Themed Retreats

Themed retreats allow us to withdraw from the busyness of life and to reflect and pray. A themed retreat is grounded in a prayerful, listening atmosphere. It features an inspiring presenter and subject of interest.

*In accordance with CDC COVID-19 guidelines, in-person guests registered for programs or retreats at Mercy by the Sea are required to present either proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test (not a home test) within 72 hours of arrival. Masks are optional, but are recommended for non-vaccinated guests. 

Themed Retreats


"Living Into the Presence": An Invitation into the Great 'I Am' with Singer/Songwriter, Carmel Boyle
Wednesday, June 8 – Friday, June 10 ($425.00 single occupancy, $250.00 commuters)

Journey with Celtic themes and perennial spiritual wisdom into a deeper awareness of the reality that we are "Living in the Presence’ and the great ‘I Am.’" Inspired by her own spiritual journey, Carmel's songs have encouraged many. She has performed internationally for royalty, presidents and ambassadors, but now enjoys going deeper with the content of songs and the power of her voice in a retreat environment. Learn more and register.

Poetry as Prayer with Rev. Dr. Mark S. Burrows
Sunday, June 19 – Sunday, June 26 Single occupancy $900, Double occupancy $750, Commuters $575

Join us at Mercy by the Sea for a weeklong retreat that centers on the intersection of poetry and prayer. Through teaching, individual and group prayer times and guided reflection on the works of modern poets, Rev. Dr. Mark S. Burrows will help participants discover how the language and silence of poems can draw us into a deeper prayerfulness. Learn more and register.

Summer Sabbath with Andrea Minelli and Carol Villaggio - Both weeks sold out (Email Sr. Ann McGovern to be placed on waiting list)
Week I: Sunday, July 31-Sunday, August 7 ($800)
Week II: Sunday August 7-Friday August 12 ($650)

The theme for this year's Summer Sabbath is "Hope is Never Lost." 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 seek. Time to gather for reflection and prayer will be offered during the week, and spiritual direction is offered by request, not on a daily basis. Read more.

The School of Earth & Soul with John Philip Newell
Registration will open week of April 25.
Tuesday, July 12 – Thursday, July 14 – Celtic Wisdom 2: Sacred Earth 
Single Occupancy $750; Double Occupancy $650 and Commuter Fee $450

The School of Earth & Soul will be resuming its in-person gatherings. Its purpose is to awaken awareness of the sacred in all things through the recovery of Celtic wisdom for today and to help translate this awareness into compassionate action and justice. The School follows a three-year cycle of teaching and spiritual practice. Participants may join at any stage in the three-year cycle. Mercy by the Sea will be hosting the Celtic Wisdom 2 component. Read more.

Interfaith ZEN Retreat with Roshi Robert E. Kennedy, SJ - SOLD OUT - COMMUTER SLOTS AVAILABLE. Wait list being taken; use registration link below.
REGISTER (Note: Per the facilitator of this retreat, all participants must be fully vaccinated to attend).
Sunday, August 14 – Saturday, August 20 (Single occupancy $775, double occupancy $600, commuter $100 includes lunch)

This is a week-long silent retreat (Zen sesshin) during which participants practice seated meditation (zazen) together—about twelve 25-minute periods per day—as a supportive community, or sangha. Roshi Kennedy and other Zen teachers will provide daily talks (teishos) to share Zen insights and to encourage sitting practice, as well as opportunities to meet privately with them (daisan) throughout the days. 

Silence is observed at all times throughout day in order to deepen experience. Following the final sitting each evening, the liturgy will be offered for all who wish to participate. This is a warm, wholehearted practice of being with ourselves as we are, with things as they occur. The support of devoted teachers and one another encourages the quieting of our minds, the lessening of struggle, and the movement from self-centeredness to life-centeredness. Through this process we taste the richness of human life and become of true benefit to others and the world.

For those staying onsite, check-in is at 4 p.m. on Sunday with dinner served at 5:30 p.m. Departure on Saturday, August 20 is at 10 a.m. Registration begins the week of April 11, 2022.  View the flyer for this retreat here.

Roshi Robert E. Kennedy, SJ is a Jesuit priest and Zen teacher in the White Plum lineage. He studied with Yamada Roshi in Kamakura, Japan, Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles, and Glassman Roshi in New York. Glassman Roshi installed Father Robert as sensei in 1991 and conferred Inka (his final seal of approval) in 1997, making him a roshi (master). Kennedy Roshi is the author of “Zen Gifts to Christians” and “Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit.”

The Reclaiming of our Humanity: Being Fierce and Tender in our Call to Love, with Poet and Author Mark Nepo
Registration is open.
Friday, August 26 – Sunday, August 28 (Single $525, Double $500, Commuter $300)

Given the trying times we are living through, we need to hold each other through our suffering, and to ask for the story that has brought each of us to today, and to complete each other by listening with an open heart. In this weekend retreat, Mark Nepo will explore how a life of meaning and love unfolds through adversity, how love awakens everything, and how care erases the walls we keep building between us.