What is a Retreat?
A retreat is a time for God, a time for assessing our relationship with God. A retreat nurtures our spiritual life in an environment away from the ordinary distractions of life.
In scriptures, we read that Jesus would simply go off and pray.
Each and every one of us needs time to be alone, away from distractions. A retreat provides us with this opportunity. Groups and organizations also need this time. Time to pause and discern where we are, where we are going, where we want to be, and how we get there. A retreat provides this time for any person, married couple, religious group, or organization.
We have a number of retreats that we sponsor. Some are thematic, like “Franciscan Spirituality”; some are seasonal, like the “New Year’s Retreat”; and some are directed towards specialized groups. (See House Retreats.)
Our hosted retreats are focused on specific life challenges like addiction; enriching our relationships through marriage and engagement encounters, or designed for specific groups like women’s groups and men’s groups.
In addition to sponsored and hosted retreats, we also offer private retreats for individuals. Private retreats are available on a space available basis only and are not designed for weekend or extend stays. If desired, spiritual direction is available.
We have three cottages dedicated to those seeking some time away for a private retreat. The cottages offer a kitchen, comfortable living room and one or two bedrooms for our guests. You can provide your own meals, or enjoy the buffet offerings when the kitchen is in operation.
Spiritual Direction can be arranged ahead of time if you wish. We limit stays to five days at one time. Spiritual Direction is the practice of “walking with individuals” on their faith journey. It is not counseling or the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but more of a guided conversation, assisting individuals to reflect on their place in their journey. We do not offer Directed Private Retreats.
Facilities for Private Retreats – Cottages. The primary purpose of the cottages is to provide couples and individuals the opportunity to experience the peaceful and restorative nature of our setting. There is a five day limit on stays, and meals may be available at an additional charge if our commercial kitchen is open. Those seeking Spiritual Direction should check on availability prior to arriving.
House Retreats are offered at different times throughout the year. While they each have a separate focus, there is an underlying Franciscan Spirituality. The typical retreat begins on Friday evening with supper and continues on to Lunch on Sunday.
We also offer shorter “Days of Recollection” on most of the First Fridays of the year. The current listing will include the theme of the day. We begin with coffee and coffee cake at 9:30am with the first session at 10:00am. Lunch is included and we conclude with either Mass or another session at 1:00pm. No reservations are necessary for the Days of Recollection.
If you’d like to attend one of our House Retreats, you can see our Current Events page and purchase tickets online, or call us at 1-831-623-4234.
We welcome a wide variety of religious and non-profit groups to St. Francis Retreat each year. Our guests range from Roman Catholic to Buddhist, Confirmation students to Senior quilting groups, Catholic High Schools to Chambers of Commerce. Many Recovery Groups also consider us their “home away from home.” We ask that groups seeking space here be reflective of the open, creative and nurturing attitude of St. Francis and his followers.
To book your event, fill out the form below, or call us directly at 831-623-4234. Our Retreat Coordinator will be in touch with you to secure a date, often the most difficult part of the process since our weekends fill up fast! Retreats range from a single day event without an overnight stay, to a maximum of 10 days.
Once a date is confirmed, we will send you a contract with the date(s), expected group size, applicable rates, and deposit required. We will also include our policy information. We do ask that your group provides its own Event Insurance to cover the dates of your event.
Rates will vary and are based on weekend or mid-week dates and the number of meals needed. Our rates include all meals, a conference room and overnight guest rooms as needed. A complimentary beverage service and “never-empty cookie jar” are included as well.
To inquire about a retreat, please contact us by filling out the Retreat Request Form below, or give us a call at 831-623-4234.
Retreat Request Form
To schedule your retreat, fill out the form below or call St. Francis Retreat Center at 831-623-4234 to check availability. The stay is limited to 5 days at a time. Please be sure to include the dates, number of people, preferred housing option, and any dietary needs/specifications.