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.

 

Making a Difference: A Course for Those Who Minister

Tuesday, May 23 – Friday, May 26

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, habits, and practices in order to examine how we make choices and how we relate to ourselves and to 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

Cost: $525, deposit: $120

 

Your Life as Story

Led by Beverly Donofrio

Friday, May 26 – Sunday, May 28

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, adn 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. Visit beverlydonofrio.com to read some of her essays.

Cost: $350, deposit: $80

 

Summer Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, June 13 -Friday, June 16

Led by the Monastic Community & Friends

*limited registration Spend some time with a director and a good deal of time in silence.

*short written assignment before the retreat begins

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: $340, deposit: $80

 

June Garden Days

Tuesday, June 13 -Friday, June 16

Led by Br. Aidan Owen

Limited to 8 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 the fall. We will have morning and afternoon work periods as well as time for the Office, rest, and recreation. No payment is required, although your donation in any amount will be gladly accepted to support our life and work.

 

Quest by Question

Friday, June 16 – Sunday, June 18

Led by Paul Kimmerling and Sr. Elizabeth Broyles, CMA

For millennia, we humans have grappled with the great questions that arise on the spiritual quest. The scriptures grapple, too. What is my relationship with God? My sisters and brothers? Creation? “Am I my brother’s keeper?” asks Cain of God. Jesus queries the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”

Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice, “be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves,” points us to a powerful way to journey. Come and practice this with us. Listen soulfully with others on the Way as we explore our nourishing and challenging questions. Bring your own questions, your curiosity, and a journal.

Sr. Elizabeth Broyles, CMA, is a spiritual director and retreat leader, A lifelong Christian and an Episcopal priest, she has passionately followed her own questions in concert with several other spiritual paths among world religious traditions. She delights in the adventure of journeying with others who are on the quest for a deeper, whole-self encounter with the Divine—Knowable and Unknowable. She is co-founder of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an ecumenical community that welcomes people of all genders.

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 Saints 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 Board President of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an emerging ecumenical community in Accord, IVE. Read more about Paul and his is offerings at paulkimmerling.com.

Cost: $300, deposit: $80

 

Alexander Technique

Friday, June 16 – Sunday, June 18

Led by Dan Cayer

 Friday, June 16 – Sunday, June 18

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, such as washing 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 dancayerfluidmovement.com. Cost: $385 for tuition, room and board; for commuters, $275.To register or ask questions, please contact Julie Donato at 845-227-2706 or  JulieMB@prodigy.net.

 

Iconography Drawing Workshop

Thursday June 29 – Sunday July 2

Led by Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova

After teaching a number of workshops, where we led our students through the whole process of icon-painting, we see a necessity to introduce more specialized workshops, fully dedicated the most essential skill for iconographers: drawing.

During the 3.5 days we plan to let our students gain the ability to understand the form-building process. We will also teach the main principles of drawing with pencil and a brush. Drawing is basic for any good image, but even if after the workshop you will want to continue to paint using linear drawing on paper, you will understand it much better after attending this specialized workshop.

This particular workshop is universal, it fits both advanced students and beginners.

Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova are founders of Sacred Murals Studio (Saint Petersburg, Russia). Philip has an M.A. in State Fine Art from the Academy of Saint Petersburg. He is a professional, second-generation iconographer with more than 15 years of experience and a professor at the Institute of Theology and Sacred Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Olga Shalamova has an M.A. In State Fine Art from the Academy of Saint Petersburg. She is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia, chief artist of the embroidery workshop at Feodorovsky cathedral in Saint Petersburg, and an active participant of exhibitions of contemporary ecclesiastical art.

For all questions, regarding the workshop, please, contact Philip Davydov via email: phildavydov@gmail.com  or  visit  Sacred Murals Studio

Cost: $650, deposit: $120

Cost includes teaching, lodging and 3 meals a day at the monastery, materials and instruments, used for the time of the workshop.

 

Summer Associates Retreat

Tuesday, July 4 – Friday, July 7

Led by Led by Josép Martínez-Cubero and members of the Monastic Community

This will be an opportunity for the members of our associates together for study and recreation with members of the Order.

Cost: $240, deposit: $80

 

Summer Contemplative Days

Tuesday, July 18 – Friday, July 21

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: $240, deposit: $80

 

Introduction to Icon Writing

Led by Christine Hales

Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23

The practice of Icon writing is based on praying before, during and finishing painting a sacred image.  That Image is usually a Holy Person, Christ, a Gospel story etc. that takes on new life through the creation of the Icon. Using the ancient method of painting with egg tempera we will create a simple Icon in the Byzantine Style.

