Bethany Retreat Center

Retreats

2021 Retreat Schedule
Includes COVID-19 Precautions

LAST UPDATED 5/7/2021

UPDATE:

Retreats that can be done safely in small groups and/or through Zoom are being scheduled. There is a Commuter option available for most retreats. 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. Disposable gloves are to be worn in the Dining Room when being served your meal or helping yourself to a beverage 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 

*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. 

Available Dates:
*June 24-27, 2021 *September 30-October 3, 2021
*July 7-12, 2021 *October 13-17, 2021
*August 6-8, 2021 *October 25-28, 2021
*August 18-23, 2021 *November 8-12, 2021
*September 8-11, 2021 *December 3-5, 2021
*September 24-26, 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!

Offering: $88 per night (includes meals)
Deposit: $25
Arrival: 2:00-5:00 pm (Dinner is served at 5:30
Departure: Prior to 11:00 am

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
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm with dinner at 5:30 pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

Register Now


Icons: Companions in Prayer

1 Day workshop with over night stay
July 6-7, 2021 (TUESDAY-Wednesday) *Commuter Option Available

Presenter:  Mary Kay Laplante

Religious Icons have been called windows to heaven or doorways to the sacred. When you are standing in front of an icon, it is as if you are looking through a window into the heavenly world of divine mystery. Join us to learn about the history of religious icons, what makes them different from other art, their inherent symbolism and use as instruments of prayer, as well as the ancient contemplative process by which they are created. Mary Kay Laplante will offer an informative lecture on these intriguing and ancient religious images, as well as provide time to gaze upon and pray with the saints portrayed in her hand-painted icons. There will also be a demonstration of the ancient egg-tempera technique used to create these unique instruments of prayer. The workshop will begin on Tuesday evening, July 6th, with dinner followed by a group gathering and time to settle your mind and spirit.  Wednesday morning, you may join our community for Mass (optional) and a home-cooked breakfast before the workshop begins. 

Mary Kay Laplante, Iconographer in Residence at Bethany Retreat Center, received her degree in Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1987. She has been studying the ancient Byzantine technique of iconography since 2006 with Vladislav Andrejev, a Russian Orthodox Master Iconographer and Principal of the Prosopon School of Iconography and Iconology. She enjoys the opportunity to share her knowledge of icons, teaches icon writing workshops and accepts commissions from individuals and churches. Mary Kay’s icons have been shown locally and internationally. You may contact her at mklaplante11@gmail.com.

Offering: $123.00 *(Commuter Option Available)
Deposit $30.00
Arrival: After 3:00 pm on 7/6/21 (Dinner will be served at 5:30)
Departure: 5:00 pm on 7/7/21

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
Arrival: To Be Determined
Departure: To Be Determined

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: $75.00
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm with dinner at 5:30 pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

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
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm with dinner at 5:30 pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

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
Arrival: To Be Determined
Departure: To Be Determined

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
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm with dinner at 5:30 pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

Register Now

From Seeker to Sage: Journey to the Unknowable
The Spiritual Journey

Presenter: Susan Komis
September 30-October 3, 2021 (Thursday – Sunday) *Commuter Option Available

“A common bonding takes place in all who are attracted to the transformative process.  Such is the ultimate lineage of all spiritual lineages emerging in the various religious traditions.  We are companions in the search, moved by common perspective and inspiration…” ~Fr. Thomas Keating

The “Spiritual Journey” is a metaphor for how our beliefs change and develop through life.  In the beginning, we often do not realize that we have entered upon a spiritual path as we begin to search for the hidden gnosis (sacred knowing) of mind, heart and soul that is emerging within us.

Some approach the Journey from intellectual or educational perspective; others may seek reconciliation or desire to know the existence of God.  Some people simply want to become a better human being and ponder the meaning of life.

This retreat experience provides an opportunity to come together to explore and reflect upon the following:

  • The various paths of life we have traveled.
  • Stages of prayer related to faith development.
  • Our personal spiritual journey; from Awakening, to Seeker, to Servant, to Sage.
  • Realization that we have been led every step of the way by a loving, mysterious God.

Join us as we move through the different stages of spiritual growth from our awakening moments, through our seeking and gradual restructuring of consciousness.  This retreat will include: Centering Prayer in community, presentation, interactive experience and small group process.

Susan Komis is a former Director of Chapter Programs & Services for the Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. organization. She began as a volunteer for the St. Louis, MO Chapter and later appointed as Coordinator for the region in 1994 through 1999.  While employed by Contemplative Outreach, Susan served the spiritual network for 20 years as a faculty member, member of the Board of Directors and commissioned presenter.  Her primary role supported the leadership of Contemplative Outreach chapters by developing and offering formations, retreats, spiritual enrichment and organizational support until she retired in 2016. 

Susan continues to offer programs on contemplative spirituality and leads Intensive, Post-Intensive and themed Centering Prayer retreats. She is a certified Pastoral Minister and has served in adult faith development, spiritual direction and interspiritual dialogue.

Susan is married and the mother of 4 daughters.  She currently resides in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri,

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
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm with dinner at 5:30 pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

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 ($155.00 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

Register Now

Icon Writing Workshop : St. Julian of Norwich

November 7-13, 2021 (Sunday – Saturday) **SPACE IS LIMITED TO 10 PARTICIPANTS
Presenter: Mary Kay Laplante

Come join us at Bethany Retreat Center and spend a week immersed in prayer while you paint an image of St. Julian of Norwich with accomplished iconographer and teacher, Mary Kay Laplante. Mary Kay will share her love of icons and the spirit-filled process by which they are created. And as we paint St. Julian’s image, we will contemplate and discuss her teachings which so profoundly resonate with our experiences today.

Icons remind us of our connection to Christ and the saints and are beautiful instruments of prayer and contemplation. Painting an icon is as much a contemplative form of prayer as an artistic discipline. People of all levels of artistic talent are invited into this contemplative process. Mary Kay will guide you and encourage you with step-by-step instructions and all necessary materials. The underlying theology of each step will also be emphasized.

The days will include class instruction and painting, personal prayer time, optional Centering Prayer, daily Mass and home-cooked meals provided by the Bethany staff. Please let us know prior to your arrival if you have any dietary needs.

For more information contact Mary Kay Laplante at mklaplante11@gmail.com

“At the beginning of the 2020 workshop in which we painted (wrote) an icon of St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, we learned that icons are the manifestations of our prayer, and that every icon is beautiful because of the prayer of the iconographer. These words really came alive for me as my icon developed from the chaos of its beginning, and the image of St. Paul began to emerge. Learning not only the process of crafting an icon, but also the history and spiritual meaning behind each step of the process, enhanced my understanding of how an icon can transform our lives in profound ways. 

When we breathed on the clay material that formed the base of the icon’s halo so that the gold leaf we were applying would adhere, our instructor, Mary Kay, told us we were breathing our own “spirit” into the icon. Indeed, as the week progressed, so did my spiritual connection to St. Paul deepen and take shape. Although much hard work went into the creation of our icons, when I look at the image of St. Paul beaming down on me from the bookcase in my living room, I am reminded of the spiritually transforming experience of the entire workshop.”   ~Malinda Bostick, 2020 Icon Workshop Participant

Offering: $989.00 per person (includes room accommodations, meals and all icon writing supplies)
Deposit: $250.00
Arrival: Sunday 11/7 at 3:00 pm, Dinner will be served at 5:00 pm
Departure:  Saturday 11/14 by 12:00 pm

Register Now (space is limited)