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Grace DoerflerJuly 23, 2021
Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

When the coronavirus pandemic sent much of the world into lockdown, suspending in-person mass and other religious engagements, many of us had to adopt a more monastic lifestyle—and seek online spiritual resources. Whether you’re not quite ready to return to in-person retreats, looking for a reflective space amid a busy schedule or just trying this form of prayer for the first time, online retreats offer an accessible way to step back and reflect for a few hours, a day, or even weeks. These virtual opportunities are designed to help you pray no matter where you find yourself this summer.

Retreats shorter than a day

The Loyola Institute for Spirituality is hosting an Ignatian Morning on the Feast Day of St. Ignatius – Sunday, July 31 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The mini-retreat will focus on conversion as a theme for the Ignatian Year and will include prayer, personal reflection and community faith sharing.

Day-long retreats

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit is offering a series of online retreats throughout 2021. Members of the monastery’s Trappist community and retreat center lead the retreats on Zoom, with upcoming themes including “Listening to God,” “Rediscovering the Saints” and “Spirituality of Imperfection.” The monastery suggests a $45 donation for each retreat.

Belmont Abbey, a Benedictine abbey in the United Kingdom, has a number of self-guided virtual retreats available on their website, including one designed for those staying at home due to the pandemic, “Staying Sane in Strange Times: An Online Retreat for Lockdown.” The website includes a guide for a day-long retreat complete with morning and afternoon conferences, prayers, reflection questions and time for breaks.

Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, just outside of Chicago, Illinois, offers a number of recorded retreats available for purchase. Centered on how to incorporate Ignatian spirituality into everyday life, some of the retreats are hosted by people like Fr. James Martin and Fr. Greg Boyle.

Pray As You Go, a Jesuit ministry in Britain, has a day-long retreat with the theme “Living the Magnificat.” Like the other prayer resources available on their website, the retreat is free of charge.

Longer Retreats

The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has created a number of online retreat resources, including an eight-day Quarantine Retreat that is accessible free of charge. This program provides a series of short videos with guidance for longer self-guided meditation.

These virtual opportunities are designed to help you pray no matter where you find yourself this summer.

The Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, Georgia, has a number of “prayer experience” bundles available for purchase. Each package includes videos, reflection and Scripture resources, and music suggestions. They are designed to be self-paced according to each retreatant’s needs.

Creighton University also has several audio retreats, based in Ignatian tradition, available through their Online Ministry website. They suggest listening at a week-long pace.

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