2021 Retreat Schedule
Includes COVID-19 Precautions

LAST UPDATED 4/28/21

UPDATE:

Retreats that can be done safely in small groups and/or through Zoom are being scheduled. Prior to arrival, guests are screened by answering a variety of questions and all safety protocols are sent in writing ahead of time. Upon arrival of all staff and guests we utilize thermal body temperature and blood-oxygen levels as arrival screening. Masking, hand washing and social distancing both indoors and outdoors will remain in effect. As vaccinations are becoming more easily accessible, we have returned to our previous practice of sharing restrooms, but with more stringent sanitizing of those spaces throughout the day.  We will opt for outdoor activities whenever and wherever possible including having the option for eating meals outdoors once the weather permits. Meals are served by staff or pre-boxed to reduce the possibility of cross contact. Hard surfaces and common areas are sanitized throughout the day. We will be following WHO, CDC & PA guidelines regarding group sizes, masking and social distancing. Space on all retreats is limited.

Personal Days of Retreat and Renewal

Available Dates:
*May 18-22, 2021
*June 15-19, 2021
 
You are invited to take a day or days of personal retreat to focus on your “self care.” How are you taking care of yourself spiritually, physically and emotionally? At Bethany Retreat Center we are pleased to offer private retreats in a peaceful and beautiful setting where you can get away from the cares of everyday life and focus on your faith journey. You may come for a day, overnight, or a few days. Join the Sisters for prayer and daily Mass, walk the grounds, have opportunity for reconciliation and soul-friending. Enjoy home-cooked meals and a comfortable room in a nurturing environment.  We continue to take the COVID pandemic very seriously and are taking many safety precautions to keep you and our staff safe.  If you do not reside in a COVID “hot spot,” and are not experiencing any symptoms, or  have been around anyone that has been exposed to the virus, you are welcome to come.  Call today!
*Note: If we do not have enough registered guests to make this a viable event for both staff & guests, we may cancel or contact you to see if it is possible to move your reservation to another time slot. 

Offering: $88 per night (includes meals)
Deposit: $25
Arrival: Anytime after 9am 

Register Now


 

Re-Entering Community Through Silence

(wait list only)
CENTERING PRAYER RENEWAL RETREAT

May 6-9, 2021 (Thursday- Sunday)

Presenter: Mary Dwyer

Come away to Bethany Retreat Center for a deeper experience of Centering Prayer in community. We will have extended prayer times (3 to 4 hours per day) and input on deepening our Centering Prayer practice. The retreat will be in silence with time for personal reflection and renewal. An already established knowledge and practice of Centering Prayer is required. Soul Friending will also be available along with attending Mass and praying with the Sisters in Residence. Room accommodations and all meals are included during your stay. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or special needs when you register.

Mary Dwyer is a long time student of Fr. Thomas Keating and has been practicing Centering Prayer since the 1980’s. In the early 1990’s she lived at Chrysalis House, a contemplative live-in community experiment blessed by Fr. Thomas. Her housemates included Mary Mrozowski, David Frenette and Cathy McCarthy. The community lived according to a rule of life and became an incubator of practice and programs in the early years of Contemplative Outreach’s growth. It was her experience at Chrysalis House that proved to her that a life of prayer, consent and practice is real, stable and deeply rewarding.
Mary received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in economics and spent some time as a banker and college administrator. After a few years at Chrysalis House, she went back to school and became a licensed clinical social worker and practiced this vocation for the next 15 years, all while maintaining her commitment to the contemplative life. In 2008 she met her beloved Juan through the Living Flame program. She moved to Miami, FL in 2009 and they married. Juan recently retired and they moved back to Erie, PA in July, 2018. Mary is currently in private practice as an LCSW in the Erie area devoting her time between that profession, serving on multiple boards & committees and giving retreats & workshops.

Offering: $298.00 per person
Deposit: $75.00
Arrival: After 3 pm on Thursday, May 6th
Departure: Sunday afternoon (exact time TBD)

Register Now


Opening to Our Pre-existing Union With God

June 4-6, 2021 (Friday-Sunday) *Commuter Option Available

Presenter: Keith Kristich

So many of us grow up with the message that God is the great, old Guy-in-the-Sky. This God loves the world, but is ultimately separate from it and separate from us.

But the great contemplatives say otherwise, that God is the Heart of our hearts and the very Center of our souls. From the contemplative perspective, the spiritual journey isn’t one in which we get closer to God, but rather about waking up to the reality that we are already one!

