Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center

Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center
West Hartford, Connecticut

About Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center

Holy Family ministers to some 19,000 men, women, and youth each year with a message of hope, spiritual growth, and transformation. Since 1951, our retreats have provided people with an opportunity to quiet their minds, nourish their spirits, and explore their relationship with God. Situated on 48 idyllic acres, Holy Family is also a respite for those in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, providing a supportive place to begin or deepen sobriety. Our youth ministry welcomes more than two thousand teens each year to cultivate the inner courage and strength that will be necessary on life’s journey. Within this oasis you will find dynamic preaching, inspiring music, generous hospitality, a spirit of exploration and dialogue, along with the universal spirit of welcome to all people.


Holy  Family Passionist Retreat Center is a spiritual center in the Passionist tradition, open to all who seek to deepen their relationship with God and one another. We welcome men, women, and youth to weekend, day and evening retreats, and programs where they can journey with God in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality. Consistent with our tradition, we are a community that values spiritual development, the holy word, creative ritual, and the sacred in our world.

Retreats, Programs, and Events At Holy Family

At Holy Family we offer a variety of retreats and programs. Whether it be a weekend retreat to reconnect, a day or evening of reflection to refresh your spirit, or an inspiring concert filled with the music and spirit of our 100+ music ministers, you will find it here at Holy Family.

Learn more about our programs from the categories below.

Themed Retreats

Each season, the Holy Family retreat team creates a weekend experience that focuses on an inspiring and thought-provoking theme to fill the spiritual needs of our retreatants. Themed retreats are the foundation of our ministry and are offered in three categories: men, women, and couples.  These weekend retreats include dynamic teachings, home-cooked meals, inspirational liturgies, original music, workshops, and free time to rest or walk our 48 acres, including the labyrinth and outdoor stations of the cross.

Day and Evening Retreats

During the course of the year we offer a variety of day and/or evening retreats to allow people an opportunity to take a breath, learn something new, and experience God’s peace. Program topics are varied and the presenters range from our team members to some of the most sought after retreat leaders in the country.

Youth & Faculty Retreats

The youth minstry team at Holy Family offers a wide range of programs for middle school through college-aged students. These retreats challenge teens and young adults to grow spiritually and become grounded in their faith. In addition to our scheduled events, Holy Family also offers day retreats for Roman Catholic school students and faculty during the year which can be scheduled at your convenience.

Recovery Retreats

Our Matt Talbot Recovery Retreats are open to all people, from all backgrounds, regardless of whether or not you are a member of a church.  We invite you into a peaceful atmosphere to relax, deepen your recovery, and open yourself to spiritual growth.

Other Overnight Retreats

In addition to our themed weekend retreats, Holy Family offers a variety of overnight programs to those searching for new ways to quiet your busy mind, ease stress, and deepen your connection to God.

Concerts, Dinners and Masses

Join the Holy Family community as we gather to celebrate select holy days through music, dance, ritual, or inspirational liturgy. In addition to our concerts and masses, we offer special meals for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Christian Contemplative Experience

By embracing the Christian Contemplative Tradition, Holy Family seeks to affirm the oneness of all Christians and to transcend our outward differences by joining together in silent prayer.

Ongoing Programs

Holy Family offers a wide range of programs that meet on a regular basis and are available throughout the year. Many of these programs are offered at no cost and do not require registration.

Holy Family offers the following programs and events throughout the year. Programs are listed alphabetically.

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Mondays at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Monastery Dining Room.  Holy Family also offers Recovery Retreat Weekends.

Breath by Breath Meditation

Breath by Breath Meditation meets in the Public Chapel on the lower level of the Monastery on the third Monday of each month, September through June, from noon-1:00 p.m. If you are new to meditation, please arrive at 11:15 a.m. for beginners’ instruction. This monthly meditation group, a collaborative program between Holy Family, the Copper Beech Institute, and the Spiritual Life Center, is facilitated by Ellen Graham and Brandon Nappi. We will explore how mindfulness practice can enhance our everyday experience of life. People from all religious traditions or no religious tradition are warmly welcomed.

Candlelight Meditation

Have you ever felt lonely in your meditation practice? Candlelight Meditation offers a twice-monthly community of mindfulness practice, teaching, and discussion followed by tea. People from all religious traditions or no religious tradition are warmly welcomed to this meditation group co-sponsored by the Copper Beech Institute, Holy Family, and the Spiritual Life Center. Located in the Public Chapel on Wednesday nights, 7:00-8:30 p.m. People new to meditation, please arrive early for beginners’ instruction at 6:15 p.m.

Christian Contemplative Prayer

We are a Christian Contemplative Prayer group focused on Welcoming Prayer, Centering Prayer, and Lectio Divina. Please join us on the First and Third Thursdays in the Holy Family Retreat Center Anam Cara Room at 7:00 PM to share in these beautiful forms of Christian Contemplative prayer.  Our evenings include Welcoming Prayer, Video Teaching and Dialogue,  Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer.

We welcome Guests and Beginners to join and deepen their prayer practice with us.  For newcomers, an orientation starting at 6:30 PM on the nights we meet can be arranged in advance. In addition to the orientation, we provide beginners with initial material on Welcoming Prayer, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina and other resources.


We welcome you to walk the labyrinth daily from sunrise to sunset. No appointment necessary. Learn more about the labyrinth’s history and how it can support your spiritual journey.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

The Prayer Shawl Ministry was started right here in Connecticut and has spread to churches and groups around the world. Come and experience this meditative and prayerful practice. We knit or crochet prayer shawls woven with our blessings and prayers for those in need. Donations of unused skeins of yarn for our “community stash” are welcome.


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