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.

Writing Your Life

Friday, August 28 – Sunday, August 30

:: Led by Beverly Donofrio

Limited to 10 participants.

Discover the consciousness-expanding potential of memoir in a weekend-long writing workshop designed to take you deeper into your hearts, your souls and your pasts –to discover and depict the transformative movement of spirit in your lives. Instructor Beverly Donofrio creates a supportive environment in which to mine your own experiences, ask questions of it, and contemplate the mystery. You will create raw material then craft it using the narrative techniques of scene writing, reflection, and summary to bring your story to life. Telling your story can be profound and fun. All that is required is a strong desire and the courage to write the truth.

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: $290, deposit: $80

Associates Retreat: Peace is Not a Feeling

Friday, September 4 – Sunday, September 6

:: Led by Br. Randy Greve

St. Benedict offers much wisdom for living in a world of upset. Our culture often tells us that peace is found in the cer­tainty of my opinion or in withdrawing from the world of con­flict into the isolation of my own inner experience. St. Benedict sees the folly in these options and chooses to receive the peace we long for in the Holy Spirit’s work of rousing and unsettling us from shallowness so that we can model and proclaim God’s “shalom.”

Cost: $190, deposit: $80

Wisdom Christianity: Christogenesis and Christophany

Friday, September 4 – Sunday, September 6

::Led by the Rev. Matthew Wright

Wisdom describes a lineage of spiritual knowledge and practice that is principally concerned with the alchemy of transformation. It is not about knowing more, but about knowing more deeply, and can be recognized by an alert, present-moment awareness and a compassionate intelligence. This retreat will center around three significant voices in the emergence of a renewed Wisdom Christianity today: Raimon Panikkar, Teilhard de Chardin, and The Gospel of Thomas.

We will pay particular attention to Panikkar’s concept of christophany (moving beyond our beliefs about Jesus to the mystical experience of Jesus), Teilhard de Chardin’s notion of christogenesis (seeing the deepening disclosure of Christ in evolution), and the importance of the 20th century recovery of The Gospel of Thomas for Christian Wisdom study and practice.

Join us for a weekend of teaching, chanting, and silent meditation, while participating in the rhythms of a Benedictine monastery. Commitment to a regular contemplative practice is a prerequisite for this retreat.

The Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition within a wider interspiritual framework. He serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY. Matthew and his wife, Yanick, live alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery.

Cost: $265, deposit: $80

My Neighbor – A Gift of God: Relating to Those Who are Different from Us

Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 13

::Led by Rev. Masud Ibn Syedullah

Since the attacks of 9/11, we have become a more insular society. We are increasingly challenged to interact with people who are different from us, and confront our views about “the other.”

How does Christian spirituality offer to us ways to be both faithful to God and appreciative of our neighbors? How might God want to use us to bear witness to his love and presence among those of other cultures in the midst of the current atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and revenge?

Within the context of commemorating the horrific events of fourteen years ago, this retreat offers The Four Assertions from Christian faith and practice as a resource to equip us for the on-going task of working towards peacemaking, understanding, and cooperation with those whom we perceive to be so radically different from ourselves.

The Rev. Masud Ibn Syedullah TSSF is an Episcopal priest of the Diocese of New York and is the Founder and Director of Roots & Branches: Programs for Spiritual Growth (www.rootsandbranchesprograms.org). Born into an interfaith family (his father a Muslim, and mother a Christian), his life and ministry is one of bridge building, seeking ways to encourage and foster peace making and reconciliation among people of different backgrounds. In 1991 he was a founding member of the Episcopal-Muslim Relations Committee of the Diocese of New York and continues to serve on that committee which works to promote mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation between Episcopal and Muslim communities. He is a professed member of the Third Order, Society of Saint Francis – a religious community within the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion inspired by the life and witness of St. Francis of Assisi.

Cost: $265, deposit: $80

Library Retreat

Tuesday, September 15 – Friday, September 18
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

Yoga in a Contemplative Setting

Tuesday, October 6 – Friday, October 9
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: $300, deposit: $80

Ballroom Dance for Couples

Friday, October 9 – Friday, October 11

:: 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, deepen their faith. Through the verbal and non-verbal interaction of partner dancing, and the roles of leading and following, we will 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, non-competitive and fun style. The weekend 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 in 2012. They opened their dance studio in Poughkeepsie and have enjoyed teaching couples and singles there and throughout the Hudson Valley. Both members of this dancing duo also have many years of leading retreats, worship groups and small group ministry. They are known as patient, encouraging teachers and have lead hundreds of people to enjoy the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of social dancing.

