What to expect on a St Beuno's retreat

Credit Deane Kay

The individually guided retreats, which last from a weekend to eight days, follow the inspiration of Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola, drawing on some of the approaches, methods of prayer and ways of reflection they suggest. 

Ideally please arrive between 4pm and 5pm.  There is Mass at 5.45pm for those who wish, followed by supper and a tour of the building.  There is usually an Opening Meeting as a group at 8pm, followed by a short meeting with your retreat guide. 

Retreats usually end after breakfast on the final day (Sunday afternoon for weekend retreats).  For six and eight day retreats a taxi will be provided at 9.15am to Rhyl railway station.  Tickets should be booked for trains from 9.55am onwards.

You will see your retreat-guide (director) for a daily meeting, usually for between half and three-quarters of an hour.  A second meeting is occasionally arranged if you are new to retreats.  Retreat guides may suggest material for prayer, often based on a piece of scripture.  Bibles are provided in all bedrooms.

Normally we would recommend between three and five periods of private prayer a day, the length of which you will discuss and agree with your retreat guide.  There are many lovely locations indoors and outdoors for prayer.  We have three chapels in the house and one in the grounds (the Rock Chapel), as well as grottos and shrines.

There is daily Eucharist at 5.45pm and evening Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 7.45-8.15pm in the main chapel.

Time between prayer periods is most profitably spent alone, in silence.  Some walking or other exercise is usually helpful.  There are many excellent walks in the surrounding hills and countryside, for which we provide maps and walk booklets.  Bring suitable walking boots and a raincoat.

A certain amount of reading or listening to music etc. may be helpful, but it is best to discuss this with your retreat-guide as it can be a distraction or an avoidance.  If you find that you can't tear yourself away from a book, then it’s time to stop!

St Beuno's has a well-stocked art room and we encourage you to use art materials for prayer and to express yourself in a non-verbal way. 

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