Learn By Doing
Our retreats and programs go beyond good teaching. When you join us, you will be invited to enter into experiences to discover or deepen your spiritual practice—and bring it into your daily life.
Registration is now open
A Year of Prayer
Join us as we accept Pope Francis' invitation to make 2024 a Year of Prayer. We will meet monthly via Zoom to rediscover how to pray, and to explore the many different styles of prayer: Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, the Rosary -- are just a few examples. This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone, whether you struggle in how to communicate with God, or if prayer is a fixture in your daily life.
Facilitated by: MSC Team
Date: third Tuesday of each month of 2024:
Time: 6:00 - 6:45 p.m.
Lenten Meditation in the Mercy Community
During Lent we will be offering a weekly Visio-Divina type prayer experience with English and Spanish versions available. Each week will focus on a different Critical Concern of the Sisters of Mercy: earth, women, racism, non-violence, and migration as a guide for reflection and prayer. A new session containing meditation and prayer and an invitation for you to find a space in your daily life to connect with the sacred in this challenging time will be sent.
Date: a new email each Wednesday of Lent
Time: when it is best for you
Place: where you feel comfortable to pray
Fee: Free will offering
This experience is co-sponsored by the Mercy Retreat Centers of North & South Americas.be your product or give more information.
Men's Spirituality Group
Amazing things happen when people gather to grow in their faith and encourage each other. We are envisioning a new opportunity for men as another part of the ministry of Mercy Spirituality Center. We invite you to join us as we gather together in community. Our meetings will offer an opportunity to share a meal or refreshments together. There usually will be a speaker or other presentation and then an opportunity to reflect and share insights about what we have heard. Our goal is to experience God’s grace and guidance together and deepen our connection to God and to other men in our daily lives.
Coordinated by: Ed Redmond and Rev. Harry Heintz
Dates: Third Saturday of the month:
Time: 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Cost: $100 for series; $15 per individual session
Walking in Their Footsteps: The Journey to Sainthood
Each session of this monthly program will take a more in-depth look at the life and work of one of these holy role models. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about a lesser recognized saint, or a different perspective on someone you thought you knew. Every month will be enlightening. More information on the subject of the month will be featured as each session approaches.
March: The Saints in Our Neighborhood
"Who are people in your neighborhood?" I learned that song from Mr. Rogers years ago, as I watched him minister to my young daughters with his gentle, loving way. Now, let's replace the word "people" with "saints." "Who are the saints in your neighborhood?" In our March session in this series, we'll be considering the vast and boundless array of the saints. Facilitator: Rev. Harry Heintz
April: St. Louise de Marillac Louise de Marillac D.C., also known as Louise Le Gras, was the co-founder, with Vincent de Paul, of the Daughters of Charity. She is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church in the United States. Come learn more about this saint who worked closely with St. Vincent de Paul. Facilitated by: Ed Redmond
Date: Second Tuesday of each month in 2024
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Mercy Spirituality Center
Fee: $25 per individual session or $240 for the series.
Contemporary Conversations Book Club
We are delighted that our Contemporary Conversations Book Club is expanding!
Beginning in September, facilitation of the book club will alternate between Jane Sutter Brandt and Mary Anne Shew. Conversations will still be on Zoom; the time will move to evening.
Mary Anne Shew is a retired writer for web sites and other media and has started and facilitated over a dozen book clubs.
Jane Sutter Brandt is a former editor with the Democrat and Chronicle and has participated in a variety of book groups.
The Next Sessions:
Date: Feb 7, 2024
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Mary Anne Shew
Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir
by Elizabeth J. Andrew
Readers will discover how to construct a well-crafted spiritual memoir--one that honors the author's interior, sacred story and is at the same time accessible to others. Writing the Sacred Journey provides practical advice on how to overcome writing obstacles as well as guidance for transforming the writing process into a spiritual practice. A writing instructor and spiritual director, Andrew teaches spiritual memoir at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality in St. Paul, MN. She defines spiritual writing as “poetry or prose that deals with the bedrock of human existence—why we are here, where we are going, and how we can comport ourselves with dignity along the way.”
Date: March 6, 2024
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Facilitator: Jane Sutter Brandt
The Monastic Heart: 50 Simple Practices for a Contemplative
and Fulfilling Life
by Joan Chittister, OSB.
