Retreat Programs

Explore our retreat offerings. And remember! You can also visit us for a “self-guided” retreat any time. If you’d like more information, or to make a reservation please contact our Guesthouse Office. Don’t forget to leave us your name and contact details so we may get back to you. If you want regular reminders of soon coming retreat programs, click the “e-mail newsletter” button in the right-hand column.

Associates Retreat: Making All Things New

Thursday, January 28 – Sunday, January 31

:: Led by Br. Randy Greve

Join Br. Randy in exploring Henri Nouwen’s small book on spirituality, Making All Things New, which will be provided to you upon arrival. This is always a popular retreat, offering a mid-winter respite of prayer and good conversation.

Cost: $265, deposit: $80

Winter Library Retreat

Tuesday, February 2 – Friday, February 5

:: Led by Elizabeth Beaudin

Join enthusiastic volunteers for a labor of love – and balance work, prayer and recreation – as we continue the rewarding tasks of caring for and cataloging over 20,000 volumes.

Cost: $200, deposit: $80

Stepping Into Lent, Moving into the Desert: Path, Practice, and Prayer

Tuesday, February 16 – Friday, February 19

:: Led by Rev. Gwyneth Murphy

The spiritual journey is our evolving relationship with ourselves, each other and the divine. Lent is a special time in this journey, an invitation to enter more deeply into the mystery of what it means to be human, created in the divine image and called to continue Jesus’ ministry of compassion and justice. As we are not the same from year to year, neither is our Lenten path.

Lent rests in the apparent paradox that the spiritual journey is done alone, as well as in community. Thus, there will time spent in silence and solitude, as well as time together.

We shall enter into the gospel stories of Jesus’ baptism, and of his then entering into the desert for forty days. Through guided reflections offered by the retreat leader, and our shared prayer and reflection, we shall each uncover the path, practice, and prayer to which God calls us this Lent.

The Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy is Interim Pastor at Church of the Good Shepherd in Granite Springs, NY, a Retreat Leader, Spiritual Director and Sacred Dancer.

Cost: $310, deposit: $80

Lenten Contemplative Days

Tuesday, February 23 – Friday, February 26

Limited to 15 participants.

Join the brothers in this time of complete silence, with no programs or spiritual direction offered and a reduced worship schedule.

Cost: $225, deposit: $80

Holy Cross Lent Retreat: Listen to the Desert

Friday, February 26 – Sunday, February 28

:: Led by Br. Randy Greve

The desert mothers and fathers offered many words of wisdom that serve as a solid foundation for monastics and that can also promote the spiritual maturity of all Christians. Br. Randy will guide you into Gregory Mayer’s book, Listen to the Desert, during this silent retreat. The book will be provided.

Cost: $250, deposit: $80

Lenten Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, March 1 – Friday, March 4

:: Led by the Monastic Community & Friends

*short written assignment before the retreat begins
*limited registration

Spend some time with a director and a good deal of time with silence this Lent. This is a retreat in which prayer and silence will be practiced as an invitation for deeper union with God and in which each participant will work with a spiritual director chosen by the monastic community.

Cost: $325, deposit: $80

Free to Live: Forgiveness as a Path to Freedom

Friday, March 4 – Sunday, March 6

:: Led by Sr. Elizabeth Broyles, CMA

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. – The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus, teaching us to pray, makes forgiveness central to the lives of his followers. Yet we often forget it is possible to forgive and be forgiven. We sometimes treat it as optional and even fail to take in that we are promised forgiveness by God when we repent. Why is this so difficult? To claim the freedom offered us in Christ we need to forgive and be forgiven in relationship to God, each other and ourselves. This retreat will explore the practice of forgiveness—seeking it, offering it and receiving it. To enable us to live into the practice we will ponder what forgiveness is and is not in the scriptures and other spiritual writings. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on forgiveness in their own lives and focus on some ways to move deeper into the practice and experience. Bring a journal!

Sr. Elizabeth delights in accompanying people in their faith journeys through retreat leadership, teaching spiritual practices and providing spiritual direction. She is co-founder of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an ecumenical religious community for people of all genders. An Episcopal priest for the last 20 years, she came to ministry in response to perceiving a deep need of God’s life-giving presence to heal the hearts and lives of those with whom she worked in a secular setting. In recent years Sr. Elizabeth has been drawn to focusing on forgiveness as essential to Christian life and journey whether one seeks healing and transformation for oneself or the ability to love and be loved more fully in relationship to God, neighbor and self.

Cost: $275, deposit: $80

Yoga in a Contemplative Setting

Tuesday, March 8 – Friday, March 11

:: Led by Heather Goodchild

Limited to 12 participants.

