The Ignatian Retreat

A Quiet Place to Find God in a Busy World

By Henry Frank

If you have spent any amount of time with a Jesuit, you have likely heard the mantra “finding God in all things.” The spiritual tradition of St. Ignatius Loyola begins with the Christian belief that God is everywhere and in all things. Our job is to seek God in our midst and listen for God speaking to us. Easier said than done.

The Ignatian retreat is a time set aside for the purpose of finding God. Phones turned off, laptops closed, the Ignatian retreat guides us silently into God’s presence.

The idea of finding a quiet space to hear God’s call is not new. God told the prophet Elijah, for example, to “go out and stand on a mountain before the LORD” (1 Kings 19). Elijah stood there and tried unsuccessfully to discover God in a strong wind, an earthquake and a fire. At last, he found God in the “sheer silence.” As with Elijah, God speaks to us in the stillness.

Located on 20 heavily wooded acres overlooking the Chattahoochee River, you’ll discover a place where you can withdraw from the demands of daily life, rest and become more fully aware of God’s presence.
Loyola Jesuit Center comprises over 30 acres of beautiful lawns, gardens and woodlands. Since 1927, Loyola has welcomed people of all faiths, cultures, ages and walks of life who seek serenity, rest, healing and fulfillment.
Situated on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, Loyola on the Potomac sits on 235 acres of beautiful woodlands. Guests are invited to embrace the prayerful silence and grow in their relationship to God.

In our daily lives, St. Ignatius encourages us to pray the Examen, a reflection on our day that can be prayed in a few quiet minutes. But the quality, duration and location of the silence is consequential. For the bigger questions in our lives, we need time to rest and listen for God without feeling rushed or interrupted.

Apart from a daily conversation with a retreat director, the Ignatian retreat is spent in silence. The retreat director accompanies us by helping us process what is on our minds and hearts, the substance of our prayer. Whatever that is—a major decision, a particular challenge—God meets us there, and under the guidance of a director, we discern God’s call.

Finding God often takes time. It is not something that can be rushed. Finding God also requires us to get to know ourselves, to clear our heads long enough to know what it is we w ant from God and where to look for God in our lives.

Eastern Point Retreat House is an oasis of silence on the ocean where people rediscover God’s presence in their hearts and in our world.
The Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, situated on 240 acres in Wernersville, Pa., is a place of natural beauty, welcoming quiet and spiritual sustenance.
Located just outside of Boston in Weston, Mass., Campion Renewal Center enhances the lives of men and women of faith through a wide range of programs including retreats, days of prayer and spiritual direction.

The Ignatian retreat is our version of the still, quiet place that Elijah found on the mountain. It is essential to our spiritual lives that we take time every so often to enter such space and allow God to meet us there.

Jesuit retreat houses are a places built for finding God. Visit their websites to see when Ignatian retreats are being offered. Find a retreat that fits your schedule, then call or register online. There is no set time when you are “supposed to” make a retreat. Find a Jesuit retreat house near you and a date that works for you, and spend some time drawing closer to God.

Henry Frank serves as communications and advancement manager for the Office of Ignatian Spirituality.

Register for your Ignatian retreat at one of our Jesuit retreat houses by visiting

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Loyola House of Retreats
Loyola House of Retreats is located on 30 acres of beautiful lawns, gardens and woodland in a quiet section of Morristown, N.J.