The Manresa Retreat Experience

First, welcome to Manresa On The Mississippi. The goal for your retreat is to make yourself completely open and available to the Lord. To accomplish this, St. Ignatius calls for silence, both external and internal. This means that the retreatant refrains from all conversation with fellow retreatants. Although silence is almost always mandatory, there are ways to ask someone to pass the salt to you during meals. The only exceptions to silence are during Mass, Benediction, the Rosary, the Way of the Cross, and the prayers before and after meals. Yes, you can chuckle at the presenter's jokes.

On the more serious side, as said before, the goal for your retreat is “for interior knowledge of the Lord… that I may more love and follow Him.” Manresa is blessed with beautiful grounds which are conducive to do just that: just God and you. Silence begins at the conference on the first evening and ends after the Blessing Before Meals for Sunday's lunch.

How do I sign up for a retreat at Manresa?

Please visit our Scheduling a Reteat page to learn more.

What Happens When I First Arrive?

The short answer is, “follow the crowd.” The first place to go is the library in St. Peter Canisius Hall. There you will ensure your information Manresa has on file is correct and pick up your copy of the Manresa Retreat Manual. On the back cover of the manual, you will find out which room you will be staying. Drop your things off there.

Next will come your first meal in Xavier Hall. During the meal, the captain of your group will explain rules and guidelines and a Jesuit priest will come and give a very brief overview of the retreat process. You will meet with the priest and the other first-timers in the tape room directly after the meal. After the meal will come your first of eleven weekend conferences which emphasize different aspects of the Spiritual Exercises. Silence begins at the first conference.

What activities take place at a typical Retreat?

Please view our Daily Activity Schedule page.

What Do I Need to Bring?

The following items are supplied:

  • A private room with a shower.
  • Bed linens and pillow. (You may wish to bring your special pillow.)
  • Bath towels
  • There is a limited supply of items like toothbrushes, etc. in case you forget to bring them.
  • All meals.
    • There will be a dinner meal on the first night.
    • We will end the retreat at lunch on the final day.

You will need or want to bring:

  • Personal toiletries and any medications
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Comfortable footwear. You will want to prepare for outdoor walking and contemplation
  • Your rosary 
  • Insect repellent
  • Some men wear suits for the final Mass. This is not required.
  • You might like to have your Bible and a notebook for making notes on the Retreat Master’s talk. Many of our Men of Manresa find it so beneficial for them to escape into their journal when they return home to the real world. This is a great way to revisit the Manresa experience.
  • This is a big opportunity to make a connection with some of those people in your life. Bring some stationery, stamps, names and addresses and you might find an opportunity to write those heartfelt words that some of us have difficulty saying out loud.

Other Items of Note

  • Conferences are held in the Blessed Peter Faber Conference Room in Loyola Hall.
  • Please be prompt to all group gatherings.
  • Please leave your electronic devices behind. These tend to be distractions and hinder your retreat experience.
  • Leave those worries at home. You need to bring an open heart for your meeting with the Lord. Silence is essential for every one of our men to establish their connection with God. You may be surprised how much better you can handle those worries once you “come off the mountain.”
  • Look under the donations section for the cost.
  • Finally, enjoy yourself in the presence of our Lord.