Retreat Schedule 2018

Our Preached Retreat Program provides a rich variety of spiritual presentations for men and women. In these preached retreats there is a leader or presenter(s) who offer conferences each day and leads discussions. The presenter(s) gives 2 or 3 talks a day, followed by suggested readings to be used during the retreatant's personal prayer throughout the day. The day also offers an opportunity to share in the Eucharist, participate in the Divine Office, and invites you to spend your day, including meals, in prayerful silence.

CLICK HERE FOR 2017 SCHEDULE

RETREAT SCHEDULES 2018
Jan   Feb   March  April   May   June   July   Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec 

January 5-7 (Weekend)
Contemplative Prayer
(Frs. Tom Francis & Gerard and Br. Michael)
Prayer is a loving exchange with God. When we learn to receive the gift of God’s presence through loving silence, we are able to develop our personal relationship with Him. One way to receive this gift is through centering prayer, traditionally known as contemplative prayer. This type of prayer enables us to rest in God, leading to a more intimate relationship with Him.

January 12-14 (Weekend)
Yoga and Christian Contemplation
(Fr. Tom Francis & Michelle Carew-Bessette)
The physical practice of Hatha Yoga, accompanied by different forms of Christian prayer, such as Lectio Divina and Taize Song, are used to enter Contemplative Prayer. The integration of these methods foster a movement beyond conversation and meditation into spiritual communion with The Most Holy Trinity. Approachable and fundamental, this retreat offers a practical experience to those new to yoga or those looking to fulfill their own practice and teaching with the light of our Triune God: Father, Son-Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

January 15-18 (Midweek)
Confidence in God
(Br. Mark & Jacqueline Rychlicki)
Confidence in God is a choice that isn't always easy to make, yet it is imperative to make the choice. It is only then that our true journey towards God can begin. Awareness of the Divine Presence and discernment of God's will are foundational in the spiritual life. Through these principles found in the Christian classic, “Abandonment to Divine Providence”, we will explore the key elements of our pilgrimage.

January 19-21 (Weekend)
Good Grief—Moving from Loss to New Beginnings
(Barb Kennedy)
Grief can help us move from the pain of loss into new hope and trust. One door is closed, and the window of fresh air blows into our lives. We can get stuck in the mud of endless tears, or we can look up to God, who is waiting to draw us up on eagles’ wings. We can pretend there is no pain in our loss, letting it mysteriously rob our energy, hope and love, or we can wake up to its pain in new and fresh horizons. God is waiting to be gracious to each of us.

January 26-28 (Weekend)
Prayer and the Image of God
(Fr. Francis Michael & Br. Mario)
The focus of this retreat is discovering and exploring our images of God and how they affect our prayer. As St. Teresa of Avila learned, discovering the images of God can profoundly affect our prayer life and ultimately our relationship with God.

February 5-8 (Midweek)                                                                                   back to top
EMOTIONS: “Our cross and our crown”
(Br. Michael)
What are emotions? What’s their purpose?
Emotions seem to rule our daily lives. We make decisions based on whether we are happy, angry, sad, bored, or frustrated. We choose certain behaviors based on the emotions they incite. Emotions can play an important role in how we think and behave. “Don’t get emotional or maybe do so!”

February 9-11 (Weekend)
Embracing Deep Rest in Turbulent Times
(Carl McColman)
“Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27). These words from Jesus represent a profound promise – and speaks to a need in the human heart which has never been greater. Everyone knows that these are challenging times; how do we live in the peace and courage that Jesus promises us? This retreat, which blends restful silence with nurturing reflections on themes such as rest, serenity, and courage, is designed to celebrate the peace that comes from God: a peace that provides lasting rest, but which also impels us to make our world a better place.

February 23-25 (Weekend)
Spiritual Rx for Stress and Anxiety
(Martha Gross)
Stress is unavoidable but if it is not managed, it can lead to a crippling anxiety, blocking us from experiencing joy and vitality in everyday life. This retreat offers both spiritual and practical tools for managing stress and anxiety, and opening us to God's Peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding.

February 26 - March 1 (Midweek)
Dancing Madly Backwards
(Br. Elias)
This retreat focuses on what St. Benedict calls the tools of the spiritual craft: various practical ways to follow the lead of the Spirit in the unfolding of a silent, loving communion with God beyond the senses, words, or rituals. Participants will learn practices to deepen the silence at the bottom of the soul, skillful ways that deal with harmful thoughts and feelings, the prayer of gratitude, the use of the imagination in praying the Gospels, ways to silence the chatter and commentaries inside the mind, and how to “dance madly backwards” by releasing the power of the Name of Jesus.

