2020 Retreat Schedule
Includes COVID-19 Updates

UPDATE: We are restarting our retreats and will use thermal body temperature and blood-oxygen levels as arrival screening. Hand washing and hard-surface sanitizing will be done before, during and at the end of each day. We will utilize 6-foot spacing or greater spacing both indoors and outdoors. We will opt for outdoor activities whenever and wherever possible including having the option for eating meals outdoors. Meals will be done either with servers or using pre-boxed food and bottled beverages to reduce the possibility of cross contact. We will be following WHO, CDC & PA guidelines regarding group sizes and masking as well.

Exploring the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice

June 20, 2020 (Saturday)
Rain date: July 27, 2020
Facilitator: Carmel Stabley

Join us at Bethany Retreat Center’s outdoor labyrinth as Carmel Stabley leads us in this 4000-year old practice of reflective labyrinth walking. Come away with an understanding of the Classic and Medieval labyrinth patterns and brief history; personalize your walk with intentions, and deepen your experience through a process called Key Word Journaling. Nurture your inner self and explore the many reasons for and benefits of walking this ancient path. No previous experience needed. All faith traditions welcome.

This day will include conferences, time to walk the labyrinth, lunch and quiet time.

“Perhaps there is a pattern set up in heaven for one who desires to see it. Having seen it, to find it in himself” ~ PLATO

Carmel Stabley is an Advanced-Certified Labyrinth Facilitator with training through Veriditas in Chartres, France, as well as labyrinth studies and pilgrimages in Sweden, Spain, Germany, and Iona. Carmel hosts monthly walks and seminars throughout PA and the surrounding area where she creates labyrinth experiences and provides teaching on the history, sacred geometry and mental, physical and spiritual benefits of the walking meditation practice. She is the originator of the Labyrinth Connection of Susquehanna Valley, a group of walkers with a newsletter and Facebook page by the same name which connects walkers to events. She is also a certified Contemplative Leader, and the Regional Representatives Chairperson for the Labyrinth Society.

A graduate of Faith School of Theology in Charleston, Maine (now Faith Bible College International), Carmel holds a bachelor’s degree in Theological Studies with a minor in Pastoral Theology Cum Laude. She also serves at the Hempfield United Methodist Church on Stony Battery Road in Lancaster, PA as a Retreat Planner, Spiritual Formation Leader and Steward of the Prayer Chapel. Through silence and solitude her personal Centering Prayer and labyrinth practice have guided her to service in these and other areas such as Prayer Companioning.

What Others Experienced:
“I experience insight and development of helpful ideas. Made me feel extremely grateful.”

“The energy of the day was fantastic.”

“A renewed sense of trust in the universe to provide and take care of me, calm and peace.”

Offering: $30 per person with lunch at noon
Deposit: $15 (nonrefundable)

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Personal Days of Renewal

June 23 – 26, 2020 (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: $85 per night (includes meals)
Deposit: $30 (nonrefundable)

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7-Day Intensive Contemplative Prayer Retreat

July 26 – Aug. 1, 2020 (Sun. to Sat.)

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. The retreat enables the participants to deepen their contemplative journey in the contemporary world. Integration of contemplation and activity are cultivated in the silence, solitude, community support and guidance in the time at Bethany.

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

Limited Scholarship Available

Also available during this week is a 7-Day Post Intensive Retreat, the purpose of which 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.)

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

Arrival: Sunday any time after 4pm with dinner at 6pm

Departure: 1pm, Saturday
Offering: $495 per person (private room)

Deposit: $150 nonrefundable

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Sr. Therese Dush 5-Year Memorial Mass & Dinner

Saturday, August 15, 2020, 4pm Mass, 6:30pm dinner and celebration to follow

Please save the date: On Saturday, August 15th we will celebrate a commemorative Mass and meal at Bethany Retreat Center. We hope you can join us to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of Sr. Therese’s passing into eternal and everlasting life.

Please let us know if interested in overnight accommodations when you register.

Offering: $20 per person in advance, $24 per person onsite
Arrival: 2pm Sunday with Mass at 4pm and 6:30pm dinner
Saturday or Saturday Overnight Accommodations: $80 per person

Register Now

11th Step Retreat

August 27 – 30, 2020 (Thurs. to Sun.)

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

11th Step – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

This retreat is for people who participate in any 12-Step Recovery program to introduce or expand and deepen the experience of Contemplative Prayer as part of a daily 11th 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 Centering Prayer in the context of 12-Step recovery. For participants who have been with us before, there is an optional Track II program and an extra retreat day and night, beginning Thursday.

