What Is a Retreat?

“In silence and quiet, the devout soul becomes familiar with God.”
Sister Catherine McAuley

Silence. Stillness. Solitude.  These qualities seem in short supply in our culture today.  Yet, at some level, we realize – and spiritual teachers and authors remind us – that quiet is necessary for us to know who we are and who God is.

In fact, well-known monk and author Thomas Merton wrote that “the peace of solitude” is necessary in order to experience a full life.  “All … need enough silence and solitude in their lives,” he wrote, “to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard…”

Retreats – especially silent retreats – allow us to withdraw from the busyness of life in order to reflect on and deepen our relationship with God. Mercy by the Sea, a quiet haven and sacred space, offers a variety of retreats including:

  • Day-long and weekend programs on a broad range of topics. These may focus on a particular theme such as grief, creativity, life transitions, etc.
  • Longer periods of time for directed or themed retreats
  • Private silent retreats created to address an individual’s needs and schedule

To find upcoming retreats, visit our themed and directed retreat page. Individual directed retreats and personal retreats can be scheduled at any time of the year, pending room availability.

For more information on the directed retreats, contact Ann McGovern, RSM, at 203.245.0401, ext. 111.  Or email her at amcgovern@mercybythesea.org. For individual personal retreats, please contact Rosemary Jones at 203.245.0401, ext. 114, or rosemary@mercybythesea.org.

Read more about Mercy by the Sea as featured in Sue Carroll's article Enjoy the Silence the Gift and Ministry of Retreat.