Retreat Program 2016/2017

young women in a field

Campus Ministry Retreats provide opportunities for students from all faith backgrounds to reflect on their spiritual values, step back from their regular routine, hear the faith stories of fellow students, and understand the Catholic and Augustinian values of the University. 

Contact Michelle Sherman with any questions.

Freshman Escape Retreat Weekend

October 28-30, 2016

February 3-5, 2017

April 7-9, 2017

Get away from campus for a weekend of discovering friendships, exploring your faith and values, and energizing yourself to make the most of your years at Villanova.

The retreat is grounded in a Christian and Augustinian tradition.  Yet, it is open to students of all faith backgrounds as well as those who do not identify with any religious tradition.

Escape is hosted by the Campus Ministry Interns and led by Sophomores and Juniors.

“Whenever you go out, walk together, and when you reach your destination, stay together.” —St. Augustine

Search Retreat Weekend

November 11-13, 2016

March 31-April 2, 2017 --  For this date, please note that if the Villanova basketball team makes it to the Final Four, we will be watching the game as a community on the retreat.

Search is an interactive student-led retreat that gives Villanovans a time away from campus to reflect on their lives. The retreat is grounded in a Christian and Augustinian tradition.  Yet, it is open to students of all faith backgrounds as well as those who do not identify with any religious tradition. Search meets each student where he or she is and seeks to help them to articulate their own experience of faith and spirituality.

The weekend is filled with talks, small group discussions and group activities that encourage students to look at their relationship with self, others and God. People who attend the retreat often form new friendships and return renewed and refreshed.

Senior Retreat

January 20-22, 2017

A weekend for the Senior Class to listen and discern as they prepare to move forward into the future. The weekend is full of opportunities for prayer, conversation with peers and faculty/staff, and stories from people a little farther along on the journey of life.  This year's class is invited to a weekend at Maris Stella Retreat and Conference Center in Harvey Cedars, New Jersey.


Quiet Retreat

See "Christ's Breath: A Lenten Retreat with the Ignatian Schola" in the next column.


Poster with person with outstretched arms to sky and Encounter written across the sky

ENCOUNTER: A Catholic Identity Retreat is a campus ministry retreat focused on developing a deeper relationship with Christ and witnessing to the diversity within the Catholic tradition. We invite you, wherever you are on your journey, to spend this weekend asking what it means to be a Catholic college student and what joys, struggles, and questions press upon your mind and heart. Pope Francis has encouraged us to be People of Encounter, to build a Culture of Encounter—what might this mean to you in your life?  You will be invited into this exploration through talks, liturgies, small group sharing, fellowship, and time for quiet reflection. We will leave campus on Saturday morning and return on Sunday afternoon. Space is limited. Cost for the weekend is $30. As with all Campus Ministry retreats, if you are unable to pay, we can make special arrangements. 

To Register:

Register now

February 6-8, 2017

Want to make a retreat but don’t have time to go away for a weekend? Want to pay more attention to how life and spirituality go hand in hand? This Retreat in Everyday Life is all about learning to “find God in all things.” Join us for these 3 days of reflection.  Each day you will meet one-on-one with a spiritual companion from the Catholic tradition for 30 minutes, and commit to another 30 minutes of prayer on your own. The retreat is open to students, staff, and faculty.  Meetings will be based on your schedule.


November 8-11, 2016  *Registration Now Closed- Next semester, please register for our Feb. Retreat.*  

Have you thought about what Augustinian spirituality might look like in your everyday life?  Students, staff, and faculty are invited to join us for 3 days of reflection.  Each day you will meet one-on-one with an Augustinian companion, chosen especially for you by Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A., for 30 minutes, and commit to another 30 minutes of prayer on your own.  Meetings will be based on your schedule. 

Register now

Advent Faculty-Staff Retreat


Holy Thursday Faculty-Staff Retreat

"Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope" with Sr. Cathy Maguire, RSM

April 13, 10AM-Noon, Corr Chapel

Join us for a morning of Lenten reflection, prayer, and conversation. Sr. Cathy is a Sister of Mercy at Cranaleith Spiritual Center in Philadelphia. She is the former Executive Director of Siloam, a Mind, Body, Spirit Wellness Center for the HIV/AIDS community. Cathy is trained in the area of pastoral ministry and spirituality and, in the past, has worked in vocation ministry and in prison ministry. For many years she has been involved in the HIV/AIDS community in the areas of retreat work, counseling, and spiritual direction.

Mass will be celebrated at 12:05PM in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church, followed by lunch in St. Rita Hall.