March 2-4 (Weekend)                                                                                  back to top
The Way of the Cross in Our Lives: Encountering Christ, Our Neighbor & Ourselves
(Br. Mark & Jacqueline Rychlicki)
A Catholic perspective of living day by day with our eyes fixed on the presence of our Crucified and Risen Lord. Jacqueline is a profound Catholic thinker, who speaks from her own experience. This is certainly a retreat for Catholics, or those who would like to understand the Catholic Faith better.

March 19-22 (Midweek)
Contemplative Prayer
(Frs. Tom Francis & Gerard and Br. Michael)
Prayer is a loving exchange with God. When we learn to receive the gift of God’s presence through loving silence, we are able to develop our personal relationship with Him. One way to receive this gift is through centering prayer, traditionally known as contemplative prayer. This type of prayer enables us to rest in God, leading to a more intimate relationship with Him.

March 23-25 (Weekend)
Palm Sunday: Meeting Jesus during Holy Week
(Br. Cassian & Br. Mark)
In the Passion narratives of the Gospels, we meet three facets of Jesus: (1) Jesus who plumbs the depths of human pain and alienation; (2) Jesus who reaches out to others in concern and forgiveness, even on the road to Calvary; and (3) Jesus who freely lays down His life and embraces death as victory. Contemplating these facets assures us that God is listening, even in our darkest hours of pain, failure and alienation. We can find God in suffering when we open ourselves to His reconciling compassion and forgiveness. Even the worst evil and distortion in our world have no power over Jesus or those to whom He gives life.

March 29-April 1 (Weekend)
Sacred Triduum
Come join us and enter more deeply into the powerful events that are the very foundation of our Christian lives. On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the gifts of the Eucharist and loving service to one another in the washing of the feet. On Good Friday, we walk with Jesus in His Passion and death. On Holy Saturday, we spend time with Jesus in the silence of the tomb in preparation for the joy of the Resurrection on Easter.

April 6-8 (Weekend)
Divine Mercy Retreat
(Fr. Gerard and Br. Mark)
God has revealed to us His boundless, merciful love in His Son, Jesus. His heart was broken with love as He wept over a Jerusalem that would later refuse His love, nailing Him to a cross. That cross brings us hope today. The message has rung out through the centuries, yet we have often become deaf to His merciful love. This retreat will focus on how we can receive the healing love, poured out from the radiant heart of our Lord, once we learn to put our trust in Him.

April 30 - May 3 (Midweek)                                                                                  back to top
The 12 Roses of St. Therese
(Jacqueline Rychlicki & Rosemary Amor)
This retreat features twelve key elements of Theresian spirituality presented in the form of a bouquet of a dozen roses just for you. Includes time for presentation, quiet reflection and discussion. Join us for this delightful shower of roses for your soul!

May 4-6 (Weekend)
Sacred Journey Towards the End of Life
(Br. Mark, Br. Michael, Fr. Thomas Francis and Dr. Christopher Powers)
This retreat will explore the importance of Spirituality in the journey of Death and Dying. It will also explore the areas of Health Care and Medicine, especially the growing field of Palliative Medicine. We will delve into specific topics that include the Spirituality of Death and Dying, decisions around End of Life Care in the hospital, long-term care facilities & home settings.  We will cover areas of Advanced Care Planning, Long-Term Care for Loved Ones, and the growing opportunities to explore ways to participate in God's transforming Love given that physical death is a reality for all of us. Additional topics will touch on the cultural and religious practices of the Catholic and other Christian faith traditions as well as other religious faith traditions.

May 11-13 (Weekend)
Image, Faith & Photography
(Fr. James, John Spink & Matthew Jeffres)
Humanity is made in the image and likeness of God. Photography, at its best, can bring to view beautiful images that evoke a powerful sense of God's presence in our world. John Spink, a well known photographer whose work graces the pages of The Atlanta Journal Constitution, will share his insights and images. Matthew Jeffres is a friend of the monastery and also a professional photographer. He will also share his photographs, many of which are from this area. Fr. James Behrens will lead the retreat and share his photographs and comments on faith and the photographic imagination.

