Frequently Asked Questions
What is a retreat?
A retreat is a time of quiet when you can get away from the ordinary demands of life.
A retreat provides both time and space to gain a better perspective on the deeper meaning of your life.
A retreat offers more of what you yearn for, that is a place and a way to come to know God better in intimate and personal relationship.
A retreat is a time of reconciliation and peace.
A retreat is a gift you give yourself and allow the Lord to bless the gift. It is a time for you to be good to yourself.
Why make a retreat at Montserrat?
The Montserrat retreat invites you to look at yourself and your world as they really are, setting aside all illusion and self-deception. Here, you learn that you are precious in God's eyes, and He loves you.
Each person is unique and unrepeatable, and each Christian is called by God to a personal vocation. We all face personal struggles and issues, yet these look a lot alike and we can all confide in Jesus Christ who shares them with us.
Montserrat helps you to look at what you believe by presenting the great truths of Revelation in four brief conferences during the day. An experienced director presents the materials, opens the Scriptures, and makes suggestions about how to pray.
Remembering, musing, and praying, you will probe how far you have accepted Jesus Christ into your everyday life and have made the Faith your own. Prayer means being mindful of God, as God is mindful of you. Prayer is as natural to those who accept Jesus Christ as breathing is.
Discovering or deepening your own way of praying is an important outcome of the Montserrat retreat. A Montserrat retreat will ask you to look at your relationships: with God, with your spouses and families, with friends, with the Church, with your own world -- and with you own self. And you will hear Jesus Christ saying to you, "Do not be afraid."
What types of retreats does Montserrat offer?
Montserrat offers three types of retreats:
Silent Conference Retreats
The Silent Retreats at Montserrat are individual retreats. You come to be with God, to delve more deeply into His love for you and your love for Him. Each person brings her or his own self to prayer, talking and listening with the Lord. The Holy Spirit moves and invites each person through the dynamics of the retreat.
In the Conference retreats, the dynamics of the retreat are served by bringing all retreatants together for scheduled talks (prayer conferences), which are given by the retreat director. The talks, or conferences, are adapted according to the dynamics and structure of the Spiritual Exercises. The retreat director has long experience in the spiritual life and these brief talks help focus prayer and experience. The content of the talks will help unfold Scripture and often the director will provide prayer 'exercises', or model ways of praying, or give direction about reading the signs of the times and the movement of the Spirit. Beyond the conferences, the retreat director, innkeeper and retreat assistant are all available to retreatants throughout the days for individual help.
Most of Montserrat's retreats are three-day retreats scheduled on the weekends, beginning on Thursday evening and concluding with lunch on Sunday. There are a few mid-week retreats as well. There are also several two-day retreats throughout the year which begin on Friday evening and conclude with lunch on Sunday. Some retreats are designated for men, some for women, some open to both; and some for special groups like married couples.
Silent Directed Retreats
A directed retreat is an individual prayer experience. Your prayer is enriched and guided by a spiritual guide with whom you will meet each day. Your retreat will commonly follow the flow of the prayer of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, however you and your director will determine together where the Holy Spirit is inviting you to focus your prayer and experience.
During a directed retreat, the hours of your day are spent in private prayer and reflection. The retreat will include opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and you will usually join others in daily celebrating the Eucharist. Montserrat, eight- and five-day directed retreats are offered in June of each year.
If you are a priest or vowed religious, a private retreat at other times of the year requires arrangements on an individual basis. Montserrat's Director or your spiritual guide must give approval for a private retreat. Space availability may be limited by ongoing retreats and programs. Please phone Montserrat at 940-321-6020 to explore the possibility of a private retreat, or contact us with your inquiry.
Special Audience Retreats
Throughout each year, Montserrat offers retreats specifically designed for particular audiences. The life experience of the designated audiences help form a bond between retreatants and lend to creating themes for prayer. The retreats are designed to better help the retreatants through their own experience of faith, hope and love in their lives as the Lord uniquely invites them.
These special audience retreats are sometimes sponsored by Montserrat and sometimes by outside groups. In the past, these retreats have included recovery retreats for men and women, Anglican priests retreats, diocesan priests and deacons retreat, and so forth.
Does Montserrat offer private, single retreats?
If you are a priest or vowed religious, a private retreat at other times of the year may be possible, but requires arrangements on an individual basis. Montserrat's Director or your spiritual guide must give approval for a private retreat. Space availability may be limited by ongoing retreats and programs. Please phone Montserrat at 940-321-6020 to explore the possibility of a private retreat, or contact us with your inquiry.
