Retreat Program 2014/2015

Retreat council jumping in

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 with any questions.

June 26–28, 2015

Connections is a three-day, two-night retreat for incoming freshmen that will be held during the summer at Villanova University from June 26–28, 2015. 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.

Cost for the weekend is $150.  This covers all accommodations, meals, and scheduled activities, including a trip into Philadelphia for cheesesteaks.  Financial support is available for anyone that needs it.  Please contact John Edwards at 610-519-3507 or 

Download the schedule and directions here.

Holy Thursday Faculty-Staff Retreat
The Wounded Healer: Blessed and Broken

April 2, 2015 10am-Noon, Corr Chapel
Lunch to follow, St. Rita Hall (Registration reguired)

A morning of reflection, prayer, and conversation focused on the theme of God as wounded healer led by Sr. Clare D’Auria, OSF.  

Henri Nouwen says that “a Christian community is…a healing community not because wounds are cured and pains are alleviated, but because wounds and pains become openings or occasions for a new vision.”  The liturgical celebration of the Triduum is this kind of “occasion.”  Each year it challenges us to open our eyes to a new and renewed vision of life that enables us to see our own experience through the lens of the Paschal Mystery.  You are invited to join us on Holy Thursday morning as we reflect on this mystery through the experience of Jesus.


Advent Faculty-Staff Retreat

December 8, 10AM–Noon, 2014

A morning of reflection, prayer, and conversation focused on the writings of Thomas Merton and the Incarnation facilitated by Dr. Edward Hastings, Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Augustinian Discernment Weekend

October 24–26, 2014
March 27–29, 2015

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.

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 Linda Jaczynski.

Interfaith Retreat

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

RCIA Retreat

For students and parishioners of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish seeking full initiation in the Church.

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.

Triduum Retreat during Holy Week

April 3–5, 2015

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

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.

Camping & Canoeing Retreats

Fall 2015

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.

Faith & Music Retreat

September 20, 2014

A day of music and prayer held at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli designed particularly for young adults.  Its focus is to celebrate the beauty of faith in support of the New Evangelization by means of liturgy, prayer, communion and music.  Transportation from Villanova will be provided.

For more information about the day, visit the Abbey's site.

Senior Retreat

January 16–18, 2015

A weekend for the Senior Class to listen and discern as they prepare to move forward into the future. This year's class is invited to a weekend on Long Beach Island. Retreat will be led by staff and faculty.

Search Retreat Weekend

March 27–29, 2015

Search is an interactive student-led retreat that gives Villanovans a time away from campus to reflect on their lives. 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. There is 1 Search Retreat each semester.


Men’s Quiet Retreat

February 6–8, 2015

This weekend retreat held at St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington D.C. will be spent in quiet prayer and conversation that will include the liturgy of the hours, reflections on spirituality in community, and small group conversations.  Space is limited. 

“Called by Name”: Hidden Women in the Gospels

February 20–22, 2015

This weekend for women will be a facilitated experience of prayer and reflection, input and conversation led by Sr. Clare D’Auria, OSF at the Franciscan Spiritual Center, Aston, PA.  Participants will invite some of the unnamed women in the Gospels to speak to them about themselves, our world today, and the Jesus who continues to call us to discipleship.  Space is limited.

Register now

February 2–4, 2015

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? 

The Retreat in Everyday Life is all about learning to “find God in all things.” Your schedule, your time! Meet one on one with a spiritual companion for 30 minutes each of the three days of the retreat. Commit to another 30 minutes of prayer on your own. It’s that simple! Have questions? Stop by Campus Ministry or email Linda Jaczynski at

Freshman Escape Retreat Weekend

April 10–12, 2015

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.

Hosted by the Campus Ministry Interns.

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

One Day Hiking Retreat

April 25, 2015

A day of hiking at Valley Forge National Park.  Hikes will be led by our Campus Ministry Interns and students.  These hikes will incorporate exercises in mindfulness, imagination, prayer, and reflection.