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Retreats

college students sitting in living room setting, relaxed and chatting

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

 

Held throughout the year, Campus Ministry retreats bring together students from all faith backgrounds to step back from their routine, reflect on their spiritual values, share stories, and understand Villanova’s Catholic and Augustinian values.

This section will be updated as retreat planning progresses. Upcoming retreats will be moved to the top of the list and past retreats will be moved down.

Date & Time

Start: 5 p.m., Friday, March 15
End: 4 p.m., Sunday, March 17

Location

Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center
Transportation to and from campus provided

Audience

Sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students

Description

What are you searching for? 

Search is a weekend retreat for students who are interested in exploring the ways unconditional love is present in their lives. In particular, this retreat focuses on agape, a selfless and unconditional form of love. The schedule includes story-sharing, activities, and meetings with a peer-led small group throughout the weekend. As an expression of the Augustinian value of caritas, Search strives to engage students of a variety of identities, religious or spiritual expressions, and/or worldviews who are interested in the retreat theme. Open to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students (first-year undergraduate students by staff permission only).

It is hosted by the Campus Minister for Retreats and Graduate Resident Ministers, and is led by juniors, seniors and grad students who have participated in Search previously.

What to Expect

Testimonials shared by student leaders

Considerable social activity, including sitting and talking in small groups and one on one

Moderate physical activity, including group activities inside and outside

Time for Individual reflection, reflection activities and relaxation

Sleeping  in bunk rooms

Hall-style bathrooms and showers; single-user options also available

What to Pack

Comfortable, casual clothing for two nights and days (check the weather before leaving; bring layers for temperature changes)

Sturdy shoes for hiking

Medications you usually take

Reusable water bottle

Sleeping bag or sheets/blanket and a pillow 

Towel and toiletries

Meals

All meals are provided in the camp cafeteria. When you register, please indicate any allergies or dietary accommodation needed.

Fee

Registration fee is $25, payable by NovaBucks. Scholarships are available, so please indicate your interest in receiving information about scholarships as you register.

Registration

Register by March 1.

Reflect on the Lenten season and prepare yourself for Holy Week with a retreat experience inspired by the example of Saint Rita, facilitated by staff from the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia. 

Registration is open through March 21.

Intended Participants: Villanova faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Location: St. Rita Community Room

Time: Coffee and light pastries, 9-9:30am; Program, 9:30-11:30am; Daily Mass, 12:05pm (Mass in Corr Chapel)

Cost: Free

Employees, with approval from their supervisor, may attend this one half day with no loss of pay or charge to vacation time. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Human Resources at ext. 7900.

Date & Time

Start:  5 p.m., Friday, March 22
End: 12 p.m., Sunday, March 24

Location

Malvern Retreat House
Transportation to and from campus provided

Audience

Villanova undergraduate students, faculty, and staff who are affiliated with the Posse program or interested in engaging the annual theme (this year titled "Education... recalculating").

Description

"During each PossePlus Retreat weekend, a cross section of the campus community — students, faculty and administrators — come together to talk about the topic on a national, campus and personal level.

By creating a safe space for dialogue between campus community members who may not ordinarily interact with one another, retreats today have become an important forum to engage in social, cultural and political issues."

About the Posse Foundation

What to Pack

Comfortable, casual clothing for two nights and days (check the weather before leaving; bring layers for temperature changes)

Sturdy shoes for going outside

Medications you usually take

Reusable water bottle

Sleeping bag or sheets/blanket and a pillow 

Towel and toiletries

Meals

All meals are provided in the retreat center dining hall. 

Fee

N/A

Registration

Register here. You must use your Villanova email address to register.

Please direct any questions about registration to Brian Galloway (brian.galloway@villanova.edu), Assistant Dean, Enrollment Managment, and Villanova Posse liaison.

 

Date & Time

Start: 5 p.m., Friday, January 19
End: 12 p.m., Sunday, January 21

Location

St Raphaela Center.

Transportation to and from campus provided

Audience

Graduating undergraduate seniors, class of 2024

Description

Between college and graduation, "you are at a crossroads ..."

