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.

Library Retreat

Tuesday, September 20 – Friday, September 23

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 15,000 volumes.

Cost: $200; deposit: $80

Memorare

Tuesday, September 20 – Sunday, September 25

Led by Beverly Donofrio

Limited to 8 participants.

This is a five-day writing retreat for people already in the process of writing 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. Structure can be the most difficult part of composing a book: how to craft the stories of your life into an engaging and dramatic whole. My intention is to help you see the forest (of your book) through the trees (of your experiences). I will meet with each of you individually to discuss how to further your writing. The idea is to create a sense of expansiveness, community, inspiration, and fun.

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: $120

Vulnerability as Spiritual Practice: Listening with the Body

Friday, September 23 – Sunday, September 25

Led by Erika Murphy

While God embraces us in our completeness, we often reject parts of ourselves that we see as “unworthy.” What happens when, instead of trying to struggle against our vulnerabilities, we dive into them, beginning a journey of becoming even more intensely human? This retreat will explore the possibilities of Spirit that arise when we honor our full selves and begin to listen (and speak) with the most vulnerable aspect of our humanity: our bodies. Qi Gong exercises and guided moving meditation will allow us to take root in the spiritual “alignment” and centeredness that we all naturally possess. During these practices of harmony and stillness, we will reflect on what we hear: what are our bodies telling us? What do we need to embrace about ourselves in order to become more connected to ourselves, others, and God? Participants will have the opportunity to interweave their thoughts and reflections with these guided practices as we find ways to appreciate the gift of our humanity. Join us as we bring our bodies and minds – and their accompanying vulnerabilities – into the vibrant light of spiritual awareness.

Erika Murphy, M.Div., Ph.D., teaches religious studies in Fairfield, CT. Her work in theology and spirituality has led her to explore the rich world of the mind-body connection through meditation and other mindfulness practices. In her academic work, Erika is often drawn to explore the theological resonances between vulnerability and spirituality. She is also a practitioner of the internal martial art I Liq Chuan, an art based on Tai Chi philosophy and Zen principles, which focuses on the body as a path to awareness, stability, and mindfulness. 

Cost: $275; deposit: $80

Living the Threefold Rule

Tuesday, September 27 – Friday, September 30

Led by Rev. Matthew Wright

“Rule”—as in “Rule of Life”—comes from the Latin word regula, and is not so much about rules as it is a regulating principle that governs one’s life of prayer. Anglican theologian Martin Thornton wrote about the “threefold Rule” of the Church—a balanced life of prayer that intentionally connects the pray-er, through regular disciplines, with each Person of the Holy Trinity. We will examine the Daily Office, contemplative prayer, and Holy Eucharist within this framework, and look at ways to make each an intentional part of your personal rhythm of prayer.

We will focus particularly on The Book of Common Prayer as an “ascetical tool-kit” (and not just your “Sunday pew book”!). “Ascetical theology” is our theology of how we practice or “do” our faith, and from this angle we’ll engage the Prayer Book and the Church’s liturgical year as road maps. We will ground our discussion in the wider currents of Catholic and Anglican spirituality. Come and explore a deeper life of Christian prayer and practice!

The Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader. 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: $310; deposit: $80

Fall Associates Retreat: “My Soul in Silence Waits”

Tuesday, September 27 – Friday, September 30

Led by Br. Randy Greve

We will spend our retreat time together looking at Margaret Guenther’s book, My Soul in Silence Waits, in which she closely examines themes of patience, trust, and expectation found in Psalm 62. In the first chapter of the book, Guenther introduces us to ways of making a retreat wherever we are – at a place apart or in the midst of our daily lives – and then she continues with eight meditations on the psalm, exploring images of longing, silence, waiting, safety, enemies, and God as a rock and a refuge. As in all her books, Guenther finds new ways to explore these ancient themes with the wit and practicality of an accomplished storyteller.

The book will be provided on arrival.

Cost: $225; deposit: $80

River & Mountain Pilgrimage

Tuesday, October 4 – Friday, October 7

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: $285; deposit: $80

Ballroom Dance for Couples

Friday, October 7 – Sunday, October 9

Led by Julie & 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.

