Retreat Program 2015/2016

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 24–26, 2016

Connections is a three-day, two-night retreat for incoming freshmen that will be held during the summer at Villanova University from June 24–26, 2016. 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 

You may register here.  The registration deadline is Monday, June 6th.

Detailed schedule and directions are available here.

One Day Hiking Retreat

April 16, 2016

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.  There is no cost for the retreat day, but participants will need provide or purchase their own lunch and snacks. This event is co-sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Office of Sustainability, and the Department of Geography and the Environment.  Space is limited.

Register now

November 10-13, 2015

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 for 30 minutes, and commit to another 30 minutes of prayer on your own.  Meetings will be based on your schedule.  The retreat will conclude with participants joining the rest of the University community for a liturgy celebrating the Feast of St. Augustine on Friday, Nov. 13th at 12:05 or 5:30pm.

February 1-3, 2016

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.

Senior Retreat

January 15–17, 2016

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.  Registration will open in mid-September.

Search Retreat Weekend

April 1-3, 2016

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 expereince 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.


Quiet Retreat

February 5-7, 2016

This weekend retreat open to students, staff, and faculty will enable participants to engage in a variety of practices of contemplative prayer.  Practiced meditators will be available to guide and support those who are more new to practicing forms of quiet prayer.  The retreat will be held on the beautiful grounds of the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA.  The retreat center is rooted in the Catholic tradition but persons of any faith background are welcome to attend.  Space is limited.  Cost for the weekend is $50.  The rest of the fee is covered by Campus Ministry.

Freshman Escape Retreat Weekend

April 8-10, 2016

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

Advent Faculty-Staff Retreat

December 3, 10AM–Noon, 2015, Corr Chapel
Lunch to follow, St. Rita Hall


A morning of reflection, prayer, and conversation focused on the centrality of the virtue of mercy within the life of Christian faith.  Fr. James Keenan, S.J., an internationally renowned theological ethicist from Boston College, will invite staff and faculty to reflect together on how Catholics, Christians, and many others might be called to cultivate this virtue more consciously in today’s world.  This retreat will be part of day of preparation for opening the Jubilee Year of Mercy promulgated by Pope Francis, which will begin officially on December 8th.


Holy Thursday Faculty-Staff Retreat

March 24, 2016 10am-Noon, Corr Chapel

Lunch to follow, St. Rita Hall (Registration reguired)

A morning of prayer and reflection focused on the theme of “Welcoming” as it is central to the Christian tradition.  The retreat will be facilitated by Mary Dwyer, a long-time student of Fr. Thomas Keating and a clinical social worker.  Mrs. Dwyer will also lead faculty and staff in the contemplative practice of welcoming prayer, which she has been teaching to others for almost 20 years.  People of all faith traditions, or none at all, are most welcome to attend.

Camping & Canoeing Retreats

September 4-6, 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.

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 6-8, 2015
February 5-7, 2016

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

March 25-27, 2016

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

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.

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.