- Individual Retreats
- Group Retreats
- Online Retreats
- Spiritual Direction
- Morning Prayer
- Menno Simons Library
Retreats are special times set aside for paying particular attention to the presence of God in one’s life. They are often most needed when there is little time for them. However, the benefits of “time away” when the pressures of life mount are incalculable. Someone once said, “I’m so busy, I cannot afford not to pray for two hours each day.” Likewise, retreats provide oases in our schedule to re-focus priorities and say “yes” to what is really needed rather than be run ragged by all that could be done.
Individual retreats can be self-guided or directed. Those on a self-guided retreat are welcome to participate in the Hermitage framework of Morning Prayer and community meals. A directed retreat combines the listening ear of a Spiritual Director with special time set aside for retreat. Guidance may include meditation on a particular passage of scripture and reflection questions to help identify the Spirit’s presence at work in the retreatant. Look to our Individual Retreats page for more information about scheduling an individual retreat.
The Hermitage provides a wonderful environment for small group retreats. Groups can come with their own set program, or they can request a Hermitage staff person to provide leadership. You can find more information on our Group Retreats page.
While The Hermitage is a wonderful place to visit, there are a variety of reasons why you might not be able to come enjoy the property. We remain a community of prayer and so we offer you these online retreats in the hopes that we might nurture a “way and a place of prayer” wherever you are. Some of our retreats are available any time, and some are scheduled
Spiritual Direction or companionship is an agreement between persons to listen together to the voice of the Holy Spirit, discerning the leading of God for the journey. Direction is a form of accountability in a safe, prayerful environment. A spiritual director is someone who pays special attention to the deepening spiritual life and encourages the pursuit of God through examining the holiness and love that flow from a life of prayer.
David and Naomi Wenger, are available for direction appointments. David and Naomi received training from Sursum Corda, a spiritual director’s formation program of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. Requests for spiritual direction can be made directly to them at David@hermitagecommunity.org and Naomi@hermitagecommunity.org or otherwise indicated on your individual retreat reservation request.
St. Joseph’s Barn, the main retreat house, offers private guest rooms with shared bathrooms for daytime or overnight accommodations. There is also a one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and bathroom in St. Joseph’s Barn. The Ken Hanby Center offers additional guest rooms with shared bathroom. Other lodging includes three rustic hermitage cabins with no running water or electricity. An outhouse is located by each cabin and bath facilities are available in St. Joseph’s Barn. The hermitages are available for several hours, overnight or for your entire retreat.
Three meals are available each day. Meals are eaten in silence with other retreatants. Breakfast is self-service, available from 7:30 to 9:30 am, the midday meal (main meal of the day) is served at 12:30 pm, and a light supper is served at 5:30 pm. Meals are “home-cooked” with fresh, wholesome ingredients getting much of our food from local farmers and our own garden. We primarily serve vegetarian food and some other dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
Participation in Morning Prayer, each morning at 8:00am except Sunday, is a Hermitage rhythm. Morning Prayer usually follows a liturgical format, including a gathering prayer, a hymn, reading the daily lectionary, prayers of intercession and thanksgiving, affirmations and benediction. Once a week, we celebrate Holy Communion together. Morning Prayer is one of the times we pray for guests, stay connected with the events of the world and unite with one another as a worshiping community.
On Saturdays we practice Centering Prayer during the time we set aside for Morning Prayer (8:00am). We are reminded by the author of The Cloud of Unknowing that we “may know completely and ponder thoroughly every created thing and its works, yes, and God’s works too, but not God…Thought cannot comprehend God. And so, I prefer to abandon all I can know, choosing rather to love [the one] I cannot know…. By love [God] may be touched and embraced, never by thought.” In Centering Prayer we prepare ourselves to cooperate with God in receiving this gift of contemplative love.
All are welcome to join the community for these prayer services, Monday through Saturday at 8:00am.
Wooded and open walking trails cover the 62-acre property and adjoin trails maintained by the neighboring GilChrist Retreat Center. A Triple-Spiral prayer labyrinth is available in a secluded valley. An Eleven-Circuit Labyrinth is also available at GilChrist. There is also a marked trail taking guests to St. Gregory’s Abbey.
The Menno Simons Library, located in the Ken Hanby Center, is a specialized collection focusing on the spiritual life. It is a lending library available for guest use while on retreat. Materials may not be taken home. The library contains over 5,000 volumes.
Massage Therapy is available at The Hermitage upon request. Massages are $50/hour payable to the massage therapist. To schedule a massage, please contact the resident licensed massage therapist David Wenger email@example.com or call (269) 718-3693