What is a retreat?

image-14-what-to-expect-768x1024There is no one definition for a retreat, and the same retreat will mean different things for different people. For everyone, however, it is a time of rest and prayer – a time to grow closer to God.  

Loyola Jesuit Center has many retreat offerings and spiritual programs to meet you where you are on your spiritual journey. Our most popular retreat is the Weekend Retreat which begins on Friday evening and concludes mid-day on Sunday after mass and lunch. Every retreat is led by an experienced retreat director who will offer a series of points for prayer during the weekend based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. These exercises will help you Encounter God, Illuminate the Heart and Enjoy Peace. After the retreat, you will leave with Ignatian Spirituality tools and techniques to integrate your experience into everyday life.

Why a “Silent” Retreat?
For those who have never experienced a silent retreat, the idea of complete silence may seem intimidating. But ask any past retreatant and they will tell you that the silence is the best part of their retreat experience. Within silence is the opportunity for deep and meaningful spiritual reflection and discovery. In silence you can hear yourself think; you also give yourself the opportunity to actively listen for the voice of God and His desire for your life.

On every retreat there are opportunities for spiritual consultation with a Spiritual Director along with group devotions (Stations of the Cross, praying the Rosary, Liturgy of the Eucharist) and personal devotions (silent meditation, Eucharistic Adoration, personal prayer). During Mass, the group activities, and consultation with the Spiritual Director silence is broken for the duration of the activity. In short, a “Silent Retreat” does not mean no talking for 3 days. It means listening so that God’s voice can start to come through the background noise that permeates our lives.