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Jesuit Retreat House

Changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The following changes in our schedule, procedures, directions, etc., focus on reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ensuring your health while you are on retreat.

Preached retreats:

Physical distancing in the dining room, chapel, and conference room will require that we divide our preached retreat groups that are larger than 22 people into two groups (we can host safely a maximum of 44 retreatants), with two sittings for meals, Mass, and retreat talks. With two groups the number of retreat talks given by the director will be reduced from 11 to 6, so that the director can give the talks twice (once to each group) Thursday night, Friday and Saturday mornings and afternoons, and Sunday morning; and, reconciliation will be done individually during one-on-one conference times rather than as a service, which will allow a healing service and anointing both nights, Friday and Saturday, so that everyone has the opportunity for both sacraments.

In addition, the director for your preached retreat is subject to change given that some directors are restricted in their travel and/or are among those considered vulnerable if exposed to COVID-19.

Must bring:

  • Mask(s) - For covering your nose and mouth when out of your room and in common areas inside the buildings; remove at mealtimes once you have gone through the service line.
  • Sanitizing, medical supplies - Bring the medical and/or sanitizing items needed for you to feel comfortable and safe during your stay; a basic level of sanitizing will be done on-site by staff, but if more is desired it is best that you bring it with you.

Other items you may want to bring:

  • Art supplies - The Art Room will be open, but our supplies will be "quarantined" to avoid spreading the virus through many hands.
  • Books, reading materials - Your room will have a Bible but no other reading materials; books in the Loyola Lounge and 12-Step Library are accessible, but sanitize your hands before/after use.
  • Music players & headphones - Are no longer in Loyola Lounge; bring your own devices to listen to music; headphones required.
  • Snacks - Self-serve items in our snack area will not be available, i.e., paper cups, coffee cups, cookies, fruit, cereal, beverages, etc., so bring the snacks, thermos, water bottles, etc., that you want. Snacks and beverages will be provided by staff during a designated time each afternoon.
  • Writing materials and supplies - A pen and some sheets of paper will be in your room; if you think you'll want more bring those writing supplies and materials with you.

Your Arrival

  • Upon arrival keep 6-foot physical distance.
  • Wear a mask (bring one with you) that covers your mouth and nose in common areas inside the building; it is not necessary outdoors unless you cannot maintain 6-foot physical distance.
  • A retreat director will greet you at the entrance to take your temperature, and direct you to your room.
  • If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or above you need to return home; persons with a fever, cold, persistent cough, shortness of breath, or compromised immunity, should stay home and not come to retreat.

Your Room

  • Your name tag, lanyard, key card, orientation information, and retreat schedule will be in your room, along with a Bible, pen, and some paper.
  • Your assigned time and seat for meals, Mass, and other services will be printed on your name tag.
  • Each room has an alarm clock, two sets of towels and washcloths, small bars of soap, and bed linens and blanket. Your bedspread and a white comforter are stored in the room dresser. If used during your stay, leave the bedspread and/or comforter in the open to be laundered.
  • Additional room items may be found in the "guest supplies" closets labeled and located on both wings of the first and second floors, including towels, bed linens, pillows, First Aid kits, fans, tissues, soap, and hangers, etc.
  • Whenever possible use the bathroom in your room rather than the common bathrooms or bathrooms reserved for staff.

Your Schedule

  • In your room you will have a schedule giving your times for Mass, meals, prayer services, etc.
    • To keep physical distancing in the dining room and chapel it is necessary to divide into two groups for these gatherings.
    • You will have an assigned time and place for meals, services, and Mass throughout the retreat. It is not ideal, but necessary to lessen the risk of transmitting the virus.

Meals, Snacks

  • Assigned seating in the dining room will be necessary so that you are the only person using that place during the retreat.
  • The buffet-style service we are accustomed to for our meals, and the selfserve beverages, fruit, cookies, cereals, and snacks, are not allowed to avoid many hands having access to what we touch.
  • The rule of thumb is that everything must be given to you by staff who are to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Chef Jeff and his staff are adapting to the changes as best we can, but be prepared for snacks, beverages, and other food amenities to be limited in their access, availability, and variety.
  • The snack area next to the dining room and the beverages that were placed in the Manresa art room will no longer be available. The soda machine and refrigerator in the art room remain available for your use.

Masses, Services

  • Just as there will be two meal times there will be two Mass times so that we are able to keep the necessary distance when we gather. In-between Masses the chairs will be wiped down for the next person to be seated there. If you use your chair outside of Mass time please do likewise.
  • We will not have singing during Mass given that an estimated 90% of virus transmissions have been through droplets expelled into the air by speaking, sneezing, coughing and singing. Singing expels many times more droplets into the air than speaking.
  • The reconciliation and healing services are being reconfigured to keep people safe while offering the spiritual and sacramental sustenance retreatants have found helpful in retreat.

Spiritual Direction

  • Rooms in which you will meet your retreat director(s) have been reconfigured to allow 6 feet distance between you and the director. Sometimes a tight fit, but doable. It likely will require louder voices to be heard and understood. Sound machines will be placed near the rooms to help avoid unintentional sharing with passersby or those waiting outside.
  • Please wear face coverings during your direction sessions.


  • Please let us know after returning home if you should experience COVID-19 symptoms, or receive a positive COVID-19 test result, so that we can notify others on retreat and on our staff with whom you had close contact.