You do not have to be an artist to write Icons! Christine Hales will guide you step by step through each stage of the process, providing demonstrations and lectures that will help you create your own Icon.

Icon materials are provided by the instructor and we can join in with the monastic cycle of daily prayer and Eucharist as part of the Icon writing process!

Christine Hales is a well-loved teacher and iconographer whose icon commissions are at St. Vincent’s Church in Albany, the Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, NE and many private collections. She has taught icon-writing workshops for over ten years, and her style of icon writing is both contemporary and honors the ancient traditions of iconography. For more information, visit newchristianicons.com.

Cost: $420; deposit: $120

 

The guesthouse will be closed from 31 July – 24 August.

 

Leading Love

Friday, September 1 – Sunday, September 3

Led by Dr. Patrick B. Reyes

Our bodies carry the stories of our lives and experiences, which may be hidden, archived or ignored. The formation practices and frameworks provided over the course of two and a half days help you become aware of all that exists within, while learning to embrace love for your body, your story, your community and for others.

The retreat is designed for the community and institutional leaders, educators,  healers, or those searching for practices of communal discernment and transformation within themselves, institutions, and their communities. We will unearth the stories held in our bodies to discover how we might heal and lead our communities and institutions in life-giving work. You will walk alongside expert facilitators, who have years of experience working among communities of color suffering from systemic and interpersonal violence and designing programs of discovery and healing.

Dr. Patrick B. Reyes is a Latinx practical theologian, educator, administrator, and institutional strategist. He currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives at the Forum for Theological Exploration (fteleaders.org). His expertise is helping communities, organizations, and individuals excavate their stories to create strategies and practices that promote their thriving. He consults, speaks, and offers workshops for communities seeking to embody their vision of justice and peace.

He is the author of the book, Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood (2016).

Cost: $ 350, deposit: $80

 

Words Matter: A Conversation About Theological Language and its Impact

Tuesday September 12- Friday September 15

Led by Rev. Lyn G. Brakeman and Rev. Richard J. Simeone

A young rabbinical student raised her hand, and the Rabbi gave her a nod. “Rabbi, does G-d have a gender?” Students laughed. The Rabbi answered respectfully: “No.” The student had more to ask: “Well then, if G-d has no gender why do we use only one gender when we talk about G-d?” To this the Rabbi had no answer. It’s not easy to stump a Rabbi. He could have said that the Hebrew noun for god was masculine, but that, he knew, was inadequate. The student had awakened the teacher. The Rabbi who told this story some years ago still ponders that question.

How does theological language and imagery shape the divine image? How does it shape our souls? What about all that familiar and beloved liturgical formulae? What about pronouns? What would you change? Why or why not? Is this simply a women’s issue? Is it an issue of spiritual formation of human souls? Is it just politics? Or is it a theological issue? What would Jesus do?

Lyn and Dick are priest associates at St. John’s in Charlestown, Massachusetts and serve as co-coordinators in the Diocese of Massachusetts for the Education for Ministry program. In retirement Dick continues his ministry as a spiritual director. Lyn continues to pursue her work as a writer. In addition to her memoir, she is the author of Spiritual Lemons: Biblical Women, Irreverent Laughter and Righteous Rage, Augsburg Books, and a blog:spirituallemons. blogspot.com.

Cost: $ 350, deposit: $80

 

Associates Retreat

Tuesday, September12 – Friday, September 15

Led by Led by Josép Martínez-Cubero and members of the Monastic Community

Program to be announced. Please check our website listings.

Cost: $240, deposit: $80

 

Embracing Deep Rest in Turbulent Times

Friday, September 15-Sunday, September 17

Led by Carl Coleman

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27). These words from Jesus represent a profound promise — and speak to a need in the human heart which has never been greater. Everyone knows that these are challenging times; how do we live in the peace and courage that Jesus promises us? This retreat, which blends restful silence with nurturing reflections on themes such as rest, serenity, and courage, is designed to celebrate the peace that comes from God: a peace that provides lasting rest, but which also impels us to make our world a better place.

Retreat leader Carl McColman is the author of several books, including Befriending Silence, Answering the Contemplative Call, and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. He blogs on Christian spirituality and contemplative living at www.Patheos.com. McColman is a life-professed Lay Cistercian, under formal spiritual guidance of Trappist monks, affiliated with the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. He has been a practitioner of Christian contemplative prayer and meditation for over 30 years.

