2020 Retreat Schedule
Includes COVID-19 Precautions

LAST UPDATED 8/14/2020

UPDATE: We are restarting some retreats where we can do so safely. We 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 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. Space on all retreats is limited.


Introduction to Centering Prayer

Fostering intimacy with God through silence & stillness

Friday, September 25 – Saturday, September 26, 2020 – Zoom and Commuter Options Available

Presenters: Nancy Cord-Baran, Sr Ruth Ann Madera & Sr Suzanne Thibault

Sourced from the depths of Christian contemplative tradition, Centering Prayer has emerged as a life-changing prayer practice for those who embrace it. Centering Prayer is a receptive method of Christian silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer; prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. Its purpose is to foster a deeper intimacy with Christ through the silence and stillness of contemplative prayer.

Join us to learn the method or to renew your practice of this ancient form of silent prayer. Conference #1 will be held Friday evening with the remaining 3 conferences happening on Saturday. You may join us here on campus for live sessions or meet with us via Zoom from your home.

Offering: $145.00 (On Site Attendance), $95.00 (Commuter) $75.00 (Zoom Attendance)
Deposit: $75.00
Arrival: Anytime after 3:00 pm Friday for 5:30 dinner
Departure: 5:00 pm, Saturday

Register Now


Virtual Confirmation Retreat

Baptized to Be God’s Witnesses as Priest, Prophet and King

5 Zoom Sessions beginning at 8:00 pm, lasting 30-45 minutes each session
Option #1: September 27, 30, October 4, 7 and 11
Option #2: October 25, 28, November 1, 4 and 8

Presenter: Sr. Suzanne Thibault

This retreat entails 5 Zoom Sessions with process material for candidate and sponsor to work on together before next Zoom Session. It will provide an opportunity to explore the connection of Baptism and Confirmation, as well as the topic of growing in the Catholic Faith beyond Confirmation.

Sr. Suzanne lives at Bethany Retreat Center. She has been directing retreats for youth, kindergarten to college age since 1987, 33 years. Using education, process activities and
reflection techniques, Sr. Suzanne has the ability to bring the faith journey alive and make it relevant to today. Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, Sr. Suzanne is offering virtual retreats by integrating Zoom Sessions with process and reflection materials between sessions.

Participants receive a Certificate of Completion when the retreat is over.

For more information contact Sr. Suzanne at: bethanyyouthcenter@gmail.com

Offering: $15 per person
Registration Deadline:
#1 – September 21, 2020
#2 – October 19, 2020

Register Now


The Language of the Soul

Discovering your Inner Self with Archetypes & Essential Oils
October 2-3, 2020 (Friday to Saturday) – Zoom and Commuter Options Available

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.

Zoom options available.

Offering: $155.00 (On Site Attendance), $105.00 (Commuter) $85.00 (Zoom Attendance)
Deposit: $75 (non-refundable)
Arrival:  3pm Friday for 6pm dinner
Departure: 9pm, Saturday

Register Now


Personal Days of Retreat and Renewal

October 5-10, 2020 (Mon – Sat) – SPACE IS LIMITED
November 3-7, 2020 (Tues – Sat) – SPACE IS LIMITED
December 8-12, 2020 (Tues – Sat) – SPACE IS LIMITED

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. 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,” are not experiencing any symptoms, or have been around anyone that has been exposed to the virus, you are welcome to come.

Offering: $88 per night (includes meals)
Deposit: $25 (non-refundable)
Arrival: Anytime after 9am (whatever day you attend)

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

Register Now


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)

Register Now


Icon Writing Workshop

St. Paul the Apostle (Space is limited to 8)
November 8 – 14, 2020 (Sunday-Saturday)

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. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles 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 Paul’s image, we will contemplate and discuss his teachings.

Icons remind of 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

Offering: $925
Deposit: $250
Arrival: Anytime after 3:00 pm Sunday, 11/8 for 5:00 dinner

“My entire prayer life has been deepened from your workshop. I can’t thank you enough. Looking forward to working closer with you.”
~ Susan Gregonis 2019 workshop participant

Register Now


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

Register Now


“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