This retreat is an opportunity to learn and practice yoga in a contemplative, prayerful setting. Interweaving our yoga sessions with the daily services of the monastic community, we will enjoy classes to Gregorian chant and other early music. Additional time will be devoted to meditation, integrating traditional yogic breathing and themes from centering prayer. Our days will close with a restorative segment. Weather permitting, we’ll venture out for a walk along nearby trails.

This retreat is open to all levels, including those with little yoga experience, as well as active seniors. Modifications to poses will be provided for participants’ specific needs, and individual guidance will be available to further your yoga practice. Participants will take away a well-balanced yoga sequence to build their practice and maintain well-being.

Participants will need to bring a yoga mat, two yoga blocks, and a yoga strap. A blanket is strongly recommended for meditation and restorative segments.

Heather Goodchild teaches yoga at Grace Church, Brooklyn, New York, and is trained in the Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa traditions. Her teaching experience spans all levels, with an emphasis on adapting yoga to individual needs. She has completed advanced teacher training in adaptive yoga, yoga for arthritis, and yoga for osteoporosis. She is also a violist in the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, and an avid hiker.

Cost: $320, deposit: $80

“With My Body I Thee Worship…”

Tuesday, March 15 – Friday, March 18

:: Led by Br. Robert Sevensky

These words, drawn from the 1662 marriage rite of the Church of England, remind us that divine worship is always embodied and invites the participation of the whole person. This retreat will examine Christian spiritual practices that engage the body and the senses. It will include breath awareness, chanting, posture (standing, bowing, kneeling), gestures, movement (pilgrimage, Stations of the Cross) sacramental and devotional materials (bread, wine, water, oil, palms, lights, incense) vestments and vesture, and praying with objects or images. How can an awareness of our bodies at prayer open us to God’s presence and power?

Cost: $285, deposit: $80

Your Life as Story

Friday, March 18 – Sunday, March 20

:: Led by Beverly Donofrio

Limited to 10 participants.

Are you stuck, looking for a way in, unable to figure out how to proceed, wondering how to make a cohesive story and a compelling read from the raw material that is your life? To master memoirist Beverly Donofrio writing is about diving deep to find your truth, and then shaping your experiences into a story others will not want to put down: because your truth, pain, shame, obsessions, help them face their own. And because telling your story not only has the potential to heal the teller, but the reader, too.
Beverly will offer in-class exercises designed to unearth memory and approach your material in a safe, fun, and original way. She will instruct you in the craft of plot, setting, and reflection, teach you how to move back and forth in time seamlessly and to write detailed, visually descriptive language.

Beverly Donofrio has published three memoirs: her first, The New York Times bestseller, Riding in Cars with Boys, was made into a popular movie; her second, Looking for Mary was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Book; and her latest, Astonished, is still collecting accolades. She has also published three children’s books. Her essays have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Spirituality and Health, Oprah Magazine, Huffington Post and Slate. Her NPR documentaries can be heard through Sound Portraits. She has taught creative nonfiction workshops across the United States and is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University. Ms. Donofrio lives in Wood¬stock, NY, where she is writing the libretto to a musical based on Astonished. You can read or access some of her essays at her website, beverlydonofrio.com.

Cost: $300, deposit: $80

The Three Great Days – Holy Week at the Monastery

Thursday, March 24 – Sunday, March 27

:: with the Monastic Community

Join the monastic community in a distinctive observance of the central event of the liturgical year – from Maundy Thursday with the washing of the feet, through Good Friday and the procession of to the Cross, and onward to the exaltation of the Great Vigil and the sunrise celebration of Easter Sunday.

Cost: $285, deposit: $80

Easter Week Clergy Retreat: Re-Joice, Re-Plenish, Re-Create, Re-Lax

Wednesday, March 30 – Friday, April 1

:: Led by Rev’d Gwyneth Murphy

God saw fit to rest after a week of intense productivity, so why shouldn’t clergy rest after the intensity of Holy Week and Easter? This retreat is a Sabbath of spacious time in the peace of the monastery and the beauty of the Hudson River. The brothers and staff will see to leaflets, music, candles, coffee and people’s needs. While there will be opportunities to reflect, pray and have fun with fellow clergy, you can also just nap, sit by the river, read a book or knit. (Fun includes social hour, hiking, exploring local towns and who knows what else …)

If you have been “meaning to get to the monastery one of these years” this may be the time. There are jigsaw puzzles to complete, a Labyrinth to walk, a library to peruse, chanting at the daily office, exceptional food, places inside and out to sit and read …all in the context of Benedictine spirituality and hospitality.

The Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy is Interim Pastor at Church of the Good Shepherd in Granite Springs, NY, a Retreat Leader, Spiritual Director and Sacred Dancer.