Cost: $ 375 , deposit: $80

 

Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, September 19 – Friday, September 22

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

 

 Advanced  Icon Writing  Workshop

Tuesday, September 26 – Friday, September 29

Led by Christine Hales

The practice of Icon writing is based on praying before, during and finishing painting a sacred image.  That Image is usually a Holy Person, Christ, a Gospel story etc. that takes on new life through the creation of the Icon. Using the ancient method of painting with egg tempera we will create a simple Icon in the Byzantine Style.

You do not have to be an artist to write Icons! Christine Hales will guide you step by step through each stage of the process, providing demonstrations and lectures that will help you create your own Icon.

Icon materials are provided by the instructor and we can join in with the monastic cycle of daily prayer and Eucharist as part of the Icon writing process!

In addition to welcoming newcomers to Icon writing, this class is a perfect place for continuing Iconographers to develop and grow in their practice.  This class gives ample time for lectures on Icon History, development, and Icon Essentials such as Sacred Geometry, Light, and Imagery Development as well as increased painting time.

Class schedule: Tuesday evening,  all day and evening on  Wednesday and Thursday,  Friday  morning finishing with lunch.  Participation in prayer times at the monastery is encouraged.

Christine Hales is a well-loved teacher and iconographer whose icon commissions are at St. Vincent’s Church in Albany, the Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, NY, and many private collections. She has taught icon-writing workshops for over ten years, and her style of icon writing is both contemporary and honors the ancient traditions of iconography.  For more information, visit www.newchristianicons.com.

Cost: $560; deposit: $120

 

Memorare

Wednesday, September 27 – Sunday, October 1

Led by Beverly Donofrio

Limited to 10 participants.

A five-day writing retreat for people already in the process of composing their memoirs. We will meet each day for three hours to discuss, review, and read our work to each other. Exercises may be given, depending on the group’s needs. The rest of the time is your own to write, read, contemplate, walk, pray. The idea is to create a sense of expansiveness in which you may create material that teaches and surprises you.

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. 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. Visit beverlydonofrio.com to read some of her essays.

Cost: $ 600, deposit: $120

 

Agents of Peace in a Time of Fear

Tuesday, October 3 – Friday, October 6

Led by Masud Syedullah, TSSF & Garrett Mettler

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

In these days when hate speech and acts of violence are all too common, many find themselves fearful and with a sense of helplessness. We don’t have to be. As followers of Christ, Jesus calls us to be peacemakers and reconcilers, just as he was. This retreat aims to reinforce our trust in and dedication to the peacemaking work of Christ. Through prayer, reflection on scripture, and times of silence, participants will have opportunities to personally tap into that “peace that surpasses all understanding.” Furthermore, they will consider ways to create safe and constructive dialogue among those who have not had much positive conversation with each other regarding race, politics, class, or religion. And to help put faith into practice, they will be empowered with methods to use in their relationships and communities for positive responses to violence.

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 (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: $450 ; deposit: $150

 

A Lotus in the Desert: Yoga and the Monastic Life

Tuesday, October 3- Friday, October 6

Led by David Robles, E-RYT

Join us for an in-depth discussion of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a cornerstone text in yogic asceticism and meditation, with an eye towards similar traditions in the west. Explore not only the background of the yoga tradition but the origins of western monasticism as we compare the teachings of Patanjali with the Desert Fathers, uncovering their commonalities and differences. Open to all, this retreat also provides the necessary 10 contact hours for yoga teachers looking to meet their continuing education requirements. This retreat also provides the necessary 10 contact hours for yoga teachers looking to meet their continuing education requirements.

David Robles is the co-owner of Liberation Yoga and Wellness Center in Mahopac NY. With a life-long interest in yoga and spirituality, he has taught numerous workshops and teacher trainings in the New York area. David enjoys making classical texts accessible to modern practitioners and sharing his love of philosophy with his students. Believing in the universality of religious experience, he emphasizes a comparative, humanistic and psychological approach to the subject matter.

Cost: $350, deposit: $80

 

Fall Contemplative Days

Tuesday,  October 10 – Friday, October 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: $240, deposit: $80

 

Ballroom Dancing for Couples 

Friday,  October 13 – Sunday, October 15

Led by Julie and Joe Donato

Have you always wanted to learn to dance? This is a joyful weekend for committed couples seeking to learn to dance or improve their dancing, to develop an activity to enjoy together, and through this activity, deep in their faith. Through the verbal and nonverbal instruction of partner dancing and the role of leading and following, we learn how to improve communication, create trust, and find more joy in relationship. We will learn the basics of waltz, foxtrot, swing, rumba, cha-cha and merengue in a relaxed, noncompetitive and fun style. The week and also includes time for reflection and quiet.

