(Photo: Kathy Daniels)
Conference Retreats are retreats in which a number of people
are given talks by a retreat director to prepare them for their individual
reflection and prayer. It typically lasts three or four days, over a weekend
or in midweek. They usually follow the themes of the Spiritual Exercises
of St. Ignatius. They are also called preached retreats since the
conferences somewhat resemble preaching, or group retreats because
the director speaks to a number of people at the same time rather than
to individuals one at a time.
Among those attending these conference retreats each weekend
are often parish or family groups or members of some other association.
They return annually at about the same time each year, and we reserve
rooms for them on their chosen weekend. But as a rule any man may take
part in any men's retreat, any woman may take part in any women's retreat
whether or not they belong to the particular group or groups scheduled
for that weekend.
the conferences, other offerings may available during a conference retreat
- Healing Services
- Morning Prayer
- Video Presentations
- Faith Sharing
- Stations of the Cross
- Eucharistic Adoration
- Praying with Scripture
- Lessons in Prayer
Retreats are open to Christians of all denominations.
may attend whichever of these exercises help them, or they may use their
time otherwise as is most spiritually profitable for them.
FAQ about Conference Retreats
Our 12-Month Schedule of Retreats
Summer Retreat for Sisters
Form for Conference Retreats
INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREATS
Ignatius began to help people by guiding them one-on-one
through the meditations of The Spiritual Exercises. This tradition
of individually directed retreats was replaced for some time by conference
retreats, but as the Jesuits rediscovered their roots after Vatican
II, the practice of individually directed retreats revived. On these
retreats retreatants spend up to four prayer periods a day in meditation,
and then share their prayer experience with their director. The retreat
is adapted to the experience of the retreatant as a result of each day's
The full Spiritual Exercises take about thirty days or 10 months depending on how they are made.
For logistical reasons the 30-day format is not usually offered at Manresa.
Ignatius had foreseen that while some people could put 30 days aside
to make the full Exercises, many needed to continue with their usual
occupations and at the same time make the Exercises at home dedicating
to them 60 to 90 minutes a day over the course of 10 months or so in
what is called The Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life. Jesuits
and many other religious who have made the full Exercises will pray
each year an eight-day version of them. Our Internship program requires
an five-day directed retreat. Obviously one does not cover the same
ground in five days as in 30 days or 10 months, but few people have
the freedom to spend so much time in solid serious prayer, and few retreat
houses have the facilities or directors to offer such an experience.
Many will opt for a shorter version of five to eight days.
At Manresa we set aside three eight-day sessions during
June, July, and August when visiting directors join us and the house
is given over to directed retreats. There are special advantages to
this arrangement, but retreatants are welcome to come at virtually anytime
during the rest of the year for the period they seek to stay, provided
that directors and rooms are available.
is an Individually Directed Retreat
Summer Sessions of Individually
Printable & Online Application
Forms for Individually Directed Retreats
CONFERENCE RETREATS ON A SPECIAL
Retreat directors adapt the Exercises in different ways. Sometimes
the adaptation is such that we may speak of Topical Retreats.
These are retreats that complement Ignatian spirituality rather than
explicate it, and some retreats are special in the sense that they address
particular audiences, needs, times or themes. Among such retreats that
are usually offered at Manresa are:
- A. A. Men (Feb)
- A. A. Men (July / August)
- A. A. Women (May)
- A. A. Women (Nov)
- Al-Anon Women
- Christian Meditation
- Holy Week Retreat
- Inner Healing
- Married Couples
- Mother's Day Weekend
- Religious Women
Perhaps among our topical retreats is one that will help you.
12-Month Schedule of Retreats
SUNDAY AFTERNOON RETREATS
Many people have said that they wished there were an opportunity for
some kind of spiritual tune-up between their annual retreats. Twelve months
is such a long time to go without some kind of revitalization. Manresa
is now offering a special afternoon for all those who have experienced
a retreat to renew their retreat experience and an opportunity to introduce
a friend or family member to Manresa. The day will include a talk or discussion,
time for private prayer/devotion, the celebration Eucharist and a dinner
to round out the evening.
More about Sunday Afternoon Retreats