Table of Contents
- Michigan Retreats
- Out-of-State Retreats
The desire to explore new places and experience new things is often referred to as wanderlust. However, there is a unique kind of wanderlust known as holy wanderlust, which involves being drawn to places of God’s special presence. Many Catholics combine their summer travels with a visit to a wayside shrine, but making a spiritual retreat to a monastery, convent, or retreat house can satisfy the longing for the sacred. In this article, we will explore 78 Catholic retreats in 2023 that offer the opportunity to deepen your spiritual journey and find peace and solitude.
Manresa Spirituality and Retreat Center
Located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the Manresa Spirituality and Retreat Center is a beautiful Jesuit retreat and spirituality center. Situated on 39 acres of land with the Rouge River meandering through it, this retreat center offers a peaceful and serene environment for reflection. The center provides a variety of retreat options, including group conferences and one-on-one guided retreats modeled after St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises. Guests can stay in the Tudor-style former estate house, which offers comfortable guest rooms. Nearby, you can explore the Cranbrook House and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark.
If you’re looking to combine your vacation “up north” with a retreat, the Augustine Center in Conway, Michigan, is the perfect destination. This retreat complex is located on the grounds of the Sacramentine Sisters convent and offers a haven for the heart. You can choose from a range of weekend retreats hosted by various groups or opt for a private, self-directed retreat. The Augustine Center is surrounded by the natural beauty of Michigan vacationland, with Petoskey and Charlevoix just a short drive away.
St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat & Conference Center
The St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat & Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan, has been offering retreats since 1948. The Passionists provide programs that can truly change lives, including weekend men’s and women’s retreats, retreats for men and women in recovery, and retreats for married couples. The center’s upcoming retreat season is themed “Becoming Peacemakers.” Guests can expect inspiring talks, a peaceful atmosphere, and delicious meals, including the famous pot roast. The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village in Dearborn are just a short drive away, offering additional cultural attractions.
Maryville Retreat Center
Nestled around picturesque Lake Elliot in Holly, Michigan, the Maryville Retreat Center is overseen by the Franciscan Felician Sisters. This 240-acre retreat facility offers a range of lodging options, including private rooms, tidy cottages, and a secluded hermitage. You can choose a directed silent retreat of up to six days or schedule a personal appointment with a certified spiritual director. The center also offers monthly faith-building programs. While you’re in the area, consider visiting the Michigan Renaissance Festival, held near the village of Holly.
Capuchin Retreat Center
Located in Washington, Michigan, the Capuchin Retreat Center is a Franciscan friary that offers inspiring days of reflection throughout the year. The center recently refurbished all 47 of its rooms, maintaining their Franciscan simplicity. For a more secluded retreat experience, guests can choose to stay in the Hermitage. The center’s mission is to help guests enter the silence and embrace God’s spiritual healing. While you’re in the area, don’t miss a visit to Westview Orchards, which has a bakery and a winery with a tasting bar.
Situated in Three Rivers, Michigan, The Hermitage is an ecumenical retreat house that offers directed and private retreats in the Christian Reformed tradition for people of all faiths. Guests can choose to stay in the creatively converted St. Joseph’s Barn, which offers private rooms, or opt for a rustic cabin experience without electricity or running water. The retreat house provides a peaceful and serene atmosphere for reflection and prayer. While you’re in the area, take the time to explore the eight resort villages of Lake Michigan’s Harbor Country, which offer beautiful beaches and galleries.
St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat Center
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat Center offers a stunning view of the Monongahela River and the Pittsburgh skyline. The monastery and meditation garden date back to 1854. The Passionist brothers lead men’s and women’s retreats throughout the year and provide spiritual direction. The center has a long tradition of assisting recovering addicts with their fifth step. While you’re in the area, take a ride on the incline down to the revitalized Southside neighborhood and explore downtown Pittsburgh.
Monastery of the Holy Cross
Situated in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the Monastery of the Holy Cross is an oasis-like monastery within the bustling city. The monastery offers two guest options: fully-equipped apartments for individuals and groups who want to explore the city, or the opportunity to stay in the monastery’s guesthouse and participate in the Benedictines’ daily work and prayer schedule. The monks also welcome visitors to the showroom of Abbey Caskets, where they are the exclusive distributor. While you’re in Chicago, catch a baseball game between the Tigers and the White Sox at US Cellular Field.
Holy Hill Basilica and National Shrine
Located in Hubertus, Wisconsin, the Holy Hill Basilica and National Shrine is a popular destination for pilgrimages and retreats. The hilltop shrine offers a spiritual and visual treasure, with its iconic bell towers, chapels, and serene wooded acres. The Discalced Carmelite friars provide daily Masses, confession, and Eucharistic adoration. Guests can choose to stay in the historic fifteen-room guesthouse or visit the other chapels on the grounds. While you’re in the area, consider taking the auto ferry across Lake Michigan between Muskegon and Milwaukee for a relaxing and scenic journey.
New Melleray Abbey
Located in Peosta, Iowa, the New Melleray Abbey is a Trappist monastery surrounded by rolling fields of corn. The abbey’s Gothic Revival architecture adds to its dream-like atmosphere. The Trappist monks live a cloistered life of silence, simplicity, work, and prayer. They offer self-directed retreats for guests who want to join them for liturgical services and daily Mass. Men can also choose a more challenging silent retreat in the Monastic Center, where they can participate in the monks’ strict liturgical and work schedules. While you’re in the area, visit the Field of Dreams Movie Site for a dose of movie and sports history.
Monastery of Christ in the Desert
Located in Abiquiu, New Mexico, the Monastery of Christ in the Desert offers a ruggedly beautiful and isolated retreat experience. The Benedictine monks welcome guests at the end of a 13-mile gravel road that winds along a river canyon. The adobe abbey is filled with Byzantine-style icons and offers a peaceful and serene environment for reflection. Guests can join the monks for silent meals and daily prayers in Gregorian chant. The surrounding landscape, with its twisting juniper trees and soaring rock formations, provides ample opportunities for hiking and enjoying the starlit nights. Nearby, you can visit Ojo Caliente, a secluded destination spa with thermal mineral pools and a restored hotel.
These 78 Catholic retreats in 2023 offer a range of options for those seeking a deeper spiritual experience and a break from the everyday. Whether you choose to stay close to home in Michigan or venture further afield to Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, or New Mexico, each retreat center provides a unique opportunity for reflection, prayer, and renewal. Say yes to a retreat and let the Lord touch your heart and fill you with hope and new life.
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