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
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. 


  • Fall Semester 2023

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.


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!


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.


The Bishop Healy BIPOC Alumni & Students Retreat

The Bishop Healy Committee will bring together students and alumni of color at the Joyce Contemplative Center for a weekend of community and reflection. The retreat is free for students and includes transportation and meals. Students, take a break from studying and campus to connect with alumni of color. 


Communitas Retreat

Communitas is a retreat that explores what it  means to be a community, and the stories that unite us. The term comes from the early Jesuits, communitas ad dispersionem — a community in dispersion who remained connected to one another through letters and stories even when they were thousands of miles apart.  Our identities are shaped by our experiences, including our time quarantining at home these past two years. The changes we face shape us. How can we live into those changes? What new hope has been kindled by the turmoil of the past two years that can support who we are and who we would like to become? Like those early Jesuits, we have an opportunity to reimagine the boundaries of our communities, to let go of our expectations, and to create something new.  

Join us for Communitas, a two-night retreat at the JCC featuring student talks centered around identity, family, relationships, moments of light and darkness, and more. Students will have opportunities for small group conversation , prayer, and personal reflection. Students of all years are welcome.  Email with any questions.  


Women’s Retreat for Current Students and Alums

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.