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The new entrance to Manresa
(Photo: Kathy Daniels)


Manresa's people and programs are inspired by Ignatian spirituality, one of the great spiritual traditions of the Catholic Church. It derives from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, a former courtier and soldier, who gave himself to Christ during recuperation from a war wound. In the years that followed he had profound, mystical experiences of God. He believed that his experience could help others find God in their lives. His way of looking at God, the world and oneself, has, in fact, helped and inspired countless people and undertakings over the last four and a half centuries, including all the work done by the Jesuits and those they have influenced. Ignatius made notes about his experiences that eventually grew into the Spiritual Exercises, a book that epitomizes his spirituality and serves as a guide for prayer during time set aside for God—what is called a retreat. It is his legacy that inspires us and that we believe will be profitable for you.

A Very Brief Video on Ignatian Spirituality

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From 1917 to 1925 men who wanted to make an Ignatian retreat had to travel by boat to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1923 these laymen banded together as "The Laymen's Retreat League" to establish a Jesuit retreat house in the Detroit area. They raised the funds to purchase property on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Quarton Road. The manor house there was made ready and the first retreat took place from September 23 to 26, 1926. This was the first and perhaps the only retreat house to be established, owned and administered by laymen, who subsequently invited Jesuits to serve as their retreat directors and spiritual guides. When the house burned down in 1934, laymen raised funds in the middle of the Great Depression to build it anew. Since then the house has been expanded six times, and the spiritual programs likewise have been expanded from weekend retreats for men to a vast variety of spiritual offerings and experiences for men and women. In 1960, the laymen turned over full control to the Jesuits, but today a mostly lay Board of Directors continues to oversee the welfare of the house. Read more at:


Our mission is to help men and women grow spiritually through prayer, reflection, guidance, and teaching according to the Ignatian tradition. Read more at:


How concretely do we fulfill that mission today? We continue the long tradition of weekend and midweek conference or preached retreats for men and women. We give a large variety of retreats for special groups or on special topics like: caregivers, married couples, Hispanics, people in recovery, healing retreats, Christian meditation, etc. From time to time there is a Sunday afternoon of retreat that lets people refresh themselves between their annual retreats or introduces new comers to the Manresa retreat experience. We also offer individually directed retreats: one-on-one experiences over several days or even the better part of a year with one's own personal director. Read more at:

Besides retreats Manresa offers many other things: a Seminar in Ignatian Spirituality composed of five mini-courses, a yearlong Internship in Spiritual Companionship, Days of Prayer and Recollection, Reading Seminars, Workshops and Educational Programs, Men's and Women's Support Groups and Book Clubs, Christian Yoga, Pilgrimages, Weekday Masses, Individual Spiritual Direction, and other items most of which are listed on our Year-at-a-Glance Calendar. Read more at:


Meet some of the people who help make Manresa what it is today:


Manresa is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan,16 miles north of the center of Detroit. It occupies 39 acres, partly wooded, partly landscaped, on the northwest corner of the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Quarton Road. A nature trail through the woods circles the grounds. Some of the land is flood plain along the main branch of the Rouge River. At Manresa you'll find mallards and other waterfowl, geese and the great blue heron. If you're lucky you may see hawks, owls, deer, fox, raccoon, coyote, snapping turtles laying their eggs or baby turtles hatching and heading for the water. We have recently added a labyrinth 62 feet in diameter.

The main building has accommodations for about 70 retreatants and houses the main chapel, two small prayer chapels, a comfortable library, dining room, offices, and two large meeting rooms. Three separate cottages as well as rooms adjoining St. Joseph's Jesuit residence provide quarters for longer-term retreatants. The former waterwheel house has been converted into a prayer chapel. The gatehouse, barns, garage and workshop from the original estate survive and are still in use.

The facilities are available for use by groups with aims compatible with Manresa's. Read and see more at:

Manresa Jesuit Retreat House                      1390 Quarton Road, Bloomfield Hills MI 48304                      Phone:  248.644.4933