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 of 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 to 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. 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. 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. 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 retreats are based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of 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 available during the retreat. There is also time for private prayer in one of our Chapels or outdoor prayer shelters, enjoying the beauty of the grounds, hiking the Stations of the Cross path, or simply taking a nap in your room.
When do Broom Tree Silent Retreats start and end?
Check in begins Thursday at 5:00 p.m. the day of the retreat. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. The retreat ends at 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
What does it cost to attend a retreat?
Broom Tree Retreat and Conference Center is sustained in large part 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. Broom Tree’s cost to provide meals and lodging for a Silent Retreat is $390/person. We ask that you prayerfully consider this when making your donation.
Donations can be made online at broom-tree.weshareonline.org; or by 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, a recliner or couch, and a private bath. Towels, sheets, and blankets are also provided.
All meals, snacks, and beverages – Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available at scheduled times during your retreat. Beverages and snacks are available at all times. Breakfast consists of continental and basic breakfast offerings. Lunch and dinner include a salad bar, an entrée, sides, and dessert. For individuals with food allergies, we encourage you to bring along any special items you may need. A guest refrigerator with freezer and a microwave are available for your use.
Spiritual Director Stipend – All of our directors gives generously of their time and faith. Any amount you are able to give above the retreat value helps to provide a stipend and travel reimbursement to the director.
What should you bring to wear?
Casual, comfortable clothing is recommended. Bring tennis shoes or boots for taking hikes on our trails, a sweater or sweatshirt for inside, suitable clothes for Sunday mass, and a watch.
Is there an age requirement?
Yes, all retreatants must be 18 or over unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. A young person 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 youth who is between 16-18 years of age on retreat with you, please call to let us know.
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. Please visit the Scheduled Retreats page for a listing of other retreats.