Join this weekend retreat as we explore Centering Prayer as a path of waking up to our pre-existing oneness with God. We are not ultimately separate from God, and we’ll explore the significance of opening to this reality through teaching, reflection, and centering prayer practice.

Keith Kristich is certified with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats, as well as, with Contemplative Outreach as a presenter of Centering Prayer.

Please let us know of your interest in an extra day when you register.

Offering: $198.00 per person ($118.00 Commuter)* 

*If you are choosing the commuter option, please note that in the comments when you register.                                Deposit: $75.00
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm with dinner at 5:30 pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

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Contemplative Spirituality in a Contemporary Time

Stages of Prayer as Related to Faith Development

Prayer that gradually deepens toward Contemplation inspired by the Holy Spirit

June 10-13, 2021 (Thursday – Sunday) *Commuter Option Available

Presenter:  Susan Komis

What is Contemplation? In addition to exploring three stages critical to our spiritual journey relative to prayer and faith in ordinary life, this extended weekend retreat will include presentation and discussion on the dynamic of the many people who are beginning to experience and live a contemplative life in our contemporary time.  We will explore awakenings that open the door to understanding contemplative prayer, transformation and union with God.

Portions of this retreat experience invite interactive engagement of participants, but will include periods of Centering Prayer, silence, solitude, small group process and serene enjoyment of the beautiful Bethany Retreat Center.

Susan Komis is the former Director of Chapter Programs & Services of Contemplative Outreach and continues to serve Contemplative Outreach as a commissioned presenter and retreat director. She is a Pastoral Minister and has been active in adult faith development, spiritual direction and inter-spiritual dialogue. Susan previously worked in Human Resources for two corporations. She resides in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Susan is married and is the mother of adult children and grandchildren.

“The most courageous thing we will ever do is to bear humbly the mystery of our own reality, to trust our divine image and grow in the likeness of God. It is simply a matter of becoming who we already are.” ~Susan Komis

Offering $298.00 per person ($178.00 Commuter)* 

*If you are choosing the commuter option, please note that in the comments when you register.
Deposit $75.00

Register Now


7 Essentials of Well Being

Well Being as the Foundation for your Spiritual Life

June 24-27, 2021 (Thursday – Sunday) *Commuter Option Available

Presenter:  Elle Morgan

Elle Morgan, a certified yoga instructor is offering a four-day retreat to share the healthy lifestyle program she has developed called the 7 Essentials of Well Being This program supports all aspects of mind, body, and spirit on a daily basis while creating room for open heartedness and a portal for entering the mystery of the divine.

You will learn to see food as medicine and a real source of life force. You will learn how to incorporate more movement that you enjoy into your day. You will learn the techniques of breathwork and how it can expand your capacity to be strong, healthy, and happy. You will experience a renewed connection with nature through mindfulness, and a curiosity about your own special creativity which will enliven you.

Activities include: Campfire cooking for anti-inflammatory eating, Shin Rin Roku–mindfulness in nature, journaling, speed painting, gentle yoga, guided meditation, the role of non-violent communication and the emotions, readings and discussions from world wisdom traditions and the practice of lectio divina.

Elle Morgan is the Director of Summit Hill Transformation Center in Curwensville, PA, where she leads retreats for Health and Well Being and creates custom-designed experiences for campers in nature and art.  She is a certified yoga instructor, a professor of Public Speaking at Penn State University and the author of The Elements of New Life Scripts–Sacred Theatre. She is also gaining traction as a go-to gourmet outdoor chef!

Offering $298.00 per person ($178.00 Commuter)*

*If you are choosing the commuter option, please note that in the comments when you register.

Deposit $75.00

Register Now


Pray Without Ceasing Centering Prayer 6 Day Retreat

July 7-12, 2021 (Wednesday – Monday)

Presenters: Sr. Ruth Ann Madera and Fr. Phil Billotte

Rooted in the ancient Christian contemplative tradition, the goal of this form of Christian prayer is to foster a deeper intimacy with Christ through the silence and stillness of contemplative prayer.

Intensive:  An in-depth retreat for those experienced in Centering Prayer.  The retreat will facilitate entrance into a more profound level of spiritual practice in an atmosphere of silence, solitude, and community. 

Post-Intensive:  An opportunity to spend extended time in deep silence in community to encourage a more intimate union with God.  An Intensive Centering Prayer experience is a prerequisite of the Post-Intensive.

Offering $625.00 per person

Deposit $125.00

Register Now

 

The Science & Soul of the Breath / Exploring Our Creativity, Nurturing Our Spirits

Anne Kertz Kernion will be returning to Bethany Retreat Center for a weekend retreat like no other.  Over the course of the weekend she will be presenting 2 topics that we are sure you will find insightful & practical as well as nurturing to your soul and your faith journey.