Joe and Julie Donato met at a swing dance. Joe was a long time ballroom teacher in the Philadelphia area, and moved to the Hudson Valley when they were married and 2012. They opened their own studio in Poughkeepsie and have enjoyed teaching couples and singles there and throughout the Hudson Valley. With members of this dance duo also have many years of leading retreats, worship groups and small group ministry. They are known as patient encouraging teachers and have led hundreds of people to enjoy the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of social dancing.

Cost: $590 per couple which includes tuition, room and board.

To register or ask questions please contact Julie Donato at 845-227-2706 or  JulieMB@prodigy.net.

 

Courageous Ministry In The Age of Tribalism

Tuesday, October 17- Friday, October 20

Led by Rev. Ed Bacon

Through a rhythm of addresses, guided meditations, ample space for sitting and walking contemplation, and journaling, Ed Bacon will facilitate an examination of the cultural, political, and religious context for ministry today. We have moved from healthy adversarial democracy to a politics of tribalistic polarization and fearmongering. Effective ministry is rooted in the Wholemaking path of Christ which heals and is rooted in Thomas Merton’s claim that “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”

Ed Bacon is an Episcopal priest and a national voice on issues of faith and justice for all regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. His energies focus on leadership in anxious times; living a love-based life as opposed to a fear-based life; peacemaking; interfaith relations; contemplative practices and their impact on relationships, creativity, and brain functioning; and, articulating the Christian faith in non-bigoted, science-friendly, and inclusive ways. Until his retirement in May 2016 Bacon was the rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena, California. The author of 8 Habits of Love, he has been both a guest and a regular guest host on Oprah Winfrey’s Soul Series on Oprah & Friends Radio, and a guest panelist in the Spirituality 101 segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show’s “Living Your Best Life” series.

Cost: $400, deposit: $120

 

October  Garden Days

Tuesday, October 24 -Friday, October 27

Led by Br. Aidan Owen

Limited to 8 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 the fall. We will have morning and afternoon work periods as well as time for the Office, rest, and recreation. No payment is required, although your donation in any amount will be gladly accepted to support our life and work.

 

Prayerful Stitches

Thursday, October 19 – Sunday, October 22

Led by the Monastic Community & Friends

Join us for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and a prayerful focus on being mindful and intentional in our yarn work. Bring your own stitching material and technique of choice (knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, etc).

Cost: $350, deposit: $80

 

Benedictine Experience

Tuesday, October 24 – Sunday, October 29

Co-sponsored by Holy Cross Monastery and the Friends of St. Benedict

The Benedictine Experience offers the opportunity to live the rhythm of Benedictine life and experience its distinctive balance of time spent in prayer, study, work, rest, and community. We will pray alongside the monks for the full round of the daily office and be in silence for most of our time. We will have daily conferences led by the Brothers, which will help us to cultivate the practice of “listening with the ear of the heart.” Each day we will also spend time engaged in practical or manual work and in private study or reflection. After Compline each evening, we will enter the Great Silence until after breakfast the next morning. This time spent living into the monastic rhythm of life will inculcate Benedictine values of listening, humility, silence, and hospitality, and help us to find a way to reorder our lives.

The Friends of St. Benedict is an ecumenical organization seeking to make the ancient wisdom of Benedictine spirituality accessible to modern people.  The Friends have been hosting Benedictine Experience retreats at Canterbury Cathedral and a few “thin places” in the US for more than thirty years.  To learn more about the Friends of St. Benedict, please visit www.benedictfriend.org.

Cost: $625, deposit: $120

 

Poetry, Politics, and the Life of the Spirit.

Tuesday, October 31 – Friday, November 3

Led by Marilyn McEntyre

This retreat will the explore relationships among three dimensions of our life of faith in a series of talks entitled Poetry, Politics, and Spiritual Practice. What we read—especially when we read formatively and imaginatively—how we participate in public life, and how we enter into and deepen prayer, worship, and other spiritual practices are closely related realms of choice. It is her hope that these talks will help move us toward and mutual encouragement as we seek ways to equip one another for discerning and faithful lives in a time of political tensions, economic anxieties, and dwindling literacy.

