
There is also the option to combine the weeks for $1,150.

To register, contact Rosemary Jones at (203) 245-0401, ext. 114 or by email at

Individual Directed 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:

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 next group, which will meet on alternating Thursdays, from 1-3 p.m., begins on September 7, 2017, ending in May, 10, 2018. The cost is $700. 

Participation is limited. The application process includes a brief written application and conversation with the retreat director. For more information, contact Claire Rusowicz at 203.245.0401, ext. 115 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.