Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Retreat?
Some retreats develop the rich traditions of Catholic spirituality while others integrate the sacred and secular, the psychological and spiritual. Retreats offer sacred moments in time where God transforms lives. Some retreats provide a quiet and contemplative atmosphere conducive to prayer and reflection, while others offer opportunities for sharing and mutual support.
What kind of retreats are at the Cenacle?
The Cenacle Sisters offer retreats at Cenacle Retreat Centers throughout North America and also at other locations such as parishes, community centers and in private homes. Group retreats at the Cenacle are usually held from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. But there are many weekday and evening programs as well.
During a Guided Retreat, the presenter gives a presentation in the morning, followed by suggested readings to be used during the retreatant's personal prayer throughout the day. The day also offers an opportunity to share in the Eucharist, and invites you to spend your day, including meals, in prayerful silence.
Directed Retreats and Days of Prayer
An opportunity for prayerful solitude, in which you meet daily with a retreat director to share what has happened in prayer. The director helps you to listen to and recognize what God is saying in your life and where you are being called. Its design allows you to respond to God's Spirit at your own pace. Scripture and other means are used. The suggested stay is 3-8 days/nights. Thirty day directed retreats are also available.
Private Retreat/Days of Prayer
You are welcome to come for one or several days, to spend time in prayer and reflection. Meeting with a Cenacle Sister is optional. Bring your own material for prayer/reflection or ask for suggestions for your prayer. A private room is provided.
Retreat in Daily Life
According to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola
(19th Annotation Retreat)
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola offer you a special opportunity to know, love, and follow Jesus more intimately. While the Exercises can be prayed during a 30-day period at a retreat center, St. Ignatius knew that most of the people interested in the experience could not leave their families and responsibilities. He then adapted the Exercises for people to make an extended retreat in the midst of daily life.
Today, you can follow Jesus in the Exercises on a one-to-one basis over a period of six to nine months. As a retreatant, you would commit to at least 45 minutes to an hour of daily prayer and a weekly visit with your director for about an hour. This retreat in Daily Life presumes that you have prayed with scripture before and have had some spiritual direction and/or other retreat experience.
Where can I find the Cenacle nearest me?
Visit the different Cenacle locations on this web site or e-mail email@example.com.
How can I find a schedule of retreats at the Cenacle nearest me?
Visit the different Cenacle locations on this web site and click on Retreats & Programs, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What kind of facilities are at Cenacle Retreat Centers?
Cenacle retreat centers have clean simple bedrooms, meeting rooms, home cooked meals, a chapel and beautiful grounds.
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is the opportunity to reflect with a qualified spiritual director about your life, its events, relationships with God and others. Spiritual direction is a graced way of serving another believer -- helping the other to grow in intimacy with God and to live out the consequences of this intimacy.
While some spiritual directors may be trained pastoral or psychological counselors, problem solving or therapy is not the focus. Rather, the focus of a spiritual direction relationship is the directee's experience of God. The director helps the person to notice God's movement in prayer and in the circumstances and events of one's life.
Contemporary direction presumes that God communicates through ordinary human experience, and in that experience is found God's invitations, urgings and confirmations. A spiritual director is a companion on life's journey -- asking reflective questions and pointing out resources. They assist with resistances and roadblocks, helping the directee to come to breakthroughs in their relationship with God and its lived consequences.
A spiritual director may be especially helpful to an individual seeking to develop a deeper relationship with God:
- when the search for God seems to be at a crossroads
- when one wants to explore new methods of prayer
- when prayer becomes difficult
- when one feels the need for help in discerning the call of the Spirit
- or when one feels the need for a companion on the spiritual journey to walk with them and to listen.
Spiritual direction at the Cenacle is available for people of all faiths -- lay women and men, single or married, priests and members of religious communities. Frequency of sessions can be discussed with the director and decided upon according to individual needs. Many people find once a month helpful.
How do I find a spiritual director?
To find out more about spiritual direction in your area, visit the different Cenacle locations on this web site or e-mail email@example.com.
Does the Cenacle host outside groups?
Yes. To find out more about hosting groups in your area, visit the different Cenacle locations on this web site or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are Prayer Enrollments?
When you give someone a Cenacle Enrollment Card or Folder, you are giving the gift of prayer. Enrollment in this ministry provides for the celebration of monthly Masses offered in the enrollee's name. Both you and those enrolled are remembered in the daily prayer of the Cenacle Sisters and by the many friends of the Cenacle.
Cenacle Prayer Enrollment Cards and Folders are ideal for:
- Sharing the Joy of a Special Event
- Celebrating the Holidays
- Giving Comfort & Reassurance
- During Illness
- Providing Support During Times of Difficulty
- Expressing Sympathy for Those Grieving the Loss of a Loved One
Yes, there is a Cenacle Prayer Enrollment Card or Folder for every occasion.
This spiritual ministry began in 1928, when Mother Mary Shannon, r.c. recalled the words of Saint Therese Couderc, the Foundress of the Cenacle Sisters, "...I saw as written as in letters of gold this word Goodness."
Each Cenacle Enrollment is beautifully hand-lettered and custom-inscribed by a Cenacle Calligrapher in gold ink.
When you choose the gift of a Cenacle Prayer Enrollment, your offering helps to support the many spiritual ministries of the Cenacle Sisters, such as retreats, spiritual direction and adult faith formation.
Are there prayer enrollment cards and folders for any occasion?
Are masses and prayers offered for enrollees?
How can I order a prayer enrollment card or folder?
To order a prayer enrollment, visit the different Cenacle locations on this web site and click on Prayer Enrollments.
What forms of membership or affiliation does the Cenacle offer?
Cenacle Sisters are fully professed and make the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Cenacle Auxiliaries are single vowed lay women who annually pronounce vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience. Cenacle Affiliates/Companions are Affiliates/Companions are men and women, single and married, Catholic and other Christian traditions, or diocesan priests, all who desire to live out Cenacle spirituality in their own milieu.
How can I find more information about Cenacle membership?
Call the Vocations Director at 773-528-6300.
How can I make a donation to the Cenacle?
Click on Donate or call your local Cenacle.