Cost: $235, deposit: $80

Spiritual Pilgrimage Of The Later Years Of Life: Meeting God in Times of Change

:: Led by Br. Wayne J. Fitzpatrick, MM

Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3

As people of faith and followers of Jesus we are still on the journey of spiritual growth, still with potential and whose life continues to have within it promise for, and connection to the future. During these days of retreat we will explore the spiritual and personal journey we take into the later years of life. What is the wisdom we want to synthesize from a long life of experiences as women and men of faith and formulate this into a legacy for future generations? How have we used and continue to use the gifts God has given us as people of faith and prayer? Approaching or experiencing the Christian life and especially the later years of life we encounter and face tremendous change and transition. This retreat will touch upon these experiences as we meet God in times of transition.

Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick, Maryknoll Missioner, holds an M.A. Degree in Theology, Maryknoll School of Theology, an M.S. Degree in Pastoral Counseling, Loyola University of Maryland, and a Certificate in Geriatric Care Management from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA. He is a Certified Retirement Planning Specialist and has given workshops on retirement, aging and spirituality to religious and diocesan groups in the U.S., Africa, Asia and Latin America. Br. Wayne serves on a variety of boards and committees throughout North America and is presently Managing Director of Aging and Transition Services for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

Cost: $275; deposit: $80

Converging on Omega: The Mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin

Thursday, April 7 – Sunday, April 10

:: Led by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, with Rev. Matthew Wright

In this retreat, which will end on the 61st anniversary of Teilhard’s death, we will concentrate on how the mystical vision he first glimpsed during his stretcher-bearer days in World War I became the pole star guiding his entire life, and particularly the approach to his own death, as he found himself increasingly subsumed in Christ. Readings will be drawn from Mass on the WorldThe Divine Milieu, Hymn of the Universe, and The Heart of Matter. Suggested preparatory reading is Teilhard’s  Mysticism, by Kathleen Duffy.

Cynthia is a member of the Global Peace Initiative for Women Contemplative Council and recipient of the 2014 Contemplative Voices award from Shalem Institute. She is a founding director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. She continues to contribute to The Contemplative Society in her role as Principal Teacher and advisor. Cynthia is the author of eight books (The Holy Trinity and the Law of ThreeThe Meaning of Mary MagdaleneThe Wisdom JesusCentering Prayer and Inner AwakeningMystical HopeThe Wisdom Way of KnowingChanting the Psalms, and Love is Stronger than Death) and is currently one of the core faculty members at The Living School for Action and Contemplation.

Cost: $415; deposit: $80

Making a Difference: A Course for Those Who Minister

Tuesday, April 19 – Friday, April 22

:: Offered by the Mastery Foundation

This is an advanced, interfaith workshop for both lay and ordained persons, in church settings and wherever you serve others. It will challenge you to rethink what is possible for yourself and for your ministry, and it will provide you with the tools to successfully bring about a future that is a match for your vision and commitment.

In ministry there is seldom time to step aside and look behind our decisions, our habits and practices, to examine how we make choices, how we relate to ourselves and others. If we were to take the time, what would we see about how we approach our work, about the frameworks from which we think, about how we study and learn, about how we relate to others?

This course challenges old assumptions and creates new tools to empower you to deal effectively with the issues that are most basic and urgent to ministry—the daily business of fully living out your calling, making thoughtful choices, relating powerfully to others, and having your life and ministry make the difference you want them to make.

Rather than providing answers, tips or rules, Making a Difference provides you with the tools to create a new and direct access to your own power and effectiveness. These tools enable you to move beyond the constraints placed on you—whether by yourself or by others and to find new power to shape what is possible for the future. As a result, you will experience a dramatic increase in your effectiveness and a new ability to make the difference you are committed to making. For more information contact Sr. Shane Phelan: revdrshane@gmail.com. Register directly through the Mastery Foundation: http://www.masteryfoundation.org/interfaith/schedule/index.php

Cost: $535, deposit: $120

April Garden Days

Tuesday, April 26 – Friday, April 29

:: Led by Br. Will Owen

Limited to six participants.

Join the monastic community in the Benedictine rhythm of work and prayer, help us maintain and restore our garden spaces, and enjoy the beauty of the Hudson Valley in spring. We will have morning and afternoon work periods as well as time for the Office, rest, and recreation.

No payment is required, though your donation in any amount will be gladly accepted to support our life and work. Please e-mail Brother Will (will@hcmnet.org) with any questions.

Gold from the Silver Screen: Resurrection, the Core of Our Faith

Tuesday, April 26 – Friday, April 29

:: Led by Rev. Masud Ibn Syedullah and Rev. Garrett Mettler

In today’s popular culture, spirituality is frequently explored in cinema. Conversations on social media, TV, and radio increasingly take on spiritual themes following the release of a provocative motion picture. During this retreat, participants will use the lens of film to explore the core message of Christian faith and life: resurrection – the power of God to renew, restore, heal, and bring new life.