Marilyn McEntyre, longtime professor of American literature and medical humanities, is author of a number of books, two of which are especially pertinent to the topic of this retreat: Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies and Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice. She is currently Adjunct Professor of Medical Humanities at UC Berkeley and a Fellow at the Gaede Institute, Westmont College, and serves as an active hospice volunteer.

Cost: $375, deposit: $80

 

Your Life as Story

Friday, November 3 – Sunday, November 5

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. 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. Visit beverlydonofrio.com to read some of her essays.

Cost: $ 390, deposit: $120

 

Alexander Technique

Friday, November 3 – Sunday, November 5

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. 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.

Cost: $385 for tuition, room and board; for commuters, $275.

To register or ask questions, please contact Julie Donato at 845-227-2706 or  JulieMB@prodigy.net.

 

Brush with God

Tuesday, November 7– Friday, November 10

Led by Rev. Peter Pearson

For over twenty five years, Peter Pearson has been teaching others to paint icons using the classic techniques of Byzantine iconography.  In each workshop there is a focus on the four fold way of iconographers: technique, history, theology, and prayer.  Each student will complete their own icon from start to finish in a peaceful environment that fosters a deeper experience of praying in and through the brush strokes.  This year, we’ll do a simple icon during out time together.

No previous experience or training in art is necessary and all materials will be furnished.  All that is required is a willingness to let go and to try something new. Please join us for this exciting journey into Byzantine iconography!

Peter Pearson, has been painting icons since he was 12 years old and has taught hundreds of people to learn to paint them as well.  The author of two books on icon painting, he is also a priest in the Diocese of Bethlehem, PA. Each of these aspects of his life nourishes his soul as well as the souls of those he serves.

Cost: $475, deposit: $80

 

The Luminous Gospels 

Tuesday, November 14 – Friday, November 17

Led by Rev. Matthew Wright

This retreat will focus on an exploration of early Christian Wisdom literature, paying particular attention to the Gospels of Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and Philip. These three texts came to light in the mid-20th century and give us important insight into the development of early Christianity and the Christian mystical tradition. We’ll look at what they have to teach us about Jesus, the early Church, and how they can nourish our own spiritual journeys today.

Join us for a weekend of teaching, chanting, and silent meditation, while participating in the rhythms of a Benedictine monastery.

Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest and retreat leader. He serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY and as a teacher for Northeast Wisdom (www.northeastwisdom.org), a non-profit dedicated to the renewal of the Christian Wisdom tradition. Matthew and his wife, Yanick, live alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery.

Cost: $350, deposit: $80

 

Dramatizing Scripture

Tuesday, November 14 – Friday, November 17

Led by Br. Josép Martínez-Cubero

Until the printing press made ownership of books commonplace, the Bible was experienced by listening to it being read aloud, and it was largely written with this in mind. Expand your experience of Holy Scripture by exploring different ways of delivering aloud the words of the Bible. We will use a variety of acting techniques including light and easy physical exercises, diction exercises, games, and journaling. We will do dramatic readings of scripture being attentive to what in the text “hits us”, and describing what we know about God in those sections of scripture that speak to us. No acting experience is necessary, but do come with an open mind, a relaxed stance, and a desire to know scripture in a new way.

Br. Josép has been a theatre director and voice teacher for more than 25 years. Before entering the Order of the Holy Cross, he worked as a voice teacher and theatre director in NYC for 18 years. He founded The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre of NYC in 1999, and Delphi Theatre in 2004. With those two organizations he produced over 130 plays, musical, and operas, and taught acting, scene study, and musical theatre repertoire classes. As a singer/actor he has performed in operas, oratorios, musical theatre, concerts, recitals, cabarets, and theatrical plays throughout the United States.

Cost: $340, deposit: $80

 

An Introduction to Centering Prayer

Friday, November 17 – Sunday, November 19

Led by Br. Bernard Delcourt

Centering Prayer is a simple method of prayer rooted in ancient Christian practice that opens us to God’s presence and divine healing. It is simply moving deep within ourselves, in silence, saying nothing, asking for nothing, just being and consenting to God’s presence and action within us.

We will learn what Centering Prayer is and get to practice it several times through the weekend. This silent retreat will allow for quiet solitude in community with time for reflection. It will also allow you to join the monks in their cycle of public prayer, the Daily Office throughout your visit.

Brother Bernard Delcourt is a long-time practitioner of Centering Prayer and other forms of contemplative prayer.

Cost $275, Deposit $80.

