January 8-13, 2024
Seeking to grow your relationship with God? Escape the noise of the city and of daily life on the Silent Directed Retreat, held at the beautiful and serene Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago. This six-day retreat is based on the model offered by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises. Along with daily meetings with a spiritual director to help process and guide the retreat, each individual will have freedom in forming the overall pattern of his or her retreat. As a silent, individual retreat, there are plenty of opportunities for personal prayer, reflection, rest, and time outdoors. Communal prayer and worship opportunities will also be available.
The Faber Center and Campus Ministry facilitate the Silent Directed Retreat as partners, making this one of only two retreats that students, faculty, and staff attend together. The resulting intergenerational community is a highlight of this retreat.
Silent Directed retreat is an ideal opportunity to take intentional steps forward in your relationship with God and reflect on what God’s invitations are for you right now.
For a good sense of what the Silent Directed Retreat is like, check out this 2-minute video with thoughts from past participants.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Why go on a silent retreat?
A silent retreat is a great way to reconnect with God. It is an opportunity outside of our everyday life that gives us time to rest in God’s love, to understand more deeply who we are and who God is calling us to be.
If any of the following apply to you:
- You’re experiencing or anticipating a transition in your life
- You want to take the next step in your relationship with God
- You are looking for rest and quiet
- You want to be connected to others in prayer
- You want to gain a greater appreciation for and perspective on life
Then the Silent Directed Retreat may be exactly what you need.
For more on the opportunities that a silent retreat can bring, see this article about Marquette silent retreats, or this poem written by a regular Silent Directed Retreat participant.
What happens on a silent retreat? Is it hard not to talk?
“I don’t think I could go for that long without talking!” Many people think this when they hear about a silent retreat. The first day or two in silence can be an adjustment, but retreatants come to find that each day has a rhythm. There is time for quiet, for prayer, for walking outside and for daily conversation with your spiritual director (30-60 minutes per day). Retreatants gather for spoken and shared prayer, and, as always, there is conversation with God. We do not always realize how much of our life is filled with noise, thoughts, and busy-ness. Silence makes room for listening, for response, and for contemplation. Many retreatants find that silence is their favorite part of the retreat, and they are amazed at the community that forms in the midst of silence.
What is a spiritual director/spiritual direction?
A spiritual director is someone who is trained and able to offer guidance and companionship to someone who is seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with God. Spiritual direction can help us to pay more attention to how God is speaking to us and how we are responding to God.
For more general and in-depth information about spiritual direction, please visit the Ignatian Spirituality website.
How is this retreat different from the Ignatian Journey Retreat?
The Silent Directed Retreat will be in person, with retreatants spending their entire day on retreat. The Ignatian Journey retreat, in contrast, is an online retreat option which can be done as either a full at-home retreat or as more of a retreat in daily life alongside work or family responsibilities.
Both retreats are multi-day, Ignatian-based retreats, both include daily spiritual direction as a core component of retreat, and both can be quite transformative, so choose whichever is the better fit for you.
Can Marquette's Retreat Leave Benefit be applied to the Silent Directed Retreat?
Yes. Staff and faculty receive two days per year of retreat leave which may be applied toward the Silent Directed Retreat. The retreat does not depart until Monday afternoon, so with the retreat benefit included, a staff or faculty member can participate using only two days' worth of vacation.
Sophomore through senior students, graduate students, alumni, and Marquette faculty & staff.
Jesuit Retreat House
4800 Fahrnwald Road
Oshkosh, WI 54902
Jesuit Retreat House is a gorgeous retreat center located on the shores of Lake Winnebago. It features comfortable single rooms with private bathroom, a paved walking trail, three chapels of various size and focus, several lounges with fireplaces and prayer spaces, an art room, an exercise room, and delicious and varied meals.
Monday, January 8:
3:00pm - Meet at Campus Ministry (for those retreatants using Campus Ministry transportation)
5:00pm - All arrive at Jesuit Retreat House
5:30pm - Introductions
6:00pm - Dinner
7:00pm - Introduction to retreat center and spiritual director
7:30pm - Opening prayer, silence begins
Tuesday, January 9 - Friday, January 12:
8:00am - Breakfast
11:45am - Ignatian Inspiration (short talk on an Ignatian theme)
12:00pm - Lunch
3:30pm - Gentle Yoga
5:15pm - Mass
6:00pm - Dinner
7:30pm - Evening Prayer Service (format changes each evening)
Retreatants will also meet sometime every morning or afternoon with their spiritual director for 30-60 minutes. All offerings besides spiritual direction are optional, and retreatants are encouraged to intentionally create space for rest, time outdoors, reading, prayer, and anything else to which they feel drawn.
Saturday, January 13:
7:30am - Mass
8:00am - Breakfast
Sometime during the morning - final spiritual direction session
10:45am - Closing Prayer and end of silence
12:00pm - Lunch and departure
1:30pm - Departure
3:00pm - Arrive on campus
$50 for undergraduate and graduate students (including students graduating in December 2023)
$150 for faculty and staff
$600 for alumni
The retreat fee covers food and lodging for the duration of the retreat, all retreat programming, and spiritual direction for all retreatants. Financial assistance is readily available; contact Mary Sue or Michael if additional funding would help you take part in this year’s retreat.
Registration for the Silent Directed Retreat will open in November. If you are interested in this or other retreats, fill out this short form to be added to the retreat email list and notified when retreats open for registration.
Mary Sue Callan-Farley - Student contact
Campus Ministry, AMU 236
Michael Dante - Faculty, Staff, and Alumni contact
Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Schroeder Complex 111