Three contemporary films – Awakening, Peaceful Warrior, and Woman in Gold – will approach the theme of resurrection, each from a different angle. There will be times for reflection and discussion, personal prayer and meditation, all for the purpose of moving us deeper into our faith and God’s goodness.

The Rev. Masud Ibn Syedullah TSSF, Founder and Director of Roots & Branches: Programs for Spiritual Growth, a ministry resource for individuals and communities of faith (www.rootsandbranchesprograms.org). An Episcopal priest of the Diocese of New York, he creates and leads an array of conferences, retreats, pilgrimages, and other events to support spiritual formation.

The Rev. Garrett Mettler, Associate, Roots & Branches is an Episcopal priest and former journalist interested in creating more intersections between Christian wisdom and secular culture. While serving in congregations he has taught and written about how to apply faith practices in everyday life. In his ministry as a school chaplain, he has worked to strengthen inter-generational relationships, bringing the insights, creativity and curiosity of youth and adults together in mutually encouraging ways.

Cost: $335, deposit: $80

Spring Library Retreat

Tuesday, April 26 – Friday, April 29

:: Led by Br. Bernard Delcourt

Join enthusiastic volunteers for a labor of love – and balance work, prayer and recreation – as we continue the rewarding tasks of caring for and cataloging over 20,000 volumes.

Cost: $200, deposit: $80

This Beautiful Wound: The Mystics And Grief

:: Led by Mirabai Starr

Tuesday, May 3 – Friday, May 6

The sixteenth century Spanish saint, Teresa of Avila, speaks of “the beautiful wound” of longing for God, describing this depth of suffering as a doorway to union with her Beloved.  John of the Cross, Teresa’s contemporary, coined the term “dark night of the soul” and developed a teaching that shows us how to surrender to radical unknowing and allow ourselves to be stripped of all that stands between our souls and the Divine.  These and other mystics see deep sorrow as a great spiritual blessing, rather than as a problem requiring a solution.

In this gathering, we will engage in contemplative reading, deep dialog, writing exercises and guided meditation to cultivate the tenderness and courage required to explore the places where our losses invite us into deeper aliveness and radiant joy.

Mirabai Starr writes, speaks and leads retreats on the inter-spiritual teach­ings of the mystics.

Known for her rev­o­lu­tion­ary trans­la­tions of John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Julian of Nor­wich, Mirabai ren­ders mys­ti­cal mas­ter­pieces acces­si­ble, beau­ti­ful, and rel­e­vant to a con­tem­po­rary cir­cle of seek­ers. Her com­men­taries on the inter­con­nected wis­dom of all tra­di­tions are lyri­cal and evocative.

Mirabai builds bridges not only between reli­gious tra­di­tions, but also between con­tem­pla­tive life and com­pas­sion­ate ser­vice, between cul­ti­vat­ing an inner rela­tion­ship with the Beloved and express­ing that inti­macy in com­mu­nity, between the trans­for­ma­tional power of loss and long­ing for the sacred.

Cost: $415, deposit: $80

Introduction To Icon Writing

:: Led by Christine Hales

Friday, May 6 – Sunday, May 8

Learn the Byzantine method of using egg tempera on gessoed panels to paint an icon. Experience this rich spiritual experience through the step by step teaching of iconography taught by artist and iconographer Christine Simoneau Hales.  No matter what your art experience, or lack of, you will be skillfully supported and guided through the process of creating your expression of this ancient art form.

Christine Hales is an iconographer whose icons are at Saint Vincent’s Church in Albany and the Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, NY. As well as in many private collections. She has taught icon writing workshops for over 10 years, and her style of icon writing is both contemporary and honoring to the ancient traditions of iconography.  For more information, visit www.newchristianicons.com.

Cost: $365, deposit: $80

Practicing These Principles: A Twelve-Step Retreat

:: Led by Sr. Shane Phelan, CMA

Friday, May 6 – Sunday, May 8

Our Twelfth Step reminds us to “practice these principles in all our affairs.” But what exactly are the principles we are to practice? How do we go about practicing? This retreat will enable us to discover the principles, to share how they are transforming our lives, and to learn from one another how to deepen our practice. Through meeting time, reflection, and informal sharing we will deepen our awareness and our gratitude for recovery, and gain courage to continue on the way.

This retreat is open to members of all 12-step recovery groups. Through encounters with members of other groups we learn more about our common disease of addiction, and share the gifts of diverse approaches. This is not a place to learn about addiction; we share in confidence that we are sharing with others in recovery.

Sr. Shane Phelan has been working on her recovery for over 30 years, and leads recovery retreats on a regular basis. For more information contact Sr. Shane at revdrshane@gmail.com.

Cost: $275, deposit: $80

Eastertide Contemplative Days

Tuesday, May 10 – Friday, May 13

 Limited to 15 participants.

 Join the brothers in this time of complete silence, with no programs or spiritual direction offered and a reduced worship schedule.