July 16-18, 2021 (Friday – Sunday) *Commuter Option Available                                     

Presenter:  Anne Kertz Kernion

The Science and Soul of the Breath

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” ~Etty Hillesum

As we emerge from a very difficult year, we can all benefit from some retreat time to nurture our brains and bodies. On this weekend together, we will explore how the breath can help us live in the here and now, manage stress, increase our focus and concentration, and increase our well-being. We will begin by reviewing the word “breath” in several languages and religious traditions, then pivot to look at the latest in neuroscience research. I’ll share some fascinating new information, and we will experience a variety of breath exercises along the way. These practices can bring calm to our days, nurturing our brains, bodies, and spiritual lives on a daily basis.

Exploring Our Creativity, Nurturing Our Spirits:
Insights from Neuroscience, Positive Psychology and Spirituality

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The disruptions, losses, and stresses of this past year have affected all of us in varying ways. We can help our spirits recover by pausing to explore our creativity, while fostering our cognitive health. The question is not “Are you creative?” but “How are you creative?” So we will explore various ways to amplify our creativity, adding slices of joy, energy, and peace to our days. One nurturing practice is observing the natural world with contemplative eyes, and the beauties of Bethany provide a delightful classroom. Another creative practice is deep listening and conversation, which can help us process the effects of the pandemic. We will also dabble in a variety of creative exercises (no experience or talent required!) to nourish us on our journeys. Current neuroscience and positive psychology research will be woven into this multimedia presentation. 

Anne Kertz Kernion is a frequent lecturer and retreat leader, presenting topics that combine neuroscience, positive psychology, and spirituality to groups around the US and Australia. She holds a  BS in Environmental Engineering from Penn State, an MA in Theology from Duquesne University, and graduate certificate in Positive Psychology from the University of Missouri. Anne is the owner/artist of Cards by Anne, an inspirational greeting card company founded in 1986 (cardsbyanne.com). For fourteen years, Anne taught “Cross-Cultural Understanding of Religious Meaning” at Carlow University, and courses ranging from Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Nutrition, to World Religions and Ethics at the community college level. Her second book, “Spiritual Practices for the Brain: Caring for Mind, Body and Soul,” was published by Loyola Press in October, 2020. A former Division 1 athlete, Anne teaches yoga and enjoys biking and hiking. She and her husband Jack have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Offering: $235.00 per person ($155.00 Commuter)* 

*If you are choosing the commuter option, please note that in the comments when you register.

Deposit $125.00

Register Now


Grounded Grieving Retreat

“Come with me, just you, to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

August 6-8, 2021 (Friday – Sunday) *Commuter Option Available

Presenter:  Jackie Naginey Hook

When you’ve lost a loved one, the grief journey can be lonely and exhausting. This retreat will be a safe and gentle place to lovingly care for yourself as together we’ll hold our grief and maybe even heal a little. You’ll know you’re not alone as you’re present to one another and to God’s love.  We’ll share stories, engage in creative expression, spend time in nature and deepen into the place where our grief is grounded. 

Grounded Grieving is a supportive and spiritual gathering for individuals who have lost a loved one. Each person’s journey through grief is different and this group retreat is designed to help you find your own path. The support is not intended to replace the relationship that exists between you and any health professional. It is not a therapy or counseling group.

Jackie Naginey Hook, MA is a spiritual director, Life-Cycle Celebrant™ and end-of-life doula whose work helps people find hope, healing and wholeness. She coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program with Koch Funeral Home, which includes memorable funeral ceremony creation, grief education and support programs gatherings and end-of-life support. Jackie also offers individual and group spiritual direction, programs and retreats in loss, grief, spirituality and forgiveness and writes articles for local publications. She has a B.S. in Business from Penn State University and an M.A. in Wellness from the University of Central Florida.  Jackie can be reached at Jackie@JackieHook.com

Offering $235.00 per person ($155.00 Commuter)*

*If you are choosing the commuter option, please note that in the comments when you register.
Deposit $75.00

Register Now


Pray Without Ceasing Centering Prayer 6 Day Retreat

August 18-23, 2021 (Wednesday – Monday)

Presenters: Sr. Ruth Ann Madera and Fr. Phil Billotte

Rooted in the ancient Christian contemplative tradition, the goal of this form of Christian prayer is to foster a deeper intimacy with Christ through the silence and stillness of contemplative prayer.