$295 per person/ $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.

River and Mountain Pilgrimage

Tuesday, October 13 – Friday, October 16

:: Led by Br. Peter Rostron
Limited to 8 participants.

Join Br. Peter for several hikes along the Hudson River and in the Catskill Mountains. We will approach these outings as pilgrimage, with discussion and prayer to frame each hike. 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.
Cost: $275, deposit: $80

Prayerful Stitches

Thursday, October 15 – Sunday, October 18

::Led by Br. Bernard Delcourt

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: $370, deposit: $80

Fall Contemplative Days

Tuesday, October 20 – Friday, October 23

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

Memorare

Tuesday, October 27 – Sunday, November 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. 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: $595, deposit: $80

Library Retreat

Tuesday, November 3 – Friday, November 6

::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

Brush with God

Tuesday, November 10 – Friday, November 13

:: 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, OSB, 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 the rector of The Church of the Good Shepherd in Scranton, PA and a vowed member of the New Benedictine Community, an ecumenical monastic community. Each of these aspects of his life nourishes his soul as well as the souls of those he serves.

Cost: $465, deposit: $80

Benedictine Experience

Tuesday, November 17 – Sunday, November 22

:: 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 two of 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 fully living into the monastic rhythm of life will, we hope, inculcate Benedictine values of listening, humility, silence, and hospitality, and help us to find a way to reorder our everyday lives.

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: $595, deposit: $80

Thanksgiving, the Monastery Way

Tuesday, November 24 – Friday, November 27

:: with the Monastic Community

Harvest Thanksgiving is a wonderful and ancient tradition that calls us into a thankful relationship with God and with all of God’s creation. As Americans, we join with our sisters and brothers without regard to faith tradition in giving thanks, and as Christians, it is vital to give thanks and praise to God at every opportunity. At the monastery, we blend Americana (yes, turkey, dressing and the works on Thanksgiving) with religious tradition. Join us for any or all of these days.

Cost: $250 for all three nights, deposit $80

Advent Silent Retreat w/Yoga and Meditation: Let It Be Dark that We May See Light

Friday, November 27 – Sunday, November 29

:: Led by Carolyn Bluemle

Limited to 13 participants.

Come, take refuge. Enter the healing power of monastic rhythm each day and integrate body and spirit. Align body and breath through yoga postures in prayer; sit in guided and silent meditation; chant the psalms with the monks; and sing Taizé chants in the beautiful chapel.

The Advent season calls us to leave the darkness of the ‘barbed-wire entanglements’ of our ‘own ideas’ and prepare to receive the gift of God’s light. The yoga and meditation on this retreat will be focused on untangling the knots of expectations, preconceptions, and habits long overused so that we may open ourselves to the miracle of God’s presence.

While all are welcome, some previous yoga experience is recommended but not required. All poses and sequences can be modified for any body. If you have some familiarity with some of the postures then entering into prayer comes more easily.

Please bring a symbol of your intention for the retreat to place on a prayer table in the practice room. Yoga props are provided.

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.

Cost: $240, deposit: $80

Winter Contemplative Days

Tuesday, December 1 – Friday, December 4

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 Advent Retreat – O Come, Let us Adore Him

Friday, December 4 – Sunday, December 6

:: Led by Rev. Martin Smith

We all have a latent gift for adoration and we will dedicate this retreat to the realization of this inner capacity for “loving with the brakes off,” as we contemplate Christ who “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness” (Phil. 2:7). Looking frankly at the inhibitions that hold us back from letting go in adoration, we will open ourselves to the Spirit’s release of our freedom to love.

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: $290, deposit: $80

Advent Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, December 8 – Friday, December 11

:: 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 Advent. 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: $310, deposit: $80

The Thin Space and Spacious Time of Advent

Friday, December 11 – Sunday, December 13

:: Led by Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy

Advent invites us to enter into a thin space, where the veil between heaven and earth becomes porous. Guided by the readings appointed for Advent, we’ll enter into the spacious time of Advent. The retreat will include time for silence and solitude as well as group prayer and pondering. We’ll create an Advent altar: you are invited to bring an icon, prayer, bit of nature – anything which expresses your spiritual journey.

Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy is Interim Rector at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Chappaqua, NY, a retreat leader, spiritual director, and sacred dancer.

