Our seventh annual “Evening in the Loyola Prayer Gardens” fundraiser was held on Thursday, June 14, 2018.  This year’s event brought together nearly three-hundred supporters and raised over $95,000 to help us continue our mission of providing one-of-a-kind retreat experiences and spiritually-enriching programs to the community.

The evening included cocktails and culinary offerings from our Executive Chef John Lucchese.  Guests enjoyed live music by the award-winning Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey under the direction of Maestro Robert W. Butts.  Frank and Marianne Diassi of Far Hills won the top prize in the Super 50/50 raffle and generously donated it back to Loyola!

The following sponsors were recognized during the evening’s festivities for their financial support:  Gold Sponsors — Martin Gutowski, of Piscataway, Jerry and Diane Cunningham of Fair Lawn; Bronze Sponsors — The Singer Family of Warren, Dermot Barry Walsh, Morristown, Friend of Loyola Sponsors — The Delleart Family, Pompton Plains, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, The Dublin Pub, Morristown and Molly Malones, Whippany. 

“We are truly blessed. The generosity of our friends is absolutely amazing. The support of all of our sponsors and the dedication of our Jesuit and lay staff, Board of Trustees and volunteers is what makes this event such a success,” said Renee Owens, Director of the Work.  “These financial gifts allow Loyola to provide meaningful spiritual retreats and experiences for people from all walks of life and all faiths and they secure the Center’s vitality for future generations.”

While many Tri-state area retreat centers have closed because of difficult financial times, Loyola has continued to flourish and has provided retreats for thousands of people since opening its doors in 1927.  Loyola is currently the only Jesuit retreat center operating in the NJ/NY Metropolitan area. 


We thank God first and foremost for a giving us a beautiful evening and a wonderful turnout. 

All of our Garden Event Sponsors for their generous support!  

Maestro Robert W. Butts and The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey (BONJ) for playing such heavenly music! Performing for the evening were Allen Weakland, Hui Wang, Elizabeth Fujita, Suzanne Weinberg, Valeri Cianciosi, Margaret Roberts, Marty Gelfond, Peter Howard, Sarian Johnson, Roosevelt Porter, Laura Ferraro, Nancy Vanderslice, Charles Yasskey, and Andrew Pecota.  Tenor Kevin Peters beautifully sang a selection of Irish ballads.  For more information about the orchestra click here.  

Our Executive Chef John Lucchese and our kitchen staff for wonderful food and service (the fire-roasted rotisserie lamb and turkey were amazing!)

Frank and Marianne Diassi for their generosity in donating back the winnings from the Super 50/50 Raffle to us!

All those who participated in the Super 50/50 Raffle drawing!  

All of the attendees for coming to our event!  

Our Board Members for their support of our event!

The Loyola staff, Jesuits and volunteers for all of their hard work putting this event together.  

The maintenance staff for making the gardens and mansion beautiful for our guests. 


It all felt magical,” Maestro Butts exclaimed.  “The weather was perfect.  The setting was sublime.  And we had the chance to play some of my favorite pieces of music from a Bach chorale, a Mozart serenade, or a Beatles song.  It was just great from beginning to end.

Here’s what The Baroque Orchestra Of New Jersey Had to Say About Playing at Our Garden Event.  https://www.baroqueorchestra.org/content/evening-loyola-gardens


Photos from our 2018 Garden Event