Please let us know of your interest in Track II and/or the extra day 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: $200 per person
If staying Thursday Night – ADD extra $80 per person
Deposit: $75 nonrefundable
Arrival: Friday 4:30pm registration
Departure: After lunch on Sunday

Register Now

Native Drumming Retreat

~ A unique Drumming Experience ~
Presenter: Tom Campbell
September 12, 2020 ~ 10am – 4pm

Our Drums will echo again at Bethany on April 4th! Our 7th 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 – God.

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

Tom Campbell has led the last six drumming retreats at Bethany; close to 50 people attended each of the last two years! 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.

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

Offering: $30 per person with lunch at 12:30pm
Deposit: $15 (nonrefundable)
Arrival: 9:30am
Departure: 4pm
Additional Friday and Saturday Overnight Accommodations: $80 per person

Register Now

Contemplative Outreach of Central Pa Presents:

Welcoming Prayer Retreat

September 25-27, 2020

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.

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

Offering: $200 per person
Deposit: $75 nonrefundable
Arrival: Friday 4:30pm registration
Departure: After lunch on Sunday

Register Now

The Language of the Soul

Discovering your Inner Self with Archetypes & Essential Oils
October 2-3, 2020 (Friday to Saturday)

Presenter: Barbara Kurkas Lee

Come to Bethany and discover who you truly are by leaning about your personal archetypes. Archetypes are the language of the soul, and in this workshop, you will discover the four primary archetypes in your wheel of origin that make you the person you are. By the end of the retreat on Saturday, you will leave with practical tips for engaging your own archetypal survival patterns to nurture and comfort yourself and others. You also will leave with an essential oil blend to use in prayer, meditation and working with your archetypes to achieve balance and peace in your life. Come for a potentially life-changing experience. If you have any questions about this retreat content, please email: barb@barbkl.com

Barb Kurkas Lee is a registered Aromatherapist and Certified Archetypal Consultant. She offers in-depth education on personal archetypes and essential oils which lead to deeper, more meaningful relationships and understanding of self and others.

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

Offering: $155 per person
Deposit: $75 (non-refundable)
Arrival:  3pm Friday for 6pm dinner
Departure: 4pm, Saturday

Register Now

Neuroscience & Well Being:

How Spirituality Affects our Health & DNA

October 9 – 11, 2020 (Fri. to Sun.)

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.

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

Offering: $225 per person
Deposit: $75 (non-refundable)
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm Friday, dinner at 6pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

Register Now

Contemplative Outreach of Central Pa presents:

Contemplative Attitudes Through the Practice of Centering Prayer

A Retreat Based on the work of David Frenette

October 25 – 29, 2020 (Sun. to Thurs.)

Presenters: Nancy Cord-Baran & Carolyn Yankovitz

In the teachings of Jesus, there are prayers, and then there is prayer—the silent, loving communion with the divine, beyond words or ritual. With Father Thomas Keating’s book Open Mind, Open Heart, hundreds of thousands have discovered the transformative power of Centering Prayer as a form of Christian meditation. Now, with The Path of Centering Prayer, Keating’s senior student, friend, and adviser, David Frenette, reveals the profound depths of this practice, facilitating a deepening of intimacy with God.

The retreat will focus on the contemplative attitudes, as reflected upon in David’s essential book. It will also include silence and Centering Prayer.

Contemplative attitudes, the fruits of contemplative prayer, are revealed in daily life and we will explore how to foster them. Such qualities as simplicity, gentleness, letting go, resting in God, embracing, and finally integrating one’s experience of prayer into one’s daily life, are paired with David’s Guided Meditations.

Nancy Cord-Baran is a Spiritual Director, Retreat Leader and Co-Coordinator for Contemplative Outreach of Central Pa. She is a commissioned presenter for the Introduction to Centering Prayer workshop, the Forgiveness Prayer, 12-Step Outreach and serves on the Formation Team for those preparing to become commissioned Centering Prayer workshop presenters. Nancy’s Centering Prayer practice has been an integral part of her life since 1998.

Carolyn Yankovitz is a Certified Spiritual Director and Retreat Leader. She has been practicing Centering Prayer for over 12 years. Contemplative prayer is an important part of Carolyn’s personal life and ministry. She is a Commissioned Presenter for Centering Prayer, The Welcoming Prayer, The Forgiveness Prayer and 12 Step Outreach.

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

Offering: $335 per person
Deposit: $90 (non-refundable)
Arrival: Anytime after 4:00 pm with dinner at 6:00
Departure: after lunch on Thursday

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Mother of Jesus, Mother of Us All
October 2020 Dates to be Announced
8:30am to 3:30pm

Presenters: Sr. Ruth Ann Madera, C.A. & Monica Nachman

You are invited to spend a day praying with Mary who leads up to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A wonderful gift for Moms; bring your mother, daughter, sister, or a friend. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Offering: $30 per person, with lunch at noon
Deposit: $15 (non-refundable)

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Opening to God in Sound & Silence:

Bringing Chant into the Heart of Prayer
November 13 – 15, 2020 (Fri. to Sun.)

