Home - Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Westchester County, NY




Retreats: Private, Silent, and Directed

What is a retreat?
A retreat is an opportunity to stop what one is doing in a normally busy life and come away to a quiet place to be with God. This quiet place, called Mariandale, offers retreatants a private room, three delicious meals, beautiful wooded areas, trails and pathways for walking and magnificent views of the Hudson River to contemplate.

What is a private retreat?
A private retreat of one or several days allows a person to take some peaceful time away from everyday activities.  This time can be spent in praying, reading, journaling, walking, resting, and other quiet activities that restore the soul.  Spiritual Direction can also be included, if desired.  Persons can come for private retreat time on a space-available basis.Reservations for a private retreat, with or without Spiritual Direction, must be made several days in advance of arrival.

What is a silent retreat?
A silent retreat is an invitation to a contemplative experience, the opportunity to quiet our minds, hearts and bodies so that we might better hear what God is saying to us.  Concretely this means there is thoughtful attention to avoiding noise of any sort, no speaking or otherwise communication with others including silence at meals (soft music provided) in order to maintain the contemplative atmosphere.

What is a directed retreat?
A directed retreat gives participants the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a qualified spiritual director for individually guided prayer. Except for meeting with one’s director and liturgy, the time is spent in silence and prayer.

What is a guided retreat?
A guided retreat is the opportunity for retreatants to meet at least once, usually twice a day, with the presenters for input on a particular theme. The presenters make suggestions for the retreatants’ prayer during the course of the day, usually Scripture passages. Presenters decide whether or not the retreat will be silent.

What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is a journey of three persons: God,a qualified spiritual director, and a directee. The director explores with the directee where God has been present in the various areas of the person’s life (work, home, environment, etc.). The aim of spiritual direction is to deepen the directee’s relationship with God. Generally, one meets with a spiritual director once a month.

How can I find a spiritual director?
If you are interested in more information on spiritual direction, or to be connected with a spiritual director you can contact Nancy Erts OP, Program Specialist, at 914-941-4455, or email nerts@ophope.org.