Cost: $225, deposit: $80

Holy Listening

:: Led by Sr. Elizabeth Broyles, CMA

Tuesday, May 17 – Friday, May 20

Listen with the ear of the heart, Benedict counsels. Come for this time of listening deeply for God in your life through contemplative prayer practices as a foundation for group spiritual direction.  “Holy Listening” is a process in which each person shares for a time about his or her spiritual journey as all prayerfully receive.  In turn, group members share what they hear which might speak to the Spirit’s movement.  Interwoven with periods of silent prayer, this is an opportunity to touch in deeply with the presence of God in our lives through our own and others’ experience.  This retreat is limited to 12 participants.

Sr. Elizabeth has been accompanying people in their faith journeys through retreat leadership and spiritual direction for the last 15 years. An Episcopal priest, Elizabeth is also co-founder of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an ecumenical religious community for people of all genders.

Cost: $310, deposit: $80

Loving the World: Photography as Spiritual Practice

Tuesday, May 17 – Friday, May 20

:: Led by Paul Kimmerling

Is it possible to see the world anew, with wonder and curiosity? To re-present our surroundings as we find them, without judgment…indeed, with love?

Join us as we take an “inside-out” approach to seeing the world and taking photographs. In this weekday retreat, you will engage in contemplative practices as well as digital photography, to strengthen the connection between our inner lives and our capacity to see the world as we find it. Such a connection — between our outer vision and inner being — has been explored by photographers, philosophers, and poets through the ages as well as mystics such as Rumi, Meister Eckhart, and St. Francis.

This retreat is ideal for those who would like to refresh their love of photography, as well as those who are new to making digital pictures. No level of proficiency is required. It is also ideal for those who want to revitalize their spiritual practice through the pursuit of an artistic medium.

Come and explore the grounds at Holy Cross Monastery, including our shoreline on the Hudson. Take pictures with your digital camera or smartphone camera. Engage in photography as a contemplative practice.

Paul Kimmerling is a retreat and workshop leader, spiritual director and practitioner of contemplative photography. His current programs include “Live the Questions”, a weeklong retreat on the lives of Sts. Francis and Clare, in Assisi, Italy, and “Loving the World: Photography as Spiritual Practice”.  Through 2012, he was a lay leader at Christ the King, Stone Ridge, and St Andrew’s, New Paltz, where he contributed programing and preaching. He is a board member of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, a religious community of Episcopal women, in West Park, NY. Read more about Paul and his offerings at http://www.paulkimmerling.com/.

Cost: $310, deposit: $80

Rekindle! A Retreat For Young Clergy

Thursday, May 19 – Sunday, May 22

:: Led by Br. Joseph Wallace-Williams

Clergy go to Christ’s members in hospitals, schools, and the larger community in which we live, where silence and solitude are virtually nonexistent, and where the calendar, appointments, and personal relationships dictate our lives. Our commitment to The Church and to God’s people is anchored in the love relationship with Christ. It is that love, sustained by contemplation of Christ, which has called us to this ministry and way of life.

Come rekindle your relationship with Christ on a retreat specifically intended for young clergy in their 20’s and 30’s. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in periods of silence, Lectio Divina, group Bible study, reflection, and participation in the corporate worship life of the monastic community.

Cost: $335, deposit: $80

Tracing the Spiral:  Exploring Celtic Christian Heritage

Friday, May 20 – Sunday, May 22

:: Led by James Ruff

Things Celtic seem to be appearing frequently in our culture – in music, art, jewelry, movies – as well as in spirituality. In fact, Celtic spiritual tradition is deeply embedded in our own Anglican Christianity. The ancient Celts prized deep connections with nature and the divine wisdom hidden within it – in the rocks, plants and animals that share our world, as well as in our souls and physical bodies. Due to current upheavals in our earth’s climate as well as in human society, a deep yearning for a different way seems to be emerging in many of us, which may find resonance in the wisdom of our Celtic Christian ancestors. In this retreat, we will look at the writings of early Celtic Christian theologians as well as excerpts from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of early Celtic prayers from the Hebrides. Through prayer, chant, Celtic harp music, Celtic song, story, and time spent walking and praying in nature, we will seek to deepen our awareness of Christ’s presence, within ourselves and in all that surrounds us.

James Ruff is a professional singer and harper specializing in music for voice and harp from Gaelic Scotland and Ireland.  A speaker of Scottish Gaelic and a member of the Episcopal Church since 2000, he has also been involved with the Ceile De (Culdee) Order – a Celtic Christian monastic order centered in Scotland – for ten years.  He has sung as soloist with many early music groups, opera companies and festivals throughout the US and in Europe, teaches Music: Voice at Vassar College, and has been Director of Music since 2004 at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge, NY.  Find out more at: www.jamesrufftenorharper.com.