Cost: $590 per couple which includes tuition, room and board. To register or ask questions, please contact Julie Donato at JulieMB@prodigy.net or 845-227-2706.

Sing a New Song: Revisiting The Psalms

Tuesday, October 11 – Friday, October 14

Led by Laurel Massé

We all have tunes that make us want to dance, tunes that break our hearts, and tunes that help to heal the breaks. We turn to music to help us gather, celebrate our triumphs, and grieve our losses, and that is the power of song.

Several millennia ago, a great king wrote songs that remain unequaled in their depth of expression. In this retreat, we will explore his masterwork: the Psalms. The emotions and longing in them are as human and universal as when they were new. Yet many of us have lost the sense of their earthy immediacy because we only hear sanitized versions, or in poor musical settings or language to which we can’t relate. It’s time to peel away the safety wrappers and make these psalms our own to whisper, shout, and sing. This retreat is for all who have loved, hated, and struggled with the psalms, and who long to sing a new song.

With a repertoire that embraces Basie and Bach, banjos and bagpipes, the Beatles, and the Bard of Avon, Laurel Massé is a singer without musical borders.  A founding member of the vocal group Manhattan Transfer, she has won international respect as a solo artist and teacher. She has lectured and led master classes at prestigious institutions such as Dartmouth and The Royal Academy of Music (UK) and is a long-time instructor at Ashokan Music and Dance, and a popular adjudicator/clinician of high school choral programs. Ms. Massé resides in the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York, where she is an Episcopal worship leader, lector, and Eucharistic minister.

Cost: $310; deposit: $80

Prayerful Stitches

Thursday, October 13– Sunday, October 16

Led by Brs. Bernard Delcourt and Will Owen

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 18 – Friday, October 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: $225; deposit: $80

October Garden Days

Tuesday, October 25 – Friday, October 28

Led by Br. Will Owen

Limited to 6 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, though your donation in any amount will be gladly accepted to support our life and work. Please e-mail Br. Will (will@hcmnet.org) with any questions.

Dramatizing Scripture

Tuesday, November 1 – Friday, November 4

Led by Br. Reinaldo Martinez-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 modes of delivering aloud the words of the Bible. We will use a variety of acting methods, including light and easy physical exercises, diction exercises, games, and journaling as a prelude to dramatic readings of scripture. 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. Reinaldo has been a voice teacher and theater director for 24 years and before entering the order of the Holy Cross worked as a voice teacher and theater director in NYC for 18 years. He founded The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre of NYC in 1999, and Delphi Theater in 2004. With those two organizations he produced over 130 plays, musical, and operas, and taught acting, scene study, and musical theater repertoire classes. As a singer/actor he has performed in operas, oratorios, musical theater, concerts, recitals, cabarets, and theatrical plays throughout the United States.

Cost: $285; deposit: $80

Alexander Technique

Friday, November 4 – Sunday, November 6

Led by Dan Cayer

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

Dan Cayer is a nationally-certified Alexander Technique teacher working in the field of pain, injury, and stress. He brings the unique experience of a life-changing injury and extensive mindfulness training to help students become less stuck in their bodies. After a serious injury left Dan unable to work or carry out household tasks, 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 www.dancayerfluidmovement.com.

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

Library Retreat

Tuesday, November 8 – Friday, November 11

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 15,000 volumes.

Cost: $200; deposit: $80

Brush with God

Tuesday, November 8 – Friday, November 11

Led by 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 iconographic 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 a priest in the Diocese of Bethlehem, 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: $475; deposit: $120

Holy Discontent: Finding Meaning in Spiritual Pot Holes

Tuesday, November 15 – Friday, November 18

Led by Christopher McCauley

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

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

Cost: $400; deposit: $120

Thanksgiving, the Monastery Way

Tuesday, November 22 – Friday, November 25

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  with Yoga and Meditation: Breath of Heaven

Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 27

Led by Carolyn Bluemle

Limited to 14 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.

