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 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. In 2018, we will be offering the following themed retreats.  For specific information as to dates, retreat descriptions and costs, click on the following links: A Weekend Retreat with The Mary Paintings, 2018 Triduum, 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 retreats call for receptivity to the movements of the spirit and are adapted to the needs of each individual.

Registration for the 2018 retreats will begin by phone and email on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.  Please note to be fair to all, registrations will not be accepted before 9:30 a.m.  Please call 203.245.0401 or email Ann McGovern, RSM, at

Retreat check-in is between 4 and 5 p.m. with a light supper served at 5:30 p.m. The retreat opens with a gathering at 7 p.m. The retreat ends with breakfast on the last day; check-out is 10 a.m.  Mass 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.

2018 Directed Retreats

Friday, January 12 – Monday, January 15       $300
A Deep Winter Weekend Retreat with Joan Linley and Claire Rusowicz
Registration is open now for this retreat only. You may register here.

Holy Week Retreat: Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday          
Sunday, March 25 - Thursday, March 29          $400          
with Mary Costello, RSM
Clair Rusowicz           

Sunday, April 15 - Sunday, April 22                   $610
with Lilyan Fraher, RSM
Cynthia Giardina

Saturday, May 26 - Saturday, June 2                 $610
with Eleanor Guerin, RSM
Suzanne LaVoie
Andrea Minelli
Gail O'Donnell, RSCJ

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

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

Sunday, July 22 - Sunday, July 29                    $610
with Shirley Agnew, RSM
Mary Costello, RSM
Carmela Garofalo, RSM
Jo Ann Walsh, RSM
Fr. Bob Uzzilio

Sunday, July 29 - Sunday, August 5                 $610
with Susan Blasi
Maureen Christensen, RSM
Fr. Terry Moran
Fran Repka, RSM
Mary Trainer, RSM

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

Sunday, August 26 - Sunday, September 2       $610
with Patricia Cook, RSM
Marie Danaher, OP
Kathleen McAlpin, RSM
Honora Nicholson, RSM
Ann Rodgers, CP

Sunday, September 2 - Sunday, September 9    $610
with Ann Duhaime, RSM
Margaret Galiardi, OP
Eleanor Perfetto, ASCJ

Sunday, December 2 - Sunday, December 9       $610
with Judy Fortune, RSM
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
Week 2: Sunday, August 12 - Friday, August 18             $575   
                                                                                             (Both weeks for $1,150)
Both weeks with Andrea Minelli and Carol Villaggio

To register, call 203.245.0401 or  email

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 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.