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2017 Schedule of Events & Retreats


Open Studio Days
Tuesdays: July 11 & August 15, 2017

This is a day where you can bring any creative project you're working on -- painting, drawing, knitting, quilting, crocheting, writing, etc., -- and be together with kindred spirits while pursuing your creative endeavor. Experience fellowship, and the peacefulness of the Retreat Center; be inspired and inspire each other in creativity. There is a big box of watercolor paint supplies available in case you'd like to work with those. Come join us!

The day is from 10 am-2 pm; lunch included (free will offering).

Personal Days of Renewal
July 10-13 (Mon. to Thurs.)
August 1-4 (Tues. to Fri.)

You are invited to take a day or days of personal retreat to focus on your "self care". How am I taking care of myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally? Bethany Retreat Center is offering days of renewal for those who want to come for a day, overnight, or a few days to join the Sisters for prayer and daily Mass, walk the grounds, opportunity for reconciliation, and home-cooked meals.

Offering: $80 per night (includes meals)
Deposit: $25 (nonrefundable)

4-Day Intensive Contemplative Prayer Retreat
July 20-23, 2017 (Thurs. to Sun)

Facilitators: Sr. Ruth Ann Madera & Fr. Phillip Billotte

This retreat gives Centering Prayer practitioners an opportunity to deepen their practice and relationship with God by joining with other in a silence community the experience of immersion in Contemplative Prayer apart from ordinary life. This retreat will include several periods of prayer, and daily Mass. There will only be one video conference and the rest of the retreat will be in deep silence and solitude.

Thursday ~ 4pm, Supper at 6pm
Departure: Sunday, 11am.
Offering: $200 per person
Deposit: $75
Save $15 - Bring your own single sheets & towels

Drumming & Native American Spirituality
Saturday, July 29th ~ 10am to 4pm

Presenter: Tom Campbell

Join us for our fourth drumming retreat at Bethany Retreat Center! This year we will delve into Native American Spirituality and its deep connection to the Creator - God. The day will include group drumming, ritual, prayer, storytelling and an experience of Native American Spirituality.


Tom Campbell has led retreats for over 30 years and he has been drumming 28 years, leading drumming experiences with men, women, couples and mixed groups. For the past 3 years, Tom has led groups of people through drumming experiences here at Bethany. Tom has studied Native American spirituality for over 28 years. Its Creator-centered approach to life with a reverence toward the Earth and all creatures on it, resonates with his Catholic upbringing.

Offering: $25 per person
Deposit: $15 (nonrefundable)

8-Day Intensive ContempLative Prayer Retreat
Heartfulness Transformation in Christ
August 6-13, 2017 (Sun. to Sun.)

Facilitators: Sr. Rita Panciera, Sr. Ruth Ann Madera, & Fr. Philip Billotte

Bethany Retreat Center is providing an in-depth retreat for those with experience with Centering Prayer who wish to enter into a more profound level of spiritual practice. Heartfulness: Transformation in Christ: condenses the accumulated wisdom of Fr. Thomas Keating's many years of teaching and practice into nine essential areas for study, reflection and spiritual growth for our time. Fr. Thomas talks about the importance of silence and contemplative practice as a means of opening the mind and heart and one's whole being to God, or the Ultimate Reality.


Contemplative Outreach, under whose auspices these retreats are given, require that those who participate in the Intensive Retreat be regular practitioners of Centering Prayer.

Arrival: 5pm & Supper at 6pm
Departure: 11am, Sunday
Offering: $400 for Semi-Private Room
$450 for Private Room
$500 for Private Room w/Bath (sold out)
Deposit: $150
Limited Scholarships Available
Save $20 - Bring your own single sheets & towels

8-Day POST Intensive ContempLative Prayer Retreat
August 6-13, 2017 (Sun. to Sun.)

Facilitators: Sr. Rita Panciera, Sr. Ruth Ann Madera & Fr. Philip Billotte

The purpose of the retreat is to assist the participants in entering into a more intimate silence in a nurturing, supportive environment that combines both solitude and community. The Post Intensive is a next step into a profound silence and stillness in order to facilitate a more intimate union with God.

Requirements for Making the Post-Intensive Retreat

  1. Be regular practitioners of Centering Prayer
  2. Have made a 5 day or longer Intensive Retreat prior to making the Post-Intensive Retreat

(Massage Therapist available - not included in the cost.)

Arrival: 5pm & Supper at 6pm
Departure: 11am, Sunday
Offering: $400 for Semi-Private Room
$450 for Private Room
$500 for Private Room w/Bath (sold out)
Deposit: $150
Limited Scholarships Available
Save $20 - Bring your own single sheets & towels

Sr. Rita Panciera, RSMContemplative outreach of Central Pa Presents:
Welcoming Prayer Retreat
October 6-8, 2017

Presenter: Sr. Rita Panciera, RSM

The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God's presence and action in the events and situations in daily life. It provides a method of being aware of our physical and emotional reactions and a method of dealing with them prayerfully in the midst of daily life.

The Welcoming Prayer helps to dismantle the emotional programs of the false-self system and to heal the wounds of a lifetime by addressing them where they are stored - in the body. It contributes to the process of transformation in Christ initiated in Contemplative Prayer.

The time together will be both retreat and workshop, with opportunity for silence and Centering Prayer in community. Also, participants will be introduced to the actual method of the Welcoming Prayer and provided with opportunities to practice. Discussions will include the human condition and the false-self system as the conceptual background of the Welcoming Prayer practice. There will be time for focusing, working with what is happening in our bodies and practicing the prayer.

Sr. Rita Panciera, RSM is a Sister of Mercy and Director of the House of Prayer in Erie, PA. She has been an experienced practitioner of Centering Prayer for many years and has facilitated many Centering Prayer retreats and programs, both at Bethany Retreat Center and elsewhere.
Brochures available.

Offering: $185 per person
Deposit: $50 nonrefundable deposit due by 9/20
Make Checks payable to: COCPa
Save $15 - Bring your own single sheets & towels

Contemplative Outreach of Central Pa. presents:
11th Step retreat
October 13-15, 2017

Presenters: Nancy Cord-Baran, Michael Gidlewski, & Carolyn Yankovitz

This retreat is for people in 12 Step Recovery programs to introduce or expand and deepen the experience of Contemplative Prayer as part of a daily 12-Step Practice.

Centering Prayer is a simple method of prayer rooted in ancient Christian practice that opens us to God's presence and divine healing. It is simply moving deep within ourselves, in silence, saying nothing, asking for nothing, just being and allowing our Higher Power to be with us.

The retreat will offer an environment of solitude and silence in community with time for reflection, fellowship, and a 12-Step Meeting. For those new to Contemplative Prayer, the retreat is an Introductory Workshop on Contemplative Prayer in the context of 12-Step recovery.

For those with an established Centering Prayer practice, there will be the option of reviewing any part of the Introductory Workshop or participating in a Track Two if there is enough interest. (Please let us know when you register.)

Retreat staff have been active in 12-Step programs for many years. They have completed the Formation for Contemplative Service process of Contemplative Outreach as well as the Formation Training for Presenting and Leading Retreats for Contemplative Prayer and the 12-Steps. Brochures available.

Offering: $185 per person
Deposit: $50 non-refundable due by 10/3
Make checks payable to: COCPa
Save $15 - Bring your own single sheets & towels

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