Cost: $275, deposit: $80

Skills for Spiritual Guidance

Tuesday, May 24 – Friday, May 27

:: Led by Rev. Martin L. Smith

Join us for a workshop designed to help pastors integrate skills from the art of spiritual direction into their regular pastoral work. One of the drawbacks of making spiritual direction a specialist ministry has been a tendency to overlook opportunities for spiritual formation and guidance in everyday pastoral life, and to downplay spiritual guidance as an intrinsic element in the pastoral vocation. We will focus on skills to help those who come to us with pastoral needs to pray through their challenges, and look at ways of incorporating short-time spiritual direction into our regular pattern of ministry. Lay pastors are welcome to participate as well as ordained clergy.

Fr. Martin L. Smith is well know throughout the Episcopal Church and beyond for his explorations of contemporary spirituality through workshops, retreats and preaching, and widely read books including, The Word is Very Near You, A Season for the Spirit, Reconciliation, Compass and Stars, Love Set Free and recently, with the Rev. Julia Gatta, Go in Peace: the Art of Hearing Confessions. He has over thirty years of experience in training and supervising preachers and spiritual directors. Now retired, he makes Washington, DC his base for a roving ministry of spiritual formation and teaching.

Cost: $345, deposit: $80

Praying the Body: A Gardening Retreat

Tuesday, May 24 – Friday, May 27

:: Led by Br. Will Owen

Limited to 8 participants.

Using the Holy Cross gardens as our workshop, we will focus on the body as a tool and locus for prayer. We’ll work in the garden each day practicing our prayer, and will also take time to reflect on that practice through the lens of Christian spirituality. The retreat will include an afternoon trip to Innisfree Garden in Millbrook, NY. No gardening experience is necessary. Please feel free, should you wish, to bring your favorite garden tools, plants to add to the garden, or a journal.

Cost: $285, deposit: $80

A Guided Tour of Narnia

Friday, May 27 – Sunday, May 29

:: Led by Rev. Dr. Robert MacSwain

“The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) have delighted millions of children and adults, both religious and non-religious, since their publication in the middle of the 20th century. They have been adapted for stage and screen, and their characters have even appeared upon British postage stamps. For many readers, they are stories familiar since childhood. However, recent studies by Laura Miller, Michael Ward, and Rowan Williams have cast fresh light on these beloved tales, opening new depths and raising challenging questions about their enduring legacy. This retreat will offer a “guided tour” of Narnia for 21st-century readers, questioning some common assumptions and showing that the magical land still has much to offer those who wish to visit it, either for the first time or on a repeated journey.

The Rev. Dr. Robert MacSwain is Associate Professor of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of several books, including The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Cost: $350, deposit: $80

Your Life as Story

Friday, May 27 – Sunday, May 29

Led by Beverly Donofrio

 Limited to 10 participants.

 Are you stuck, looking for a way in, unable to figure out how to proceed, wondering how to make a cohesive story and a compelling read from the raw material that is your life? To master memoirist Beverly Donofrio writing is about diving deep to find your truth, and then shaping your experiences into a story others will not want to put down: because your truth, pain, shame, obsessions, help them face their own. And because telling your story not only has the potential to heal the teller, but the reader, too.

Beverly will offer in-class exercises designed to unearth memory and approach your material in a safe, fun, and original way. She will instruct you in the craft of plot, setting, and reflection, teach you how to move back and forth in time seamlessly and to write detailed, visually descriptive language.

Beverly Donofrio has published three memoirs: her first, The New York Times bestseller, Riding in Cars with Boys, was made into a popular movie; her second, Looking for Mary was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Book; and her latest, Astonished, is still collecting accolades. She has also published three children’s books. Her essays have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Spirituality and Health, Oprah Magazine, Huffington Post and Slate. Her NPR documentaries can be heard through Sound Portraits. She has taught creative nonfiction workshops across the United States and is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University. Ms. Donofrio lives in Wood­stock, NY, where she is writing the libretto to a musical based on Astonished. You can read or access some of her essays at her website, beverlydonofrio.com.

Cost: $300, deposit: $80

Renewing our Spirits in God’s Creation: Hiking in the Hudson Valley

Tuesday, May 31 – Friday, June 3

:: Led by Br. Peter Rostron and Rev. Chris Wendell

Limited to 8 participants.

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God,” writes G.M. Hopkins.  Yet so many of us live alienated from the beauty and power of the natural world around us.  Join Br. Peter and The Rev. Chris Wendell for several day hikes along the Hudson River and in the Catskill Mountains. As we enjoy the rivers and mountains, flora and fauna around us, we will carry in our hearts the question of “What is our place within this fragile earth?”  Our guides for discussion and reflection on this journey will be the trees and the trails, along with poets, naturalists and spiritual writers such as Mary Oliver, John Muir, Pope Francis, and those whose writings inspire you to greater enjoyment of and respect for God’s creation.