This off-campus weekend retreat allows graduating senior students of any or no faith tradition to consider what has guided them on their journeys and what will light the way ahead. It is full of opportunities for prayer, conversation and shared reflections on our paths with Villanova faculty and staff.

What to Expect

Considerable social activity, including sitting and talking in small groups and one on one

Moderate physical activity, including group activities inside and outside

Time for Individual reflection, reflection activities and relaxation

Sleeping in shared retreat rooms

Hall-style bathrooms and showers; single-user options also available

What to Pack

Comfortable, casual clothing for two nights and days (check the weather before leaving; bring layers for temperature changes)

Sturdy shoes for walking outdoors

Medications you usually take

Reusable water bottle & coffee or tea thermos

Sleeping bag or sheets/blanket and a pillow 

Towel and toiletries

Meals

All meals are provided in the retreat center cafeteria. When you register, please indicate any allergies or dietary accommodation needed.

Fee

Registration is $25, payable by Nova Bucks, arranged separately. If needed, the application for scholarship assistance to waive the fee is found in the registration form. If you have questions, please email Kiva Nice-Webb.

Registration

Register here by January 17.

 

Date & Time

Start: 12-1pm, Friday, February 9, kick-off lunch
End: 12-1pm, Monday, February 26, closing lunch

Location

On-campus, asynchronous, self-guided retreat. 

Kick-off and closing lunch programs are in the St Rita Community Room. 

Audience

Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff at Villanova University

Description

The Busy Wildcat Retreat is meant for students, faculty, or staff who are longing for space in their lives to slow down, reflect, and connect with God, but who might have a hard time fitting a weekend-long retreat into their schedule. 

This retreat looks to help us learn how to make going on retreat a part of our everyday life. During these two weeks, we will be encouraged to intentionally slow down and make space in our hearts and minds so that we might be able to become more aware of God’s presence in the ordinary moments of our day-to-day lives. Through this unique retreat experience, we hope cultivating practices and skills like solitude and contemplation will give us the chance to grow in our relationship with God and our faith, and consciously put our faith into action throughout our daily lives.

What to Expect

Reflection and prayer materials provided by the retreat planners including the following options: Christian scripture verses, a written reflection, and a video option on five themes. 

This retreat is largely a self-guided individual journey that happens at your own pace and works around your schedule, but this retreat will also begin and end with community gatherings to help prepare for and process the experience.

The opening gathering, which happens on Friday, February 9, will be a chance for you to express hopes and goals for your retreat experience. The closing gathering, which happens on Monday, February 26, will be a chance to look back on your retreat experience and see how it impacted your two weeks. 

Each weekday (Monday- Friday) between the opening and closing community gatherings, you will commit to 30 minutes of prayer and reflection using the materials listed in the guidebook. In addition, you will commit to meeting with a spiritual companion twice during the two week period to discuss your experience. 

What to Bring

Journal or something that helps you reflect

Meals

The kick-off and closing programs will each include lunch. When you register, please indicate any allergies or dietary accommodation needed.

Fee

FREE

Registration

First come, first served; register here.

Questions? Email David Walsh, campus minister for sports and spirituality, or Kiva Nice-Webb, campus minister for retreats. 

This section will be updated as retreat planning progresses.

Please visit the Connections Retreat page for more information and to register.

This section will be updated as retreat planning progresses.

Thank you for your interest, this retreat has passed. 

 

Date & Time

Start: 9:00 AM
End: 4:00 PM

Location

on-campus

Audience

Current VU graduate and professional studies students

Description

Are you excited—and maybe a little stressed—about your graduate and professional studies this year? You’re not alone. Come and meet your Villanova peers, reflect on your hopes and fears, and develop supportive relationships at a graduate-student retreat. You will hear from current grad students, share in small groups and learn how Villanova’s Augustinian tradition invites you to “become what you are not yet.”

The event is open to participants of any or no faith tradition.

Hosted by Campus Ministry and the Grad Center

What to Expect

Stories shared by current graduate students and time for small group discussion with peers

Intro to the Augustinian tradition of the institution

Considerable social activity, including sitting and talking in small groups and one on one

Moderate physical activity, including group activities inside and outside

Time for individual reflection

What to Bring

Reusable water bottle

Favorite pen for notes and a journal or notepad

Casual, comfortable clothes (layers as needed for temp)

Meals

TBD

Fee

This event is free. 

