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.

 Entering into Lent

Tuesday, February 28 – Friday, March 3

Led by Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy

This retreat offers “spacious time” to consider and discern the focus and practice of our Lenten journeys. Using the Gospel of Matthew’s account of Jesus’s baptism and time in the wilderness, we’ll prayerfully explore “where we are” in our individual and communal lives and how the Spirit is leading us into the wilderness.  (If Jesus needed The Spirit to get Him into the wilderness for forty days, then it is no surprise that we do too!)

There will be time together in reflection, conversation, and prayer, as well as unstructured, individual time. We’ll gather Tuesday evening after the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. On Wednesday, the Ash Wednesday liturgy is in the morning, and the monastery is then in silence for the rest of the day. Please bring writing materials. The monastery library and bookstore will offer a selection of Lenten books for you to consider.

The Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy is a retreat leader, spiritual director, sacred dancer, and serves as an interim parish priest in the Diocese of New York.

 Cost: $310; deposit: $80

Living “Hidden with Christ in God”

Friday, March 3 – Sunday, March 5

Led by Rev. Martin Smith

In a world of surfaces and compulsory connectivity, where celebrity is paramount and self-publicizing valued, attending to the inner life of the spirit becomes more counter cultural than ever. Join us for a weekend of silence, prayer and reflection for deepening our sense of the mystery of our true identity in Christ, and for growing in appreciation of the hidden life of the heart as the tap root of our capacity for communion with others. The addresses will draw on rich traditions from the experience of those who have explored the life of solitude down the centuries.

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: $300; deposit: $80

Lenten Contemplative Days

Tuesday, March 7 – Friday, March 10

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

Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, March 14 – Friday, March 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

Leadership in Community

Tuesday, March 14 – Friday, March 17

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

The Rule of St. Benedict has, for more than 1400 years, guided communities and their leaders in how to seek and serve God, to be formed and transformed in the image of God as they live their daily lives in community. Today there is growing interest in applying this framework in a variety of work settings. We will consider how Benedictine virtues such as listening, humility, balance, and the dignity of work can enable us to live in community and to lead in community. In an era that seems to value self-promotion and the carefully crafted online profile, we will explore how true self- knowledge can inform healthy leadership and a community life that supports growth for all its members.

The Friends of St. Benedict is an ecumenical organization that seeks to make the ancient wisdom and practice 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 work of Friends of St. Benedict, please visit  www.benedictfriend.org.

Cost: $350; deposit: $80

Icon-Writing Master Class

Tuesday, March 21 – Friday, March 24

Led by Christine Hales

This master class will provide an in-depth experience of painting in egg tempera for those who have previous icon writing experience. You will learn the Byzantine method of using egg tempera and gold leaf gilding on gessoed panels to paint an icon. This is a rich spiritual experience combining prayer and painting, taught step by step by innovative artist and iconographer Christine Simoneau Hales. This class is a five-day course condensed into three days! No matter your skill level, you will be expertly supported and guided through the process of creating your own individual expression of this ancient art form.

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, 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: $560; deposit: $120

Charging Language with Meaning: A Poetry Workshop

Tuesday, April 4 – Friday, April 7

Led by Br. John Forbis

Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.                                                                                                             – Ezra Pound.

If l feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

                                                                                    – Emily Dickinson

In this workshop, we will endeavor to “take off the top of our heads” and allow our minds, hearts and souls to wander where they want to find meaning. No self-critics and self-control allowed in this process! Then, we will allow compassionately and lovingly that meaning to guide us and “charge” our language into whatever poetic form it wants to be. Join us to write in a unique and conducive environment for poetry. For all poets, aspirants, novices, and professed.

Br. John is  a poet with poems published in the US, UK and South Africa. He sees his monastic life as quite poetic and his poetic life as quite monastic. For him, they go hand-in-hand. check out one of his poems Playing to the Wall

Cost: $300; deposit: $80

The Three Great Days – Holy Week at the Monastery

Thursday, April 13 – Sunday, April 16

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: $290, deposit: $80

 

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

Wednesday, April 19 – Friday, April 21

Led by Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie 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 a retreat leader, spiritual director, sacred dancer, and serves as an interim parish priest in the Diocese of New York.