Please bring appropriate clothing, footwear, and other gear (water bottles, sunglasses, daypack, etc.) for hikes ranging in length from 2 to 8 miles, rain or shine. Some hikes may include steep, rocky trails with elevation gains of up to 1800 feet. You are also invited to bring tools for personal expression, such as journals, sketchpads, or cameras.

The Rev. Chris Wendell is the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Bedford, MA, and a lover of the natural world.  For the past several years, he and St. Paul’s have been active participants in the Creation Care Initiative in the diocese of Massachusetts, and in exploring ways to live in greater harmony with the entirety of God’s creation. 

Cost: $335, deposit: $80

Finding the Sacred through Poetry: Lectio Divina and the Joy of Diving Deep

Tuesday, May 31 – Friday, June 3

Led by Kim Langley

Lectio Divina refers to prayerful reading; it is a three-part, meditative method that lends itself perfectly to the act of discovering our deeper selves through poetry just as it does through scripture. In this retreat, participants will lean in to the process of lectio and encounter some exceptional poems for spiritual enrichment. There is no expectation that retreatants will write their own poems, although journal time will be given.  There will be a nice balance of time alone and in sharing. Themes that we will explore include the lovely imperfect, wabi sabi spirituality, and personal transformation through trials and joys. Poets who will invite us to find delight even in an imperfect world during this retreat will include Mary Oliver, Billy Collins and Theodore Roethke.

Kim has an M.Ed. from Duquesne University in Religious Education and a B.A. in English, with a cluster in poetry from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She is also a certified Spiritual Director through the Haden Institute. Kim facilitates many retreats and workshops annually and is president of her own speaking/training/coaching company, LifeBalance Enterprises. Kim is a Certified Pastoral Minister and is a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland. Her avocation and passion for the past 10 years is facilitation of programs that introduce seekers of all kinds to praying with poetry. Learn more about Kim’s ministry at WordSPA.net.

Cost: $310, deposit: $80

Summer Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, June 14 – Friday, June 17

:: Led by the Monastic Community & Friends

*short written assignment before the retreat begins
*limited registration

Spend some time with a director and a good deal of time in silence.  This is a retreat in which prayer and silence will be practiced as an invitation for deeper union with God and in which each participant will work with a spiritual director chosen by the monastic community.

Cost: $325, deposit: $80

June Garden Days

Tuesday, June 14 – Friday, June 17

:: Led by Br. Will Owen

Limited to six participants.

Join the monastic community in the Benedictine rhythm of work and prayer, help us maintain and restore our garden spaces, and enjoy the beauty of the Hudson Valley in summer. We will have morning and afternoon work periods as well as time for the Office, rest, and recreation.

No payment is required, though your donation in any amount will be gladly accepted to support our life and work. Please e-mail Brother Will (will@hcmnet.org) with any questions.

Alexander Technique

Friday, June 17 – Sunday, June 19

:: Led by Dan Cayer

This retreat features three days of intensive yet relaxing work using the Alexander Technique, a 100-year-old method aimed at improving the way the body is used. A few of the many benefits of the technique are learning how to reduce tension and stress, improving posture, and managing pain. Those who may benefit from the technique are people in pain, those with physical restrictions, those who want to improve their posture, performers, musicians, athletes, and those interested in the mind/body connection. The workshop will be full of hands-on work, dialogue, in-depth learning, and fun. All levels are welcome, from beginners to those who have studied the technique extensively. Why not take time for yourself in a special time, in a special place, and find a healthy mind/body balance?

Dan Cayer is a nationally-certified Alexander Technique teacher working in the field of pain, injury, and stress. He brings the unique experience of a life-changing injury and extensive mindfulness training to help students become less stuck in their bodies. After a serious injury left Dan unable to work or carry out household tasks, like cleaning dishes, he began studying the Alexander Technique. His return to health, as well as his deep experience with the physical, mental and emotional aspects of pain, inspired him to help others. Dan now teaches the Technique as a method of recovering balance and well-being. He has conducted workshops in New York, Las Vegas, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Dan’s website at www.dancayerfluidmovement.com.

Fees are $385 for tuition, room and board. The fee for commuters is $275. For more information, please visit www.createabalance.org. To register or ask questions, please contact Julie Donato at 845-227-2706 or JulieMB@prodigy.net.