In her latest book, this activist Catholic sister, and esteemed spiritual voice sounds the call to create a monastery within ourselves—to cultivate wisdom and resilience so that we may join God in the work of renewal, restoration and justice right where we are. “In every beating heart is a silent undercurrent that calls each of us to a place unknown, to the vision of a wiser life, to become what I feel I must be—but cannot name,” Chittister writes. The 50 chapter titles include “Antiphons: On Mantras of the Moment,” “Horarium: On Parsing Time” and “Lectio: On Reading Between the Lines.” Each chapter is just a few pages long and includes suggestions on how to integrate the practice.
Mug Up will continue with the winter 2024 session in February via Zoom. We will be discussing "The Sermon on the Mount" and are going to use Richard Rohr's book, Jesus' Alternative Plan: The Sermon on the Mount. It is not required to purchase the book. In the introduction, Rohr brings up the fact the gospel was written in Jesus' time and with His culture. We should remember that and "jump ahead" to today's culture and time. As an example, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." If you were to receive an inheritance today, what would you like it to look like? In addition, if you were to leave something of yours to a relative or friend what would you like your inheritance to look like? We will see how inheritance can relate in some way to one of the five critical concerns of Mercy.
Facilitator: Ann Maloney
Dates: Tuesdays - February 6, 13, 20, 27
Location: Via Zoom
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Day To Call Your Own
Come and enjoy a day to yourself in your own, private, comfortable room at Mercy Spirituality Center. You will be able to pray, contemplate, read and relax without being disturbed. A simple lunch of soup and bread is included. Morning prayer is optional.
Facilitator: Sr. Gert Erb, RSM
Dates: 2nd Thursday of each month:
Time: 9:00 am-4:00 pm; 9:30 am: Morning Prayer (optional)
Dreams - God’s Forgotten Language
Once again, by popular demand we are revisiting the importance of dreams and our spirituality.
Throughout the Bible, we find accounts of dreams and visions, yet, today, few people give much credence to their own dreams, leaving a wellspring of inspiration and information that goes untapped. Come, experience the magic that a sacred dream group creates. We come together in prayer to create a sacred container to unlock the mysteries hidden in our dreams, unveiling the voice of God.
Facilitated by: Sue DiVita
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Sue DiVita is a spiritual director and dream teacher whose mission is to help facilitate the rebirth of a dreaming society. She helps people to live more fully connected to the presence of God in and around them through workshops, dream groups, and individual companionship..
Solar Eclipse: The Eye of God
We are blessed to be in the path of totality for the Solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. The last solar eclipse visible in Rochester? 99 years ago, in 1925! Join us for this unique community event and view the eclipse. Lunch will be followed with a presentation by the young ladies from Our Lady of Mercy High School, led by chair of the Science Department, Dawn Humphrey and her colleague Dr. Samir Bhagwat. We will then we will use our special glasses to view the eclipse. In case of cloudy weather, we will livestream the eclipse inside from Texas. This is the last solar eclipse until 2044, which will only be visible in three western U.S. states. This event is limited to 25. Please bring a lawn chair.
Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
Time: 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Mrs. Dawn Humphrey has been a chemist for over 36 years. She has been a researcher, college lecturer and now works as a chemistry teacher and the science department chair at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women. She spent 10 years as the youth director, Sunday School teacher and VBS instructor at her home church, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hilton. A student in history in her spare time, she enjoys exploring how scientific phenomenon affect the cultural and spiritual aspects of the human experience.
Dr. Samir Bhagwat was born and raised in Mumbai, India. He came to the United States to complete his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from University of Toledo School of Medicine. He moved to Rochester in 1999 for a Postdoctoral Fellowship and made his home here. He began teaching at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women in 2021. Dr. Bhagwat has dabbled in Astronomy since his high school days and continues to maintain an interest in this field, keeping abreast of new developments.
Exercises of St. Ignatius In All Of It's Forms
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in all of its forms, create an awareness of God in all things—all people, all creation, every human experience, and especially in the person of Jesus. We offer a model of the Spiritual Exercises designed by St. Ignatius for use in daily life which takes place over 30 weeks, rather than 30 days. This program is currently being offered virtually.
When you walk into Mercy Spirituality Center, it’s like coming home. The moment you step in the door you feel a peace and warmth. Their retreats are very special; they have wonderful presenters and great food.
— Cathy Z.
"I think alot about Mercy Spirituality Center and how much it helped me. It was a safe refuge for me in a very dark time."
"It is my pleasure to be a volunteer here where I see such wonderful work being done."
-Sr. Mary Lou