May 14-17 (Midweek)
Spirituality of Imperfection
(Fr. Francis Michael & Br. Michael)
The spirituality of imperfection speaks to those who seek meaning in the absurd, peace within the chaos, light within the darkness, and joy within the suffering, without denying the reality and even the necessity of absurdity, chaos, darkness, and suffering. This is not spirituality for the saints or the gods, but for people who suffer from what the philosopher and psychologist William James called “torn-to-pieces-hood.” We have all known that experience. To be human is to feel, at times, divided, fractured, and pulled in a dozen directions ... and to yearn for serenity and some healing of our “torn-to-pieces-hood.”

May 25-27 (Weekend)
Yoga and Christian Contemplation
(Fr. Tom Francis & Michelle Carew-Bessette)
The physical practice of Hatha Yoga, accompanied by different forms of Christian prayer, such as Lectio Divina and Taize Song, are used to enter Contemplative Prayer. The integration of these methods foster a movement beyond conversation and meditation into spiritual communion with The Most Holy Trinity. Approachable and fundamental, this retreat offers a practical experience to those new to yoga or those looking to fulfill their own practice and teaching with the light of our Triune God: Father, Son-Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

June 4-7 (Midweek)                                                                                   back to top
Monastic Wisdom Beyond the Cloister
(Br. Elias & Jacqueline Rychlicki)
Drawing upon the wisdom of the monastery, this four-day retreat will focus on aspects of monastic life that can help busy people who are searching for ways to slow down and pay more attention to the spiritual dimension of their lives. The retreat will include an opportunity to view a documentary film series that captures the impact monastic life had on five women who were struggling with challenges that confront us all. Retreatants will explore how a contemplative approach to life can lead to a deeper understanding of what it means to be attentive to the many ways God is present to us. Practical suggestions for incorporating monastic wisdom into everyday life will be included.

June 18-21 (Midweek)
Merton's Poetry and the Journey of Faith
(Victor Kramer)
Focusing on selected poems from the volume of selected poetry, In the Dark before Dawn, this meditative retreat will suggest Merton's poetic imagination helps readers to pray. His journey of faith reflected in poems from the 1930s to the 1960s reveals a process which helps us to understand the need all persons have to cultivate a contemplative stance.

June 22-24 (Weekend)
Discovering Our Deepest Desires Drinking From the Wellspring of Life
(Martha Gross)
Life can become a mechanized routine, enslaving us to various demands and expectations and leaving us with a gnawing feeling that we are missing out on something. This retreat provides tools for recognizing and responding to our deepest desires. These desires are instilled by God and lead us to Him and the Wellspring of Life and Love within, enabling us to live from the heart.

June 29 – July 1 (Weekend)
Prayer: The Heart of Monastic Mindfulness
(Br. Cassian, Br. Hugh, and Br. Elias)
We invite people 35 and under to come to this introduction to scripturally-based Christian prayer which draws us into a silent, loving communion with God. We will include praying the psalms, prayer of silence, invoking the name of Jesus, praying with the imagination, praying the rosary, and other forms of prayer, all of which are ways to deal with the clutter of chatter, thinking and commenting inside us, that prevent going deeper into God. We will include periods of practice and small group sharing of experience. This retreat, built on authentic monastic practice, will offer a practical vision of a journey, led by the Spirit, to the highest expression of human possibility. Conferences and practice sessions by various monks.

July 6-8 (Weekend)
Listening to God
(Fr. Gerard & Br. Mario)
This retreat focuses on learning to listen to God with the ears of our hearts. We will learn how to listen to God speak to us through the Scriptures, how to listen in the monastic tradition (Rule of Benedict), how to listen to conscience, the silence of God, and how to listen to the hearts of our brothers and sisters. Please bring a notebook for journaling.

July 13-15 (Weekend)
Monastic Spirituality for All Leaders                                                                                  back to top
(Br. Michael)
The Rule of St. Benedict can be of help for all leaders (CEO’s, Presidents, Managers, “Bosses” ministers, laypersons etc.). Monastic spiritual leadership involves the application of monastic values and principles to leadership. The spiritual leader understands the importance of those he/she leads as persons and demonstrates a genuine concern for the “whole” person.

July 20-22 (Weekend)
Writing & Journal Keeping
(Fr. James, Br. Mark & Br. Elias)
Explore your personal connection between the inner life and the written word. This weekend includes time for silence, journaling, and reflection on the relationship between writing and the spiritual life. Suitable for professional and amateur writers at all skill levels, this weekend does not include personal criticism or feedback. Instead, it simply creates a space where you can write, pray, and perhaps even combine the two into a unified spiritual practice.