Registration

First come, first served; register by Thursday 8/31. Please use this link to register.  Email Brian McCabe with any questions.

Thank you for your interest, this retreat has passed. If you are interested in further engaging the global synod process, please contact Dr. Kathryn Getek-Soltis (Center for Peace and Justice Education) or Brian McCabe (Campus Ministry).

---

We are the Now of the Church: A Student Leadership Retreat to Connect, Reflect & Dream


Date & Time

Start: evening., Friday, September 15
End: evening, Saturday, September 16

Location

St Raphaela Center 

Audience

Philadelphia area undergraduate students interested in engaging the synodality process within the Roman Catholic church

Description

Hosted by SCHEAP: Synodality in Catholic Higher Education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. For context, Pope Francis recently made historic changes to the rules and composition of the synod, enabling women to vote for the first time and adding 70 non-bishop members who represent the People of God from various local churches. And one of those 70 is a student leader that we nominated out of our Philadelphia Catholic Higher Education Synod process - Julia Oseka, a rising junior at St. Joe's! She is going to Rome as a voting member of the Church's global synod! This is especially incredible news for our Villanova students and the hundreds of other students from around Philadelphia who have been participating in this process over the last year and a half. Julia is representing them and will continue to walk with our communities (including at the all-campus retreat on Sept. 15-16). 

What to Expect

Considerable social activity, including sitting and talking in small groups and one on one

Moderate physical activity, including group activities inside and outside

Time for individual reflection

Sleeping  in retreat center rooms

Hall-style bathrooms and showers; single-user options also available

What to Pack

Comfortable, casual clothing for nights and days (check the weather before leaving; bring layers for temperature changes)

Sturdy shoes for waking outside

Medications you usually take

Reusable water bottle

Towel and toiletries

Meals

All meals are provided in the retreat center dining hall. As you register your interest, please indicate any allergies or dietary accommodation needed.

Fee

This retreat is FREE. 

Registration

Please register your interest here by September 6, there are a limited amount of spots available for this retreat. You will be contacted after September 8 to know if you have been selected or not.

Contact Dr. Kathryn Getek-Soltis <kathryn.geteksoltis@villanova.edu> with any questions. 

Thank you for your interest. This retreat has passed - look for dates to be published for the upcoming Busy Wildcat Retreat - Spring Semester.

Date & Time

Start: 12-1pm, Friday, October 20 kick-off lunch
End: 12-1pm, Friday, October 27 closing lunch

Location

On-campus, asynchronous, self-guided retreat. 

Kick-off and closing lunch programs are in the St Rita Community Room. 

Audience

Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff at Villanova University

Description

The Busy Wildcat Retreat is meant for students, faculty, or staff who are longing for space in their lives to slow down, reflect, and connect with God, but who might have a hard time fitting a weekend-long retreat into their schedule. 

This retreat looks to help us learn how to make going on retreat a part of our everyday life. During this week, we will be encouraged to intentionally slow down and make space in our hearts and minds so that we might be able to become more aware of God’s presence in the ordinary moments of our day-to-day lives. Through this unique retreat experience, we hope cultivating practices and skills like solitude and contemplation will give us the chance to grow in our relationship with God and our faith, and consciously put our faith into action throughout our daily lives.

What to Expect

Reflection and prayer materials provided by the retreat planners including the following options: Christian scripture verses, a written reflection, and a video option on a daily theme. 

This retreat is largely a self-guided individual journey that happens at your own pace and works around your schedule, but this retreat will also begin and end with community gatherings to help prepare for and process the experience.

The opening gathering, which happens on Friday, October 20, will be a chance for you to express hopes and goals for your retreat experience. The closing gathering, which happens on Friday, October 27, will be a chance to look back on your retreat experience and see how it impacted your week. 

Each day between the community gatherings you will commit to 30 minutes of prayer and reflection using the materials listed in the guidebook. In addition, you will commit to meeting with a spiritual companion twice during the week to discuss your experience. 

