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. Due to the recent increase in cases in the state in July, 2022, the wearing of masks is again mandatory. 

Themed Retreats

Summer Sabbath with Andrea Minelli and Carol Villaggio (Both weeks sold out.) Email Theresa Borchetta 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.

Interfaith ZEN Retreat with Roshi Robert E. Kennedy, SJ
On-site rooms are sold out, but you may still register as a commuter. For more information, email Theresa Borchetta or call her at 203-245-0401.
Sunday, August 14 – Saturday, August 20 (Single occupancy $775, double occupancy $600, commuter $100 a day includes lunch and dinner

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
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.