July 23-26 (Midweek)
Social Influences – How they Impact Us
(Br. Mario)
Social influence occurs when one's emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by others. Why do we behave as we do? We aren't always aware of what influences us in different situations. Nevertheless, these powers frequently impact both us and others. During this retreat we are going to learn to be more aware of our inner emotional responses before they surprise us.

July 27-29 (Weekend)
Dialogue with Jesus in St. John’s Gospel
(Dewey Kramer)
St. John narrates several intense exchanges between Jesus and another person by which he/she is gradually transformed. This retreat will focus on three such dialogues. By reading and meditating on the encounters, we can identify with these seekers and then, with and through them, be drawn into a closer relationship with the Lord.

August 3-5 (Weekend)                                                                                   back to top
Health & Wellness Retreat
(Christopher Milton)
Christopher Milton is a native of East Point, Georgia; he has a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and a M.A. in Human Services with a concentration in Counseling and Executive Leadership. Christopher has completed classes in Food, Nutrition, and Health, Wellness Coaching and Life Coaching, and he holds a certification in Holistic and Integrative Health. Christopher is a speaker, coach, and trainer for Project Health & Wellness and for the John Maxwell Team.

August 10-12 (Weekend)
Anger, Resentment & Forgiveness
(Br. Mark & Br. Cassian)
Forgiveness of all is a central challenge of Jesus' ministry. We can often get stuck in anger or resentment. History teaches us that this has led tribes and nations to marginalize, dehumanize, and kill other tribes, nations and peoples. This retreat will help us own our anger and resentment. While we have no pat answers, Christ is with us to empower us to forgive, to live forgiveness, and thus be the leaven of love to our communities in our modern world.

August 13-16 (Midweek)
Good Grief—Moving from Loss to New Beginnings
(Barb Kennedy)
Grief can help us move from the pain of loss into new hope and trust. One door is closed, and the window of fresh air blows into our lives. We can get stuck in the mud of endless tears, or we can look up to God, who is waiting to draw us up on eagles’ wings. We can pretend there is no pain in our loss, letting it mysteriously rob our energy, hope and love, or we can wake up to its pain in new and fresh horizons. God is waiting to be gracious to each of us.

August 17-19 (Weekend)
Yoga and Christian Contemplation
(Fr. Tom Francis & Michelle Carew-Bessette)
The physical practice of Hatha Yoga, accompanied by different forms of Christian prayer, such as Lectio Divina and Taize Song, are used to enter Contemplative Prayer. The integration of these methods foster a movement beyond conversation and meditation into spiritual communion with The Most Holy Trinity. Approachable and fundamental, this retreat offers a practical experience to those new to yoga or those looking to fulfill their own practice and teaching with the light of our Triune God: Father, Son-Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

August 24-26 (Weekend)
The Seven Desires of Every Heart
(Br. Michael)
"The Seven Desires of Every Heart" focuses on what are perceived as the 7 great needs of every human being:

1. To be heard and understood                       5. To be touched                                                        

2. To be affirmed                                             6. To be chosen                                  

3. To be blessed                                              7. To be included

4. To be safe
This retreat will show how important these needs are and how we may have them met in legitimate ways that please God.

August 31- September 2 (Weekend)
Cistercian Spirituality
(Fr. Francis Michael & Br. Cassian)
This retreat will explore how the Charisms, such as patience, humility, Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina, silence, and solitude, that define the life of the monastic community can be readily translated to the lay community. Both monastic and Lay Cistercians will discuss how they live the Charisms in their everyday life.

September 3-6 (Midweek)                                                                                   back to top
Praying with the Scriptures
(Fr Gerard and Br. Michael)
The practice of lectio divina, meaning divine reading, is a form of prayer where one ponders Sacred Scriptures as a means of seeking communion with God. This retreat will discuss the steps of lectio divina and how we can practice this form of prayer in everyday lives as a tool to deepen our relationship with Christ.

September 7-9 (Weekend)
Befriending Fear
(Br. Mark)
In life there are fears that have to be faced and even embraced if we are to grow and expand. Fear has a good purpose, it protects us from danger. However it can also keep us from stepping over obstacles that keep us from maturing and living life fully. Once we give in to fears that are based on a lack of self worth, it can become a habit that can back those afflicted into a very small corner. It is not an easy journey, but one well worth taking.

September 14-16 (Weekend)
Second Half of Life Can Be the Better Half
(Martha Gross)
Midlife begs the question, "Is there more to life than this?" This retreat will help us recognize and respond to that deep but subtle longing, and surrender to God's loving call – a call into ordinary life enriched with love, meaning and purpose. It is never too late to discover the "more" in life!