Intensive:  An in-depth retreat for those experienced in Centering Prayer.  The retreat will facilitate entrance into a more profound level of spiritual practice in an atmosphere of silence, solitude, and community. 

Post-Intensive:  An opportunity to spend extended time in deep silence in community to encourage a more intimate union with God.  An Intensive Centering Prayer experience is a prerequisite of the Post-Intensive.

Offering $625.00 per person

Deposit $125.00

Register Now


Native Drumming Retreat ~ A Unique Drumming Experience

Saturday, September 11, 2021
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Presenter: Tom Campbell

Our Drums will echo again at Bethany! Our drumming retreat will include lunch, group drumming, storytelling, ritual, ceremony, prayer and an experience of Native American culture. If you attended previously, there is always something new and if you haven’t experienced the power of group drumming, join us for this daylong retreat.

Drumming connects you to a deeper part of yourself and the Great Spirit of God.

No experience necessary. Drums will be provided OR bring your own.

Tom Campbell has led the last seven drumming retreats at Bethany; many times there were close to 50 people in attendance. He has been leading retreats for 35 years, and he has been drumming over 30 years; leading drumming workshops/retreats in homes, churches, community centers and businesses. Tom has studied Native American spirituality for 30 years. Its Creator-centered approach to life with a reverence toward the Earth and all creatures on it, resonates with his Catholic upbringing. Tom is also a frequent visitor to Bethany as a volunteer and retreat guest. Tom lives in New Jersey with his wife and enjoys time with his grandchildren as often as possible.

Offering $35.00 per person
Deposit $10.00

Register Now


The Practical Magic of Public Speaking

Voice of the Heart

September 24-26, 2021 (Friday – Sunday) *Commuter Option Available

Presenter:  Elle Morgan

Elle Morgan, Public Speaking teacher at Penn State University and a certified Yoga instructor will guide you through the mind, body, spirit approach to public speaking.  

During this retreat you will learn that you have everything you need to be a great public speaker. It’s a spiritual practice. You must learn to trust! Trust your body, voice, and your unique message. You will learn how to connect with the deeper part of yourself, and at the same time practice methods of expression through storytelling and pantomime. Finally, you will share a short message from the heart with your fellow retreatants at the end of the weekend.

Elle Morgan is the Director of Summit Hill Transformation Center in Curwensville, PA, where she leads retreats for Health and Well Being and creates

custom-designed experiences for campers in nature and art.  She is a certified yoga instructor, a professor of Public Speaking at Penn State University and the author of The Elements of New Life Scripts–Sacred Theatre. She is also gaining traction as a go-to gourmet outdoor chef!

Offering $235.00 per person ($155.00 Commuter)*

*If you are choosing the commuter option, please note that in the comments when you register.
Deposit $75.00

Register Now


Neuroscience & Well Being: How Spirituality Affects our Health & DNA

October 15-17, 2021 (Friday – Sunday) *Commuter Option Available

Presenter: Ann Kertz Kernion

Our spiritual habits affect our physical and emotional health in a variety of ways. We’ll explore recent findings in neuroscience and positive psychology, showing how practices such as Mindfulness, Meditation, Gratitude, Compassion, and Community slow aging in our cells, keep our brains healthy and nimble, reduce stress, and bring more health and happiness into our lives. We will also look at other habits that support brain health and keep our telomeres, the end caps of our chromosomes, from prematurely fraying. This multimedia presentation aims to educate and entertain.

We will incorporate these spiritual practices into our days, along with discussion and activities, allowing us to share and experience some of their benefits. Time for personal reflection and quiet will be provided, as well.

Anne Kertz Kernion (BS in Environmental Engineering, Penn State; MA in Theology, Duquesne University, Certificate in Science of Happiness, UC Berkeley, currently a graduate student in Positive Psychology, U. of Missouri) is the owner/artist of Cards by Anne, an inspirational greeting card company founded in 1986. Her book, “A Year of Spiritual Companionship” was published by SkyLight Paths in 2016. Anne’s cards are available online (cardsbyanne.com) and in hundreds of stores. For 14 years, Anne taught “Cross-Cultural Understanding of Religious Meaning” at Carlow University. For seven years, she was also an adjunct professor at CCAC, teaching courses ranging from Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Nutrition, to World Religions and Ethics. Currently, Anne is a frequent lecturer and retreat leader, presenting topics that combine neuroscience and spirituality to groups around the country. Anne is married to Jack and they have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren.

Offering: $235.00 per person ($155 Commuter)*

*If you are choosing the commuter option, please note that in the comments when you register.
Deposit: $75.00

Register Now