March 17 - 19, 2017

When we make music, we pray twice, and when we pray, Christ’s breath moves through us.  Join The Ignatian Schola for a guided Lenten retreat in which we will explore how we pray with music—though our bodies and breath, through the notes and words.  The retreat will include opportunities to sing and to be silent, to pray and celebrate liturgy together.

We will depart from Villanova in the early afternoon on Friday and return in the afternoon on Sunday.

Here is more information about the Ignatian Schola:

Students cost $50, scholarships avaliable. 

To Register, contact Michelle Sherman.

One Day Hiking Retreat

April 8, 2017

A day of hiking, learning and reflection on creation and our local ecosystem will take place at Valley Forge National Park.  This day will combine spiritual practices of reflection with current environmental research of Villanova faculty.  We will leave campus by 9:30am and return by 5pm.  Participants will need bring their own lunch and snacks. $10 for the day will help cover the cost of ice cream. As with all retreats, if students are unable to pay, scholarships are available. This event is co-sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Office of Sustainability, and the Department of Geography and the Environment.  Space is limited.

June 23-25, 2017

Connections is a three-day, two-night retreat for incoming freshmen that will be held during the summer at Villanova University from June 23-25, 2017. It is an opportunity for first-year students to make “connections” with other first-year students, a team of Sophomore and Junior leaders, the campus of Villanova, and with our Catholic, Augustinian heritage. Students of all faith traditions, or none at all, are encouraged to join us.

For more information, including arrival and departure information, please read our Connections Information Sheet. 

You may register here.  The registration deadline is Wednesday, June 10.


Camping & Canoeing Retreats

September 2-4, 201

This weekend involves a canoeing or rafting trip down the Delaware River and camping out for two nights in Upper Bucks County.  We will explore and reflect upon the presence of God in nature and invite one another to become more attentive to creation.

The retreat is grounded in a Catholic, Augustinian tradition.  Yet, it is open to students of all faith backgrounds, as well as those who do not identify with any religious tradition.

Augustinian Discernment Weekend

November 18-20, 2016
February 17-19, 2017

Curious about the life of an Augustinian Friar?  Wondering if it might be for you? Join other young men discerning a vocation to the Augustinians for a weekend away with the Augustinians at St. Rita Cottage in Ocean City, N.J.

Triduum Retreat during Holy Week

April 14-16, 2017

For students who desire to deepen their experience of Holy Week, this retreat will offer unique liturgical experiences using the services on campus combined with other events to heighten your understanding of these Christian holy days and the liturgies that help us to celebrate them.  For more details contact

One Day Decision Making Retreat

As we are all making difficult decisions everyday, come and explore the process of decision making while taking the time to reflect and gain a new perspective on a decision that you are currently facing.  To sign up or for more information, please email 

Interfaith Retreat

Spend a weekend with believers of different faith backgrounds. Understand what makes us different and what makes us the same.

One in Mind and Heart: A Journey with Augustine

A weekend opportunity to experience the roots of the Augustinian traditions and values while reflecting on one's spiritual journey and struggles, as did St. Augustine.

What are retreats?

Campus Ministry retreats offer an excellent opportunity to get away from the hectic pace of life at Villanova University. The Retreat Program provides the setting to focus on different aspects of your life and encourages you to discover more about yourself and your deepest values through small and large group discussions, talks given by student leaders, meditation, games, fellowship, and prayer.

Why go on retreat?

    To relax and have fun
    To meet new people
    To share and grow in your spirituality
    To strengthen your relationships
    To explore and reflect on your life decisions
    To come to know yourself better
    To encounter God

Who is welcome on retreats and how do I know what retreat to attend?

In general, the Campus Ministry Retreat Program is open to the entire Villanova University community. Students of all faith traditions – or none at all – are welcome and encouraged to look into the retreat program.

We offer a variety of retreat experiences so members of the university community are able to choose the type of retreat they are most comfortable attending. Not every style of retreat works for everyone. Some retreats are quiet and include lots of alone time, while others might emphasize building community through sharing with each other and participating in group activities. The pace of retreats may also vary. Some retreats may be packed with activity while others may move at a more leisurely pace.

There are some retreats designed for specific types of students. For example, Freshmen Escape weekends are for first-year undergraduates only. If you are a freshmen, we ask that you attend a Freshmen Escape weekend (held three times throughout the year) before attending any of our other retreats.

For faculty and staff, we offer a one-day Faculty/Staff Retreat each semester.

How can I serve on a retreat team as a student leader?

Student leaders are an essential part of most retreats we do! If you have some experience in attending retreats in high school and/or college, contact Campus Ministry Retreat Coordinator John Edwards, Additionally, you may print out a team leader application form, found on the invalid link: /villanova/mission/campusministry/getinvolved/spirituality/retreats/applications.htmlApplications and Forms page.