Cost: $245, deposit: $80

 

Library Retreat

Tuesday, April 25 – Friday, April 28

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

 

April Garden Days

Tuesday, April 25 – Friday, April 28

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 spring. 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.

 

Eastertide Contemplative Days

Tuesday, May 9 – Friday, May 12

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

 

Search for the True Self Merton and Jung

Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 14

Led by Br. Don Bisson, FMS

These two popular authors of spirituality and psychology both were obsessed with the discovery and movements towards the True Self. Similarities and differences between their writings may provide a fuller expression of this search. Biographical material of both men will be used. This retreat is sure to sell out, so register early!

Brother Don Bisson, FMS is, first and foremost, a spiritual director and is widely respected as a specialist in the training, formation, and supervision of spiritual directors,  Marist brother based in New York City, he has graduate degrees in liturgy, spirituality, and transpersona@sychology, and earned his Doctor of Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion, specializing in Spiritual Direction and Jungian Psychology. With more than 60 live audio recordings available, Brother Don is internationally recognized for his lectures, workshops, and retreats on the interrelationship of Christian spirituality and Jungian psychology. For more information, visit donbisson.com.

Cost: $300, deposit: $80

 

Loving the World: Photography as Spiritual Practice

Tuesday, May 16 – Friday, May 19

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 Rural, Meister Eckhart, and St. Francis. q-his 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 Alssisi, Italy, and “Loving the World: Photography as Spiritual Practice.” Through 2012, he was a lay leader at Christ the King, Stone Ridge, and St Alndrew’s, New Paltz, where he contributed programing and preaching. He is Board President of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an emerging President of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an emerging ecumenical community in Accord, NY Read more about Paul and his offerings at paulkimmerling.com.

Cost: $325, deposit: $80

 

Encountering Mary Magdalene

Friday, May 19 – Sunday, May 21

Led by St. Shane Phelan, CMA & Sn Elizabeth Broyles, CMA

Mary Magdalene is one of the most powerful and controversial figures in the history of Christianity. She has been the object of art and legend unlike that of any other saint. Known in the canonical Gospels as a healed disciple and the first person to whom the resurrected Jesus appeared, she has been labeled a prostitute and also Jesus’ lover or wife. With the discovery of extra-canonical materials such as the Gospel of Mary another Mary emerged, one in whom we can witness the battles over women’s place in the movement centered on Jesus. Disciple? Apostle? Spouse? What’s at stake in these titles? We will look at the images and stories about Mary Magdalene to encounter her as a disciple and apostle, but also to better understand the energy that clusters around her. Debates about whether she was married to Jesus are not something to answer, but something to investigate. What is missing in the Church that these legends supply? Why does her sexuality define her, and threaten our ideas of holiness? Through her we can see openings into new possibilities for reclaiming erotic energy as sacred and imagining a Church that is truly inclusive. Mary Magdalene offers us the potential for healing the split between body and soul that has plagued the Church.

Elizabeth Broyles and Shane Phelan are the founders of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an ecumenical community for all genders following Jesus with Mary Magdalene. They are Episcopal priests and spiritual directors and lead a variety of retreats.

 Cost: $300, deposit: $80

 

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: http://www.masteryfoundation.org/interfaith/schedule/index.php

Cost: $550, 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 Rilkes’ 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.

 

Summer Associates Retreat: Loving the Other

Tuesday, July 4 – Friday, July 7

Led by Br. Randy Greve

Associates will explore the book Fear of the Other.” No Fear in Love by William Willimon. Willimon, a Methodist bishop, wrote this small tome in response to some of the disturbing rhetoric of the last presidential election season. “Timely and prophetic, Willimon’s call to love the Other will quickly take hold of your soul… This book is not just a reminder of our Christian calling to welcome the Other but a call to conversion, a new way of seeing the neighbor and a new way of being in the world God desperately loves.”–Karoline M. Lewis, Marbury E. Anderson Chair of Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. Books will be provided upon arrival.

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

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 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: $560; deposit: $120