What to Bring

Journal or something that helps you reflect

Meals

The kick-off and closing programs will each include lunch. When you register, please indicate any allergies or dietary accommodation needed.

Fee

FREE

Registration

First come, first served; registration has technically closed, but if seeing this before 10/20, email David and Kiva directly to see if there is room for you.

Questions? Email David Walsh, campus minister for sports and spirituality, or Kiva Nice-Webb, campus minister for retreats. 

Thank you for your interest. This retreat has passed.

Date & Time

Start: 9:30 a.m., Saturday, November 4
End: 5:30 p.m., Saturday, November 4

Location

Redeemer Valley Farm and Transformation Center

Transportation to and from campus provided.

Audience

Undergraduate and graduate / professional students at Villanova. This retreat is designed for a Catholic audience. 

Description

From the retreat organizers: "Need time to breathe in the midst of a busy semester? Wish you could take a day off from the stress? Come away and "fall back" for a day at the beautiful Redeemer Valley Farm and Transformation Center. Knowing how stressful college life can be and knowing how all of us struggle to grow in relationship with God, we invite you and your students to take some time out for a day of reflection and retreat in the quiet beauty of Redeemer Valley Farm and Transformation Center in the northeast suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. We will have two brief talks, some interactive activities, lots of time for quiet in the outdoor community garden and tending to the farm animals, lunch, Eucharistic Adoration and a Saturday evening vigil Mass (optional)."

Hosted by Delaware Valley Member Area of the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), this retreat is Catholic in formation and open to undergraduate and graduate students. 

What to Expect

Two brief talks

Interactive activities

Time for quiet indoors and outdoors

Time in the community garden with plants and animals 

What to Pack

Comfortable, casual clothing (check the weather before leaving; bring layers for temperature or weather changes)

Sturdy shoes for hiking and walking on the farm

Medications you usually take

Reusable water bottle

Meals

All meals are provided. When you register, please indicate any allergies or dietary accommodation needed.

Fee

Registration fee is $10 and covers all costs for the weekend. To ask about scholarship assistance for the fee, email Kiva Nice-Webb.

Registration

First come, first served; register by Nov 1.

Questions about how to register? Contact Villanova campus minister for retreats, Kiva Nice-Webb at kiva.nice-webb@villanova.edu.

Questions about the retreat content, or the retreat location? Contact Sister Michele Fisher, CSFN at sorellamichele@aol.com. Sr Michele Fisher is the Delaware Valley NRVC (National Religious Vocation Conference) Member Area Coordinator.

Thank you for your interest. This retreat has passed. 

Date & Time

Start: 5 p.m., Friday, November 10
End: 2 p.m., Sunday, November 12

Location

Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center
Transportation to and from campus provided

Audience

First-year undergrad students

Description

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.

Although grounded in the Christian and Augustinian tradition, Escape is designed for and open to students of any or no faith tradition. It is hosted by the Graduate Resident Ministers and led by sophomores and juniors who have participated in Escape.

What to Expect

Stories shared by sophomore and junior students

Considerable social activity, including sitting and talking in small groups and one on one

Moderate physical activity, including group activities inside and outside

Time for individual reflection

Sleeping  in bunk rooms

Hall-style bathrooms and showers; single-user options also available

What to Pack

Comfortable, casual clothing for two nights and days (check the weather before leaving; bring layers for temperature changes)

Sturdy shoes for hiking

Medications you usually take

Reusable water bottle

Sleeping bag or sheets/blanket and a pillow 

Towel and toiletries

Meals

All meals are provided in the camp cafeteria. When you register, please indicate any allergies or dietary accommodation needed.

Fee

Registration fee is $25 and covers all costs for the weekend. To ask about scholarship assistance for the fee, email Kiva Nice-Webb.

Registration

First come, first served; register by Nov 1.

Thank you for your interest, this retreat has passed. 