Advent is a time of God’s presence in the darkness of Mary’s womb with a promise of light and love. Yoga can help us enter our bodies to find gentle awareness of God’s presence in our hearts: God who seeks to be born again and again out of our struggles and out of our tender longing for balance and joy for everyone. Pondering Mary’s assent and hope expressed in the Magnificat, we will explore the healing power of the breath which unites our deepest selves and God and the world. Together we will co-create our own variations of a yoga sequence to Amy Grant’s simple and beautiful song, Breath of Heaven.

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

Cost: $260; deposit: $80

Advent Contemplative Days

Tuesday, November 29 – Friday, December 2

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

The Advent of the Prince of Peace

Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4

Led by Rev. Martin Smith

In this weekend of pondering, prayer, and silence, we will seek to know Jesus again as the “Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace,” and honor our calling to be peacemakers with him. How does Christ want to be our Counselor just now, for finding peace within ourselves, peace in our dealings with others, peace at the heart of our witness in the world? In our meditation, we will seek to hear his wisdom and receive the peace that is unlike anything the world can give.

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

Individually Directed Retreats

Tuesday, December 6 – Friday, December 9

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

Preparing for the Incarnation

Friday, December 16 – Sunday, December 18

Led by Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy

This retreat is an opportunity to leave behind our culture’s Christmas frenzy and enter together into the deep calm of the monastery’s observance of Advent. (Is there a better way to prepare for Christmas? No Santas, sales, or singing of carols!) We will focus on the mystery of Incarnation in the here and now. In the Middle Ages, Meister Eckhart said, “We are all called to be Mothers of God, for God is constantly needing to be born.” How can we bear God into the world? How can we be God’s presence in the world? There will be time spent together in reflection, conversation, and prayer, as well as unstructured, individual time. Please bring writing materials. The monastery library and bookstore will offer a selection of Advent books.

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: $300; deposit: $80

Christmas, the Monastery Way

Tuesday, December 20 – Sunday, December 25

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. We gather together as the shepherds did, to offer praise to God and to pray for peace on earth and in our hearts. A treasured highlight of this time is the decorating of the Guesthouse and the great tree in Pilgrim Hall. Join us as we observe the ancient cycle of monastic prayer from Advent into the Christmas season. Stay for any or all of these days. (Please note that the Guesthouse closes after Vespers on Christmas Day and reopens as usual the following Tuesday afternoon, December 27.)

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

Welcoming the New Year: A Twelve-Step Retreat

Friday, December 30 – Sunday, 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 “Spiritual Awakening.” This retreat is open to all people in 12-Step programs. It will offer 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 in ourselves.

Sr. Shane is an Episcopal priest and a member of the Companions of Mary the Apostle, an ecumenical community dedicated to Mary Magdalene.  She has over thirty years of recovery work and regularly leads recovery groups and retreats.

Cost: $275; deposit: $80

Winter Associates Retreat: A Second Chance at Life

Thursday, January 12 – Sunday, January 15

Led by Br. Randy Greve

The January Associates retreat will explore the book My Descent into Death: A Second Chance at Life by Howard Storm.  The book will be provided upon arrival.

From the book description: “Storm, an avowed atheist, was awaiting emergency surgery when he realized that he was at death’s door. Storm found himself out of his own body, looking down on the hospital room scene below. Next, rather than going ‘toward the light,’ he found himself being tortuously dragged to excruciating realms of darkness and death, where he was physically assaulted by monstrous beings of evil. His description of his pure terror and torture is unnerving in its utter originality and convincing detail.

“Finally, drawn away from death and transported to the realm of heaven, Storm met angelic beings as well as the God of Creation. In this fascinating account, Storm tells of his ‘life review,’ his conversation with God, even answers to age-old questions such as why the Holocaust was allowed to take place. Storm was sent back to his body with a new knowledge of the purpose of life here on earth. This book is his message of hope.”

Cost: $265; deposit: $80

Spiritual Practice of Singing

Tuesday, January 24 – Friday, January 27

Led by Br. Reinaldo Martinez-Cubero

St. 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. Participants will explore the spirituality of singing through a variety of musical styles. All who would like to explore singing as a spiritual practice are welcome, as well as clergy who do not feel comfortable with their singing, those who wish to get in touch with their singing voice, and those who feel out of practice and want to get back into it.

