Address: 41 Old Highland Turnpike (Graymoor), Garrison, NY 10524
Retreats are an integral part of the Catholic faith. It is healthy to get away from everyday life, rest, and renew your faith regularly. What we call a retreat consists of a series of days passed in solitude and consecrated to practices of asceticism, in particular to prayer and penance. Such “desert” experiences are as old as Christianity itself – and in fact predate it, although we won’t walk through all the Old Testament prototypes, such as the Israelites’ forty years in the desert with Moses and the wilderness experiences of prophets such as Elijah. For Christians, the New Testament example of Jesus’ forty days in the desert following his baptism by John has found many imitators in all ages.
Among many other examples are: St. Francis of Assisi (whose retreat on Mount Alverno culminated in receiving the Stigmata); St. Ignatius of Loyola, who used his own experiences to develop the thirty-day Spiritual Exercises; and St. Francis de Sales, who spread the “Exercises” to the laity as a means for their growth in holiness in the middle of the world.
Modern-day retreats take many forms, but usually involve a weekend (or sometimes longer) away from home and familiar routines. Retreats can be conducted in groups or individually and are often under the guidance of a spiritual director. Guided retreats often offer spiritual talks and reflections, and there is also plenty of "alone time" for personal prayer and spiritual reading.
When we have questions about our lives, our existence and are longing to find peace in our hearts it is helpful to find a holy place to spend time. Going away for a retreat in a prayerful environment offers a time for reflection and peace. We all need the space and the silence to reflect and pray, it can help us begin to sense a deeper truth about ourselves and God, how he loves us as we are.
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31
OUR LADY OF THE ATONEMENT RETREAT HOUSE, located at "Graymoor" in Garrison, New York, is owned and operated by the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement.
On June 9, 1916, ground was broken for the "Hostel of Our Lady," as it was referred to in the time of Mother Lurana White, SA - foundress of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement (begun in 1898). In the late 1960's the "Hostel" was renamed to, "Our Lady's Guest and Retreat House." As the years moved on, a large, air-conditioned meeting room was added in 2006, along with an elevator for the 3-story retreat house for access to all bedroom areas within the facility. The name was then changed to "Our Lady of the Atonement Retreat House" - which it is referred to today.