Presenter: Keith Kristich

Cultures and religions all over the world raise their voice in sacred song and chant to connect with the One who is within. In this weekends retreat, we will focus on bringing the universal practice of chant into our contemplative prayer and meditation practice. Chant is an intimate way of deepening the heartfulness inherent in contemplative prayer. Cynthia Bourgeault teaches “What meditation accomplishes in the silence, chanting accomplishes the sound.” In this way, chanting is a beautiful way to externalize our internal desire for the One within.

Participants can expect a balance between sound and silence, chanting and silent contemplation, as well as, some time to write, reflect and share in small group conversation. Although this may be of particular interest to practitioners of Centering Prayer, it is open to anyone with a contemplative practice of their own.

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: $190 per person
Deposit: $75 (non-refundable)
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm with dinner at 6pm
Departure: 11am Sunday

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“The Seven Mansions of the Interior Castle”
5-Day Contemplative Prayer Retreat

Being Re-scheduled
Presenter: Susan Komis

Come away for a special Retreat offering sacred space and time to explore the Seven Mansions of Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle. Teresa is a one of Christianity’s great mystics and teachers. The Interior Castle is her final work and one of the most profound literary works on contemplation and experiential mysticism.

Prayer stood at the center of Teresa’s teaching. Her fidelity to prayer was a means of deepening her intimate relationship with God. She considered a life of prayer in terms of love.

Together we will reflect on the light of Teresa’s timeless insights into the human soul, its journey towards God, and how Teresa’s teaching is relevant to our personal contemporary spiritual journey today.

This retreat includes presentations, small group process with periods of Centering Prayer, reflection, silence, and daily Mass.

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 Pastoral Minister and has been active in adult faith development, spiritual direction and interspiritual dialogue. Susan previously worked in Human Resources for two corporations.

The Interior Castle is one of her favorite topics in the contemplative dimension. Susan has offered this retreat throughout the United States and Canada. She resides in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, is married and the mother of adult children and grandchildren.

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

Offering: $335 per person
Deposit: $80 (non-refundable)
Arrival: Anytime after 3pm Sunday for 5:30pm dinner
Departure: 1pm, Thursday

Suggested reading for this is “The Interior Castle” – some retreatants found reading the book was most helpful after attending the retreat. It will be available in our bookstore as well.

Register Now

Formation for Contemplative Outreach Service

Including Presenter’s Training
January, 2021 Dates to be Announced

Facilitators: Therese Saulnier, Sr. Ruth Ann Madera & Nancy Cord Baran

What is Formation for Contemplative Outreach Service?

The purpose of Formation for Contemplative Outreach Service, including Presenter’s Training, is to provide an intensive Christian community experience in order to better understand and grasp the essentials of the Centering Prayer method and thus be able to share it appropriately with others.

The theory is “Good practitioners make good presenters, facilitators, and administrative helpers.” Because the group spends four days focusing on the Centering Prayer practice itself, they better understand the essentials of Centering Prayer and the many nuances of the practice. This deeper understanding helps them to better recognize that contemplative service is service freely offered without expectation of return.

Contemplative Service is not tied to roles or only those willing to function in a specific way. Rather one sees a need and fills it. Contemplative Service is God in us serving God in others.

The schedule includes:

  • One and a half hours of Centering Prayer daily
  • Presentations by the staff of one conference of Session one of An Introduction to Centering Prayer each morning.
  • Participants present portions of the same material to a small group in the afternoons.
  • Discussion of Issue

Criteria for Register for: Formation for Contemplative Outreach Service

  • Participated in “An Introduction to Centering Prayer”
  • Established Centering Prayer practice – minimum of daily two twenty-minute periods ~ for three years.
  • Participated in an 8- or 10-day Centering Prayer Intensive Retreat, either before attending Formation or within one year after attending Formation, and before becoming fully commissioned. If intensive retreats are not geographically available
  • (or) Participated in a 5 or 7 day Centering Prayer Intensive Retreat (or) Participated in four weekend silent Centering Prayer Retreats over previous 3 years
  • Studied Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating. Preferably has also read/studied Invitation to Love, Mystery of Christ, and/or Spiritual Journey materials by Thomas Keating (Tapes, CDs, DVDs or transcripts).
  • Has been recommended by a Chapter Coordinator or Contact Person, or (in an underdeveloped chapter) by a commissioned presenter who is willing to mentor and recommend him/her for full commissioning after serving a minimum of one year as a presenter-in-training.

To register fill out the online reservation form. We will then email you an application form and reference form to fill out and send back for approval to attend the training.

Offering: $625 per person

Deposit: $150 (non-refundable)
Arrival: Any time after 4:00 pm with dinner at 6:00
Departure: after lunch on Friday