Br. Reinaldo has been a voice teacher and theater director for 24 years and before entering the order of the Holy Cross worked as a voice teacher and theater director in NYC for 18 years. He founded The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre of NYC in 1999, and Delphi Theater in 2004. With those two organizations he produced over 130 plays, musical, and operas, and taught acting, scene study, and musical theater repertoire classes. As a singer/actor he has performed in operas, oratorios, musical theater, concerts, recitals, cabarets, and theatrical plays throughout the United States.

Cost: $285; deposit: $80

Tracing the Spiral: Exploring Our Celtic Christian Heritage

Friday, January 27 – Sunday, January 29

Led by James Ruff

The ancient Celts prized deep connections with nature and the divine wisdom hidden within it, and their spiritual tradition is deeply embedded in our own Anglican Christianity. In this introductory retreat, we will examine traits that distinguish Celtic Christian spirituality and read selected writings from early Celtic Christian theologians that illuminate their thoughts and theology. We will learn early Gaelic chants, stories of the Celtic saints, and prayers from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of early Celtic prayers from the Hebrides. Through the beauty of prayer, chant, Celtic harp music, story, and time spent walking and praying in nature, we will seek to deepen our awareness of Christ’s presence, within ourselves and in all that surrounds us.

James Ruff is a professional singer and harper specializing in music for voice and harp from Gaelic Scotland and Ireland.  A speaker of Scottish Gaelic and a member of the Episcopal Church since 2000, he has also been involved with the Ceile De (Culdee) Order – a Celtic Christian monastic order centered in Scotland – since 2005.  He has sung as soloist with many early music groups, opera companies and festivals throughout the US and in Europe, teaches Music: Voice at Vassar College, and was Director of Music at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge, NY from 2004-2015.  Find out more at: www.jamesrufftenorharper.com.

Cost: $275; deposit: $80

Seeking Christ, Our Soul’s True Lover

Tuesday, January 31 – Friday, February 3

Led by Br. Will Owen

You seduced me, O Lord, and I was seduced.   – Jer. 20:7

The Christian mystics often write of a powerful longing that leads them to abandon all in their search for Christ, their soul’s true lover. Drawing on the Song of Songs, we will join the mystics in seeking Christ not only with our minds but also with our bodies and our hearts. Retreat talks will offer a framework of spirituality and theology that undergirds spiritual practice and small-group sharing. We will focus on desire, longing, the body, sexuality, purity of heart, the foolishness of love, and contemplation.

Cost: $285; deposit: $80

Library Retreat

Tuesday, January 31 – Friday, February 3

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 15,000 volumes.

Cost: $200; deposit: $80

Agents of Peace in a Time of Fear

Friday, February 3 – Sunday, February 5

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: $300; deposit: $80

Amazing Grace: The Wonderment of Grace in Our Lives

Tuesday, February 7 – Friday, February 10

Led by Janet Corso

Grace has been called truly amazing, for we have experienced it as such. It is undeserved, beyond our control or manipulation, and given when we least expect it. Our capacity to receive grace, to be available and open to it, and to recognize it when it is offered, is dependent on our openheartedness, poverty of spirit and awareness. This retreat will explore the ins and outs of grace, how we might block or refuse it, how we may be instruments of it and where it has amazingly appeared in our lives.

Janet is the past director of Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining, NY. She is an associate of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, taught philosophy for many years at Mt. St. Mary’s in Newburgh, NY and is the founder and past director of Sarabrae, Women’s Spirituality Center. An experienced certified spiritual director, supervisor, program presenter, and retreat director, she is also the team coordinator of Mariandale’s Contemplative Formation Program, as well as a team member of the Linwood – Mariandale Spiritual Directors’ Training Program and the Supervisors’ Training Program. She resides in the Hudson Valley.

Cost: $310; deposit: $80

Your Life As Story

Wednesday, February 8 – Friday, February 10

Led by Beverly Donofrio
Limited to 10 participants.

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

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

Cost: $310; deposit: $80

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