What are the Spiritual Exercises?
The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises provide a way to pray, an approach to making decisions and a practical guide to everyday life.
They were developed by St. Ignatius Loyola to assist people of faith in deepening their relationship with God. Through a collection of prayers, meditations and contemplative practices the Spiritual Exercises enable each of us to contemplate the life, Passion and Resurrection of Christ and consider how they provide the framework for how we should live and serve each day.
The Spiritual Exercises provide the foundation for all of our silent retreats. Through a series of presentations by one of our Spiritual Directors, these exercises allow retreatants to consider Creation, Sin, Repentance, and Redemption. And, through prayer and discernment, they provide the opportunity for those that practice them to realize and surrender to God’s great plan of salvation through Christ.
Being silent, waiting, and listening for God to speak – with nowhere to go, no agenda to keep, and no superficial social contact is the key ingredient for communicating with God. The beauty of the grounds also helps dispose oneself to hearing the Lord speak. Remember, Elijah did not find God in the earthquake, hurricane, or fire, but in the quiet breeze.(1 Kings 19:12).
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 experience is quite the opposite. Within silence is the opportunity for deep and meaningful spiritual reflection and discovery. In silence you can hear yourself think; but more importantly, you also give yourself the opportunity to actively listen for the voice of God and His desire for your life.
Why should I attend a Silent Retreat?
The reasons for participating in a Silent Retreat are numerous and highly personal. For many, a retreat provides the opportunity to examine the quality of their spiritual life and the direction of their spiritual journey. For some, a retreat provides an opportunity to examine and reflect on a serious challenge, decision, or commitment they maybe be facing. For others, a retreat may be an opportunity for deeper conversion, purification, and growth in their own faith and personal relationship with God. No matter what the reason for attending a retreat, the resulting experience is unique, personal, and often life changing.
What can I expect during a Silent Retreat?
All of our silent retreat weekend and weekday retreats are based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola which are the foundation of Ignatian Spirituality. They are intended to help people find God more deeply in the world in which they live by becoming completely aware of God’s presence in their life through reflection, prayer and contemplation. The retreat fosters a type of prayer that as Ignatius proposes allows, “the Creator to deal directly with the creature, and the creature directly with the Creator.” Every retreat is led by an experienced retreat director who will offer a series of points for prayer during the weekend. Daily opportunities for Mass, Confession, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Spiritual Direction are also available during the retreat. There is also time for quiet walks on the grounds, Stations of the Cross and time for silent prayer outdoors or in the Sts. Isidore and Maria Chapel on the hill.
When do Broom Tree Silent Retreats start and end?
Check in begins Thursday at 6:00 p.m. the day of the specific retreat. Dinner is served at 7:00 p.m. The retreat ends at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday of the specific retreat.
What does it cost to attend a retreat?
Broom Tree Retreat and Conference Center is sustained by the donations of the retreatants. Each Broom Tree sponsored retreat is run by donation. We count on the generosity of our retreatants and trust in the providence of God. No one is turned away for financial reasons and there is no registration fee. All are welcome at Broom Tree. Broom Tree’s cost to provide meals and lodging for a Silent Retreat is $300/person ($100/day). We ask that you prayerfully consider this when making your donation.
Donations can be made by credit card or check or cash. Envelopes are provided for this purpose. Please make checks out to Broom Tree Retreat Center.
What is included in the cost to attend?
A private room with a private bath – Because the focus of our retreats is on personal contemplation, prayer and meditation, all retreatants are provided with an individual room with a comfortable, queen-sized bed, either a recliner or couch depending on the wing you are assigned and a private bath. Towels, sheets, and blankets are also provided.
There is also an exercise room at the retreat center along with a bookstore should you care to visit it.
All meals, snacks and beverages – Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at scheduled times during your retreat. Beverages and coffee are available at all times. Should you have specific dietary needs, please let us know when registering. We will do our best to accommodate. You may also bring food and beverages with you should you desire. A refrigerator and microwave is available.
What should you bring to wear?
Casual clothing is recommended- slacks, sweaters, sports shirts, make for a relaxing weekend. Also, wear comfortable walking shoes and bring suitable outdoor wear for taking hikes on our trails. You may also wish to bring something suitable for Sunday mass.
Is there an age requirement?
Yes. All retreatants must be 18 or over unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. That being said, it is important to mention that this retreat is not suitable for children under the age of 16. The young adult suited for a 4-Day Silent Retreat at Broom Tree will already be accustomed to silence in prayer, have a personal desire for retreat as a response to their experiences in prayer, and possess the maturity to room alone and remain in silence for the duration of the retreat. Should you have a desire to bring a young adult on retreat with you, please call to let us know.
What can I expect at mealtime?
At Broom Tree, our kitchen staff prepares fresh quality meals to compliment your retreat experience. Breakfast consists of continental and basic breakfast offerings. Lunch and dinner both include a salad bar, an entrée and dessert. At all meals beverages are available.
- Gluten Free – Although we cannot provide 100% gluten free prepared meals, at Broom Tree most of our meals are gluten free friendly. As an alternative to our entrée prepared for all retreatants a salad bar is provided at lunch and dinner.
- Vegetarian – Although we do not provide a vegetarian entrée specifically, we do provide a full salad bar with various cheeses, beans and nuts to provide protein with your meal.
- Dairy Free – You are welcome to bring dairy free alternatives that can be placed in our mini refrigerator in the retreat house.
- Other dietary needs – Please feel free to bring any special foods or beverages you want, or need, on retreat with you. We ask that they are in appropriate containers for storage and refrigeration.
Please note that not all retreats scheduled at Broom Tree are Silent Ignatian Retreats. We have the privilege of hosting many different types throughout the year.