Personal Retreats

making time for quiet reflection, gentle conversations, and prayer

Monasteries and Retreats

A retreat is the simplest of ancient spiritual practices. It involves making a decision to step back from the demands of daily life and step into a quiet space to remember what is really key for a life lived well.

Over the centuries, women and men have looked to monasteries as places where the setting and spirit of hospitality help them regain their bearings. Sometimes people want a self-directed retreat, so we provide an environment that invites you to relax and be at home. Sometimes people prefer a guided retreat where they meet with a spiritual director whocan help sort out the questions and concerns at the core of life.

There is really no pattern. What is needed is the desire for time and space and the courage to be still and listen to where your heart leads.



Comments from Personal Retreat Guests

“I’m not sure exactly why, but it just seemed like it was time to go on retreat.”

“It’s so peaceful here. Even my body feels it when I walk through the door.”

“I can’t believe I slept for twelve hours straight. It must have been what my body needed.”

“Wow. What can I say? I cannot thank you enough for the way that you helped me. This was a wonderful experience—one of a lifetime.”

Relaxing Into the Retreat Experience


As you prepare for retreat, watch what’s going on inside your mind and body so that you might gently let go into the retreat experience once it begins. Each of the following are reasonable and common responses to being on retreat. Perhaps you find yourself relating to one or more:



If you find yourself wanting to do everything at once, choose one book that may nourish you and stay with it during your retreat.

If you find yourself thinking about stretching out for a bit of a nap, give in to sleep. It may be just what your body needs.

If you find yourself longing to spend your time in nearly complete silence, allow yourself the freedom to offer another person a “Good morning” without feeling guilty. If you choose private exercises, remain open to time with others if you sense God’s invitation.

If you find yourself not having a clue what to do first, unpack your bags and go for a walk. Go outside if you need to wind down or take a tour of the monastery. Without being rigid, see if you can explore something life-giving while on retreat.

If you find yourself returning for a repeat visit, do what you need to get settled into your pattern at the monastery. When you find yourself doing something “just because,” take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What would I like to do?”

A Few Retreat Options

Our staff are available to help tailor a retreat according to your needs. Guests are welcome to arrive between 8:30a and 7p. Retreats may vary from day-long to one-overnight or even more.

The cost listed for each option below is a recommended donation to help support the Sisters’ ministry of hospitality. Guests who are able often make a larger donation to assist guests who are unable to be as generous.

Download a brochure about personal retreats and spiritual direction.


Self-Directed Day of Prayer

Download Brochure

Includes lunch and private room for 8 hours.
Self-Directed Retreats
Examples including meals and a private room.

24 hours

  48 hours
  3 days
  Donation per day for 3 days or more
Guided Retreats with Spiritual Direction
Examples including meals, private room, and one session of spiritual direction per day.

24 hours

  48 hours
  3 days

5 days

  8 days 525.00
Spiritual Direction  
  One hour session
  Session during private retreat

Group Spiritual Direction

Six people at a time, using two-hour sessions at a cost of 30.00 per person.


For more information or reservations

Email the Benedictine Center or call 651.777.7251

St. Paul's Monastery | 2675 Benet Road | St. Paul, Minnesota 55109 | 651-777-8181 |
Copyright ©2004 St. Paul's Monastery | All Rights Reserved | Site design by Schletty Design
Calendar Daily Monastic Schedule Site Map Home