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.

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 Sisters  Shane Phelan and Elizabeth Broyles, CMA

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

Sr. Elizabeth, a Companion of Mary the Apostle, is an Episcopal priest as well.  She has nine years of Recovery experience, and many years as a spiritual director.  Sr. Elizabeth also leads retreats accompanying others in engaging in spiritual practices and exploring themes that nurture their lives in Christ.

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

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