When does a retreat begin and end?
A retreat starts during the established check-in time, as scheduled for the retreat. Because of the continuity of a retreat, prayer conference talks build upon one another. It is the expectation that someone attending a retreat will arrive during the established check-in time. A retreat concludes with Mass and Lunch on the last scheduled day of retreat.
What activities are involved in a retreat at Montserrat?
Montserrat is dedicated to helping the people of God develop a deeper spirituality, a truer sense of self, and a closer relationship with Jesus Christ through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In the silence of a retreat, each person has an opportunity to encounter the Holy Spirit of God.
Most of Montserrat's retreats are three-day retreats scheduled on the weekends, beginning on Thursday evening and concluding with lunch on Sunday. There are a few mid-week retreats as well. There are also several two-day retreats throughout the year which begin on Friday evening and conclude with lunch on Sundays. Some retreats are designated for men, some for women, some open to both; and some for special groups like married couples. Here is a typical schedule for a three-day silent retreat:
|4:00 - 7:00 pm||Arrival & Check-in|
|6:00 - 7:00 pm||Dinner is served|
|8:00 pm||Prayer Conference|
|7:50 am||Morning Prayer|
|9:00 am||Prayer Conference|
|11:00 am||Prayer Conference|
|12:00 noon||Lunch/Rest Period|
|2:30 pm||Rosary/Stations of the Cross|
|3:30 pm||Prayer Conference|
|5:15 pm||Celebration of the Eucharist, Healing Mass|
|7:00 pm||Prayer Conference|
|7:50 am||Morning Prayer|
|9:00 am||Prayer Conference|
|11:15 am||Celebration of the Eucharist|
|12:15 pm||Lunch and departure|
What should I bring on a retreat?
Before your retreat, you’ll want to begin praying for your self, your retreat director and your fellow retreatants. Most especially, ask for an open and magnanimous attitude toward God and others.
What to bring with you:
Comfortable, modest and comfortable clothes and walking shoes
A small alarm clock, although the chapel bell rings for rising and all conference and communal prayer times
Medicines and toiletries
Your favorite pillow. All other linens, pillows and blankets are provided in your room.
A coat in winter
A light jacket or sweater in summer if you feel you will need it in the air-conditioned buildings
If you have an exercise routine, bring your gear or switch to exercise walking
Your Bible, though you will find one in your room.
A journal or special notebook
Bring a desire for peace and quiet with an open heart toward our loving God.
Some individuals find it helpful to bring a covered drinking container, such as a tumbler or thermos, to have beverages outside the dining hall.
Hairdryers are not provided.
What not to bring:
A retreat is a time of rest and silence. A time for you to be good to you. Leave your work at home and at the office. We promise it will still be there when you return. Please do not bring
Computers or tablets
iPods or MP3 players
Work and your agenda, a retreat is a time for God's agenda
About cell phones:
We highly recommend you do not bring a cell phone. We have found that phones serve as a serious temptation against silence and quiet, first disturbing you, and also disturbing others.
If you keep your cell phone we request that you turn it off for the duration of the retreat. If you leave it home you are less tempted to use it, or you might at least leave it turned off in your car. If a family emergency is likely please use your best discretion in checking your cell phone, as there is currently not an after hours emergency number.
The sounds of Silence:
These may seem a lot to ask to leave behind, but remember it is temporary. You’ll find the silence a good gift during the retreat and after the retreat. All will sound better after a few days of silence. You will quickly experience the value of giving this time to your self and to your God.
How much do retreats cost?
Montserrat Retreats include all retreat materials, private room and bath with linens, all meals, and access to our beautiful thirty-acre campus.
As a guide, Montserrat suggests the following as a retreat offering:
Three day retreat - $390 ($130/night)
Two day retreat - $260 ($130/night)
A $50 deposit is requested to register
Montserrat accepts your retreat offering when you make your retreat. Your offering may be paid over time if that is more convenient for you.
Should you be unable to give a full retreat offering, we ask that you give as much as you can. If you are able to do more, we are grateful for your generosity through our Annual Giving Campaign. Your support helps others to enjoy a retreat at Montserrat.
Montserrat accepts cash, checks, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express
Where do I register for a retreat?
To register for a retreat, please click here to visit our registration page.
How can my family reach me while I am on retreat?
Family members may call the Montserrat Innkeeper at 940-220-9168 and leave a voicemail after hours or call the office at 940-321-6020 during normal business hours.