Cost: $290, deposit: $80

Magnificat! An Advent Retreat

Friday, December 18 – Sunday, December 20

:: Led by Srs. Elizabeth Broyles and Shane Phelan, CMA

The fourth Sunday in Advent is a crucial hinge between Advent and Christmas, but it often gets lost in preparations for the Feast of the Incarnation. The story of Mary is at its heart. The scriptures place Mary front and center. Mary, a young woman whose life was cracked wide open by an angel’s message, opens her heart and mouth to praise God with her YES! in word and song. “Let it be with me according to your word” comes first, followed by her visit to Elizabeth and proclaiming the Magnificat, which has been sung for nearly 2000 years by Christians around the globe.

Come join us for this time of reflection, conversation and praise. Enter into the story as a way of further preparation for a fresh, full welcome of Jesus our Savior and our God. Give yourself an early Christmas gift!

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. Shane and Elizabeth delight in offering this retreat as a means to deepening faith by encountering Mary, a woman of profound commitment to God. Her YES! to being the Mother of God is a gift to all followers of her Son. People of all genders are welcome to participate.

Cost: $290, deposit: $80

Christmas, the Monastery Way

Tuesday, December 22 – Friday, January 1

:: with the Monastic Community

Christmas at the monastery is filled with solemnity and celebration as we observe the closing days of Advent and then the great feast of Christmas, followed by the beauty and joy of Christmas-tide. We gather together as the shepherds did, to offer praise to God and to pray for peace on earth and in our hearts. Join us as we observe the ancient cycle of monastic prayer from Advent into the Christmas season.

Please note that the Guest House will remain open through Christmas Day this year and will close as usual on after Vespers.  The Guest House will re-open at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, December 29 and remain open until the conclusion of Vespers at 3:30 PM on Friday, January 1. It will then remain closed until 2:00 PM on Tuesday, January 12.

Cost: $80 per week night/$95 per weekend night, deposit: $80

Welcoming the New Year: A Twelve Step Retreat

Wednesday, December 30 – Friday, January 1

:: Led by Sr. Shane Phelan, 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 “Adventures Before and After.”

This retreat is open to all people in 12-Step programs.  It is a space for confronting our addictions in all their manifestations.  Come with an open heart and a desire to see God in one another and ourselves.

Shane Phelan is an Episcopal priest and a member of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an ecumenical community dedicated to Mary Magdalene. She has 30 years of recovery work, and has led numerous recovery groups and retreats.

Cost: $225, deposit: $80

Be Still and Know: Embracing the Gifts of Contemplative Prayer

Friday, January 15 – Sunday, January 17

::Led by Carl McColman

Psalm 62 proclaims, “For God alone my soul in silence waits.” Waiting on the Holy One, in silence, is the heart of Christian spirituality. This weekend will introduce you to the centuries old practice of contemplation — a form of silent prayer in which we gently open our hearts and minds to the hidden yet real presence of God. We will tap the wisdom of the desert mothers and fathers, The Cloud of Unknowing, and The Way of a Pilgrim, among other sources. Here is an opportunity to relax, enjoy the serenity and beauty of the monastery, to pray both alone and with the monks, and to reflect on the gifts of prayer and spirituality that are at the heart of the Christian life. No prior experience of contemplative prayer is required, although this retreat does work well as a ‘refresher course’ for those with experience in the practice of Christian contemplation.

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.carlmccolman.com. McColman is a life-professed Lay Cistercian (a layperson under formal spiritual guidance of Cistercian monks) affiliated with the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. He has been a practitioner of Christian contemplative prayer and meditation for over 30 years.

Cost: $325, deposit: $80

The Spiritual Practice of Singing

Tuesday, January 19 – Friday, January 22

::Led by Br. Reinaldo Martinez-Cubero

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria believed that singing is essentially a spiritual discipline, and an important practice in spiritual formation. Singing allows us to use the core elements out of which the world came into being, and through which it is sustained: breath, tone, intentionality, and community.

This retreat offers intensive spiritual work on the fundamentals of singing: posture, breath, tone production, and diction. Br. Reinaldo will use a variety of practical methods to help participants find their best tone production and range for the purposes of chanting and liturgical singing. Participants will work on different musical settings of the Eucharistic Prayer and other liturgical music using Episcopal Liturgical Resources.

While this retreat is intended for those in the clergy who do not feel comfortable with their singing, those who wish to get in touch with their singing voice, or those who feel out of practice and want to get back into it, all are welcome who would like to explore singing as a spiritual practice.

Br. Reinaldo has been a voice teacher and theatre director for 24 years and before entering the order of the Holy Cross 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: $285, deposit: $80

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 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

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 St. Gregory’s, Woodstock, 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

“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 St. Gregory’s, Woodstock, NY, a Retreat Leader, Spiritual Director and Sacred Dancer.

Cost: $235, deposit: $80