Way of the Rose

Led by Clark Strand

Friday, June 17 – Sunday, June 19

Roses are older than human beings, millions of years older, and the rosary’s roots are deep in the earth. Emerging in the Middle Ages as a way of grafting devotion to the Virgin onto older forms of Goddess worship, the rosary spread quickly throughout the world—a subtly subversive folk practice that is both dirt simple and sky high. For those confronted by the frightening realities of ecological collapse…for Catholics who seek a saner relationship to the body…for pilgrims on the path of the divine feminine—here is an ancient devotion  that offers intimacy with nature and each other and ourselves. Held in the rosary—with its circular pattern of birth, death and rebirth—is the path of sanity and ecological sobriety we traveled on for a million years or more—a path we can still find our way back to once we take up a rosary and allow Our Lady to lead us by the hand. This is The Way of the Rose.

This workshop will invite participants to experience a Way of the Rose fellowship meeting.  We will make rosaries together and share the prayers that allow us to feel held by our Mother, the Mother of all. This workshop is appropriate for people of all religious persuasions—and anyone who feels the need in their lives for something to hold on to.

Clark Strand, a former senior editor at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, has been studying the world’s spiritual traditions for more than thirty years. The author of Waking the BuddhaMeditation Without GurusHow to Believe in God, and Seeds from a Birch Tree, Strand has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post/Newsweek “On Faith” blog. He is the founder of Way of the Rose, a growing nonsectarian rosary fellowship open to people of any spiritual background, with members around the world. He lives on a dark road with no streetlights in the southern Catskill Mountains.

Cost: $295, deposit: $80

Summer Associates Retreat

Tuesday, July 5 – Friday, July 8

:: Led by Br. Randy Greve

Check this page for an upcoming description.

Cost: $225, deposit: $80

Summer Contemplative Days

Tuesday, July 12 – Friday, July 15

Limited to 15 participants.

Join the brothers in this time of complete silence, with no programs or spiritual direction offered and a reduced worship schedule.

Cost: $225, deposit: $80

Holy Discontent: Finding Meaning in Spiritual Pot Holes

Tuesday, July 19 – Saturday, July 23

:: Led by Christopher McCauley

How might we name the great spiritual discontent that finds its way into each of  us at some point in our life?  Is it possible to engage this ‘hunger’ and find meaning in its presence?  Audaciously, might we even need this disturbance to our inner peace for the very sake of our happiness?  Join us for this deep exploration of the “spiritual pot holes” that may either leave us stuck or become a portal for welcome change in life–right now. We will learn specific techniques to identify our Holy Discontent and its invitation to response and revelation.  Take a “long loving look” at your own life challenges and what may be the sources of new calling and life, and then prayerfully and gently explore how you can move through this discontent to a place of joy and happiness that is life-giving for you and those with whom you share your life.  We will use talks, safe sharing, music, contemplation and prayer in this process. This retreat is facilitated in a style that is both interactive and enjoyable.

Christopher McCauley is the former Chair of Spiritual Director’s International. the first global learning network of spiritual directors in history, and is Executive Director Emeritus at Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality in Pasadena, California. He is a contemplative Christian with a deep respect for the wisdom of the world’s great spiritual traditions. Christopher leads retreats and pilgrimages both in the US and in the world. He lives in Pasadena, California.

Cost: $495, deposit: $120

July Garden Days

July, Tuesday 19 – July,Friday 22

::  Led by Br. Will Owen

Limited to six participants.

Join the monastic community in the Benedictine rhythm of work and prayer, help us maintain and restore our garden spaces, and enjoy the beauty of the Hudson Valley in summer. We will have morning and afternoon work periods as well as time for the Office, rest, and recreation.

No payment is required, though your donation in any amount will be gladly accepted to support our life and work. Please e-mail Brother Will (will@hcmnet.org) with any questions.

“Body Home” Yoga

Thursday, July 21 – Sunday, July 24

:: Led by Heather Palmer

The body is home. It’s easier to dismiss this: to run away, refuse to accept, fight or delay the reality of our home. But to listen—to Self, to God, to the world, we must have a vehicle within which to hear, and we must cultivate that vehicle for listening.

This workshop focuses on opening the heart in backbending and releasing the heart through hip openers so that we might come to listen. “Nulalla”, Palmer Ann, leads practice with spontaneous movement, articulately designed postures, prayer and meditation. With two practices a day the body prepares to attend. To pray. The intentionality and service of the religious at Holy Cross Monastery creates a space both safe and sacred, ideal for preparing the Self for deep opening. Holy Cross provides single rooms so that you might have the privacy to go in. Come home.

Heather practices yoga as art. She believes the movement of yoga is both science and dance, linear and circular. Growing up in a religious family in the farmlands of Pennsylvania, she carried her roots through a nomadic life in Chicago and, finally, to New York, where she lives now. The biggest realization of her life is this simple truth: Everything comes from and returns to Love, and of all that yoga is, yoga is this reminder of our source in Love. Heather believes yoga reflects and manifests all that is within, and through the practice, especially one grounded in play and prayer, she has learned to remember this Love. She yearns and loves to share yoga in all its beauty.

Cost: $350, deposit: $80