Date & Time

Start: 9:00am, Monday, Dec 4
End: 11:30am, Monday, Dec 4

Location

St. Rita Hall - Community Room 

Audience

Ecumenical Christian retreat, open to Villanova faculty, staff, graduate and professional students

Description

Title: "Advent Waiting for a Pilgrim People"

More than ever, we live in a world where waiting is something we have little time or patience for, something we resist, something that makes us uncomfortable.  As the Catholic Church is engaging in the synodal process--called to journey together and with others and learning to become a pilgrim people where all have a space--waiting might be a helpful practice to cultivate.  When we slow down and become attentive to the movements of the Spirit, what new life is waiting to be born in and around us?  What hope springs forth when we experience God waiting for and with us?  How do we wait for one another amidst differences or conflict?  Who might be waiting for us?  During this retreat, we will take some time with these questions and lean into the tension of our Advent waiting, as a way of opening ourselves to the hope and newness that God desires for us.

Facilitator Bio: S. Michelle Cimaroli

S. Michelle Cimaroli is a Handmaid of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an international Ignatian community of women whose mission is to co-labor with God in bringing wholeness to our world.  While she has worked as a teacher (primarily Math) for most of her time in ministry, she is currently the Director of St. Raphaela Center in Haverford, where she enjoys welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds and offering them a space of healing and encounter with God.  As a graduate of Villanova (Master of Theological Studies, 2017), she is happy to return to the community for this retreat.  In her free time, she enjoys biking, hiking in the Wissahickon, being creative in the kitchen, and woodworking.

What to Expect

Celebrate the Advent season at this ecumenical Christian retreat held on campus during the workday.

Meet with colleagues from across the University and share from your personal experiences and faith journey. 

Guided reflections led by facilitator

Considerable social activity, including sitting and talking in small groups and one on one

Time for personal reflection, sharing in large and small groups, facilitated activities and a quiet, relaxed environment

What to Bring

Journal and pen.

Reusable coffee mug and/or thermos.
    

Meals

Light refreshments will be provided.

Fee

This event is free. Employees, with approval from their supervisor, may attend this one half day with no loss of pay or charge to vacation time. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Human Resources at ext. 7900.

Registration

First come, first served; register here.

Direct questions about the retreat to Campus Minister for Retreats, Kiva Nice-Webb.

What are retreats?

The Retreat Program invites you to get away from the hectic pace of college life and focus on different aspects of your life. It encourages you to discover more about yourself and your deepest values through group discussions, talks given by student leaders, meditation, games, fellowship and prayer.

What do you do on retreat?

Relax and have fun

Meet new people

Share and grow in your spirituality

Strengthen your relationships

Explore and reflect on your life decisions

Come to know yourself better

Encounter God

Who is welcome on retreats?

In general, the Retreat Program is open to students of any or no faith tradition.

How do I know which retreat to attend?

You can choose the type and style of retreat you are most comfortable attending. Some retreats are quiet and include lots of alone time, while others emphasize building community through sharing and group activities.

The pace of retreats also varies. Some retreats have lots of activity, while others are more leisurely.

Some retreats are designed for specific students. For example, Escape weekends are for first-year undergrads only. We ask that these students attend an Escape weekend (held once each semester) before attending our other retreats.

How can I serve as a student leader?

Student leaders are an essential part of most of our retreats. If you have experience attending retreats in high school or college, contact Kiva Nice-Webb.

"I have never experienced a group of people more open and willing to accept me as I am. I am grateful, so grateful."

"I had SO. MUCH. FUN. First Year Escape made my year. I made so many new friends and before this weekend, I felt like I would never make friends at Villanova because it seemed like everyone else had it all together and was already in a friend group. I can't wait to join a Get Real Group with my CMI and continue these friendships. Thank you!!!!"

"I am able to see God in people more easily now."

"This weekend has given me a sense of meditation, self love, and contemplation that I haven't experienced in a while. It helped open up my understanding of love."

"The small group discussions were very impactful to me because I was able to share my vulnerability with a safe group and be affirmed."

"Prior to SEARCH, I was someone who would only go to God for the highs and lows in my life. I never sought him in my everyday life. SEARCH taught me that God is a part of everyone and everything, whether or not I realize it. Therefore, I intend on dedicating myself to walk through each day looking for Him, and consciously trying to process where He may appear in those not-so-extreme moments."

"I am more confident in sharing and talking about my faith, and I am left wanting to further pursue my faith and grow in love of others."