Why am I here? Deep down, what do I really desire? Where is God in my life? What difference do I make? The busyness of life at Holy Cross can be overwhelming. The retreat program offered through the Office of the College Chaplains provides you the time, the space and the opportunity to reflect on your life, your relationship with God, and what is important to you. 

View from the Joyce Contemplative Center at sunset
students sitting outside of the retreat building
Retreat Participation

Nearly 750 students — nearly a quarter of the student body — took part in a retreat or contemplative program at the Joyce Contemplative Center or online during the 2019-20 academic year. The Chaplains' Office also offers a number of retreats available to alumni.

Ignite Retreat

A one-night retreat for first-year students to step away from campus, meet new friends, and explore community learning to dialogue across difference. 


  • February 2 - February 3, 2024 | Register


Big Chill

Take some time away from campus to rest, recharge, and breathe. Come away to the Joyce Contemplative Center for 24 hours to disconnect from campus and connect with yourself and others. You may want to take time to do artwork, snowshoe in the trails of the JCC, take a nap and eat good food! Whatever you feel like you need, you are welcome to do for this brief time away!


  • February 16 - February 17, 2024 | Register

The Spiritual Exercises

What do you desire? What is God inviting you to? How do you integrate your faith with the decisions you make in your life? What are the movements of your heart? Do you desire freedom and inner peace?

An adapted version of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, this five-day silent retreat is an opportunity for reflection and prayer.

In silence, you will be given the opportunity to reflect more deeply about your faith, the power of God’s love for you and your relationship to others.

In addition, time for personal prayer and reflection and liturgies, thematic talks are given by the Chaplain retreat directors to help assist in your faith journey. Questions? Email Spiritual Exercises.



LGBTQIA+ Retreat: Faithfully Queer

A 24-hour retreat at the Joyce Contemplative Center that will provide space and guide conversations and reflections on the intersection of LGBTQIA+ identities and religious/spiritual identities. You will be able to take time for yourself, join a yoga class led by a trans and queer yoga instructor, and participate in a number of conversations and activities designed to help further your understanding of your LGBTQIA+ and religious/spiritual identities. 
All members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are interested in exploring this intersection, regardless of what your relationship is with your religious/spiritual beliefs and regardless of where you may be in questioning your sexuality/gender identity, are welcome to attend. We're looking forward to seeing you there!


  • November 3 - November 4, 2023 

Friendsgiving Retreat

Gather with your Holy Cross community, new and old friends alike, during the season of Thanksgiving at the JCC. We will offer many different outlets to practice gratitude through breathwork, yoga, arts, communing with nature and deep listening. This space will provide protected time for reflection, community and slowing down!


  • November 17 - November 19, 2023 

Study Retreat

Students are invited to step away from campus for a brief period of time to ‘Eat, Pray, and Study’ in the beauty of the Joyce Contemplative Center. The stress of campus around the time of finals can be overwhelming—students are invited to leave campus and do the studying in a quiet, serene, and beautiful setting.


Manresa Retreat

Manresa is a significant place where Ignatius experienced a spiritual awakening that led to the creation of his Spiritual Exercises. Through fasting, prayer, and contemplation for months, Ignatius was able to deepen his understanding of God and develop his spirituality. This experience was fundamental to his personal growth and served as the foundation for the Society of Jesus.
The Manresa Retreat offers the perfect opportunity for participants to explore their own transformative experiences and enhance their spiritual journey. By disconnecting from the daily chaos and distractions, students can focus on personal growth and spiritual development. The retreat is designed as a time of reflection, prayer, and contemplation, aimed at enriching one's relationship with themselves, others, and God. 
During the retreat, participants will connect with others on a similar journey, and reflect on the changes they have encountered. The retreat encourages attendees to discover their transformative power and utilize it to live a more fulfilling life.
The Manresa Retreat is a two-night stay at the JCC, featuring student talks centered around identity, family, relationships, and moments of light and darkness. Students can engage in small group conversations, prayer, and personal reflection, enhancing their spiritual journey and deepening their understanding of God.


  • March 22 - March 24, 2024 | Registration TBA

Women’s Retreat for Current Students

Women students and alumnae of Holy Cross are invited to gather together for a weekend of prayer, reflection, community and renewal. With a focus on feminist themes and perspectives, the women gathered will have the chance to connect with God, themselves and other Holy Cross women.