September 17- 20 (Midweek)
Drawing Nearer to Christ
(Br. Cassian)
In what ways are you being drawn nearer to Christ? Would you like to know more of his presence in your life? This retreat will include meditations on scripture from some of our own Cistercian writers. As we interact with these meditations, we will find ways to open ourselves more fully to Christ.

October 15-18 (Midweek)                                                                                   back to top
Too Deep for Words
(Br. Elias & Jacqueline Rychlicki)
In the teachings of Jesus, there are prayers, and then there is prayer – a silent loving communion with God beyond the senses, words, or rituals. We invite retreatants to learn prayer rooted in the Gospels – ancient, proven ways for the most part unknown in our culture. The theme of this retreat is the gradual unfolding of the divine image within us into likeness. Participants will become familiar with the use of the breath and imagination in prayer, and ways to develop interior silence and stillness. We will also present practices to deal with afflictive thoughts and feelings, and the incessant chatter and commentaries inside us that prevent our going deeper into God. As a final word, this retreat longs to help participants to become more of what they already are – living flames of kindness and compassion.

October 19-21 (Weekend)
Yoga and Christian Contemplation
(Fr. Tom Francis & Michelle Carew-Bessette)
The physical practice of Hatha Yoga, accompanied by different forms of Christian prayer, such as Lectio Divina and Taize Song, are used to enter Contemplative Prayer. The integration of these methods foster a movement beyond conversation and meditation into spiritual communion with The Most Holy Trinity. Approachable and fundamental, this retreat offers a practical experience to those new to yoga or those looking to fulfill their own practice and teaching with the light of our Triune God: Father, Son-Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

November 5-8 (Midweek)
Dorothy Day's Legacy: Recognizing God's Mercy
(Victor Kramer)
Using selected essays and journal entries by Dorothy Day, this reflective retreat surveys parallels and insights between her life and circumstances in our contemporary culture. The goal of the retreat will be to remind Christians that we have a responsibility within and for the wider culture.

November 9-11
Forgiveness Toolbox: Finding Freedom of Heart
(Martha Gross)
Forgiveness is not forgetting but receiving the gift of inner freedom that enables us to let go of the past and not allow it to define us, our relationships, and our future. This retreat offers tools for experiencing the kind of forgiveness that enables us to forgive others and even one's self – often the most challenging and necessary form of forgiveness.

November 16-18 (Weekend)
Wisdom of the Christian Mystics
(Br. Elias & Carl McColman)
From the Desert Fathers to Julian of Norwich to Thomas Merton, Christian history is filled with stories of men and women who experienced a profound sense of God's presence in their lives. Can the teachings of the mystics still speak to us today? The mystics themselves would say "Yes." Furthermore, their message is not just for priests, monks or nuns, but is indeed meant for the entire people of God. With this in mind, during this weekend we will look at several ways that the wisdom of the Christian mystics can provide insight and inspiration for our age, including the universal call to holiness, St. Paul's directive to "pray without ceasing," and the promise from the Psalms to "Be still and know that I am God."

November 19-21 (Midweek)                                                                                   back to top
Spirituality of Thank-Full-Ness
(Fr. Gerard & Br. Mario)
Practicing the spirituality of thankfulness strengthens our faith, as we remember the evidence of God's presence in our lives. Thank-full-ness encourages others, giving them strength and joy for their journey.

November 30-December 2 (Weekend)
Contemplative Prayer
(Frs. Tom Francis & Gerard and Br. Michael)
Prayer is a loving exchange with God. When we learn to receive the gift of God’s presence through loving silence, we are able to develop our personal relationship with Him. One way to receive this gift is through centering prayer, traditionally known as contemplative prayer. This type of prayer enables us to rest in God, leading to a more intimate relationship with Him.

December 7-9 (Weekend)
12 Step Spirituality for Everyone
(Br. Michael)
This retreat will show how everyone can use the Twelve Steps of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) in their spiritual lives. The retreat will provide practical ways to use the Twelve Steps as spiritual “tools” on your journey to God.

Prayer Requests

At the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, we are here to support you and we welcome your prayer request. Please submit your request online and the community will pray for your intentions. 

Mass and Liturgy Schedules

Prayer services are held 7 times throughout the day beginning with Vigils at 4 a.m. and ending with Compline at 7:30 p.m. Click below for the Monastery’s detailed prayer schedule.