 

 Practices of Presence: Silent Retreat with Yoga and Meditation

Friday Nov 24 – Sunday Nov 26, 2017

Led by Carolyn Bluemle

Limited to 13 participants

Come, take refuge, enter a monastic rhythm of silence and presence. In yoga postures, align body and breath in prayer. In meditation, let yourself rest in God by letting God rest in you. In mindful walking and mindful eating cultivate presence and gratitude. Chant the psalms with the monks. Sing Taizé chants in the beautiful chapel.

We can think of the kingdom of heaven as a distant land, or we can enter the kingdom of heaven within through practices of presence. The kingdom is that land where our heart opens and it is in the present moment that can we bridge the gulf between ourselves and others. To enter the kingdom of heaven is to become available: available to the world, to ourselves, and to God. There Christ can become visible beside us, above us, below us, before us and we may see the face of Christ in those we meet. The day may dawn and the morning star may rise in our hearts—in the midst of our joy and in the midst of our suffering. The celebration of the Kingdom is the culmination of the church year before the quiet days of Advent and is a beautiful way to follow our celebrations of Thanksgiving and gratitude.

There will be a prayer table in the practice room. For that table, please bring something that will remind you of what you would like to be available for or available to. Yoga props are provided. Previous experience with yoga is not required but is recommended because familiarity with some of the postures makes it easier to enter the practice as prayer. All postures can be modified for any-body.

Carolyn Bluemle has taught yoga since 1989 and is Iyengar certified. She has led numerous retreats at Holy Cross and workshops in the Sacred Circles program at the Washington National Cathedral. She holds a Masters in ancient Greek philosophy from UC Berkeley and has enjoyed many years as a dancer. Through the healing practices of yoga, meditation, and Taizé chant she has renewed her Christian faith. Her teaching, precise and enthusiastic, with humor and compassion, reflects her deep experience of yoga as prayer.www.cmagicisafoot.com

Fee: $ 260  Deposit:$ 80

 

The Human Face of God: An Advent Retreat

Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 3

Led by Rev. Martin Smith

Scripture speaks of the Holy One shining “in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). In our meditative retreat we will open ourselves to that radiance, and seek to renew our sense of wonder at our own call to be fully human, as God became fully human in the person of Jesus. As we prepare to live in an unprecedented culture replete with artificial intelligence, our spirituality needs a heightened commitment to cherishing what is uniquely human, personal and embodied, a humanness that God has immeasurably dignified in the Incarnation.

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: $350; deposit: $80

 

Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, December 5 – Friday, December 8

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. We invite retreatants to use prayer and silence as an invitation for deeper union with God. Each participant will work with a spiritual director chosen by the monastic community.

Cost: $325; deposit: $80

 

Advent: Kindling the Fire Within

Friday, December 8 – Sunday, December 10, 2017

Led by Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy

In the words of the medieval mystic Meister Eckhart, “We are all meant to be Mothers of God, for God is constantly needing to be born.” In the words of contemporary poet Christine Rodgers, “We are called to echo Her great and glorious YES … to birth her child back into the world.” In the spacious time of Advent and in the deep peace of the Monastery, we’ll enter into the mystery of the Annunciation. We’ll ponder what it means for us today, as individuals and as community. Entering the stillness, we await the movement of the Spirit within and among us. Entering the silence, we listen for the angel inviting us to bear God into the world.

There will be time for silence and solitude as well as time together in reflection and prayer. We are invited to join the brothers for services. We’ll build our own altar: you are invited to bring an icon, prayer, stone, leaf or any symbol of your spiritual journey.

Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy is a spritual director and sacred dancer and is serving as Interim Pastor at St. John’s in the Village, Manhattan.

Cost: $350; deposit: $80

 

Advent Contemplative Days

Tuesday, December 12 – Friday, December 14

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: $240, deposit: $80

 

Welcoming the New Year: A Twelve Step Retreat

Saturday, December 30 – Monday, January 1

Led by Sisters Shane Phelan & Elizabeth Broyles, CMA

Do you struggle with the holidays? Or do you just need a tune-up? Either way, the New Year is a great time to take stock of your spiritual program. Come listen for the ways God is calling you to new life in the coming year. We will have meeting time each day and time for silent reflection and journaling. Our theme this year is “Living the Serenity Prayer.”

Sisters Shane and Elizabeth are the founding Companions of Mary the Apostle, a Christian community that is both residential and dispersed. They are retreat leaders, spiritual directors and Episcopal priests. People of all genders are welcome to participate.

Cost: $290, deposit: $80