Retreat Programme 2018

Preached Retreat Programme
Each of these weekends begins with a meal at 6.30 pm on Friday evening and ends on Sunday after lunch. (Please note the days of the week may be different in some retreats as specified individually below.) There will be at least four talks and the opportunity to join the resident Carmelite Community for Eucharist and Prayer. Those who arrive early on Friday may also wish to join the Community's Evening Prayer at 5:15 pm. During the retreat, there will also be time for personal prayer, reflection, reading and rest.
We try to keep an atmosphere of silence in the house throughout these retreats.


February 23 – 25
“Teresa of Jesus” -- “Jesus of Teresa”

Teresa’s struggles and her subsequent growth in prayer drew her into an ever deeper consciousness of the presence of Jesus in her life. We reflect on Teresa’s growing relationship with Jesus in the context of Lent.

Matt Blake OCD


March 9 – 11
St John of the Cross’ “Dark night”  and Carl Jung’s “Shadow”

Life can be complicated and we can be unclear about so many things, even our own motives and desires. How then can we grow more authentically in God and fulfil His purpose for us?
This programme uses the works of both Carl Jung and St John of the Cross to explore the blocks that can get in the way of our freedom. We will explore Carl Jung’s concept of the Shadow and what St John of the Cross says about the Dark Night of the Soul, to find out how they might help us in our life’s journey.
Although there will be talks, come prepared to do some reflective work either on your own or in small groups.

Anne Donald OCDS


March 19 – 22
(This retreat begins Monday evening 6.00pm and ends lunch time Thursday)
“The road that leads to Life” [Mt 7:14]

A retreat in preparation for Holy Week and Easter based on the wisdom of St. John of the Cross’ Ascent of Mount Carmel.     
“Only the honour and glory of God dwells on this mountain”

Matt Blake OCD


March 23 – 25 Palm Sunday Weekend
Jesus' journey into Jerusalem: the significance for our prayer journey

Thaddeus Ekuma OCD


March 28 – April 1
(This retreat begins Wednesday evening 6.00pm and ends Sunday morning)
Celebrating the Easter Triduum
“He who seeks not the cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ” [St. John of the Cross].

Carmelite Community


May 11 – 13
Blessed Marie Eugene: “Lived the grace of Carmel to the fullest”

– In contemplative prayer, apostolic zeal and trust in the Virgin Mary, Mother of Life. In his footsteps we will discover the depths of the Love of God and persevere in prayer to become witnesses to the Mercy of God.

Monique Varenne NDV, Odile Rimbert NDV & Matt Blake OCD


May 18 – 20
Pentecost – Tapping into the Source of our Power to Witness.

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses.” Given that “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” [2 Timothy 1:7], why don’t I always feel powerful? Why am I insecure about how to witness? At this retreat we will explore what makes us feel timid and discover how the Spirit empowers us to overcome our insecurities, and renews our confidence to be witnesses for Christ!

Alexander Ezechukwu OCD


June 1 – 3
“The great necessity that so many souls have” [John of the Cross]
Exploring the wisdom and light that St John of the Cross and St Teresa give us when the spiritual life becomes difficult, painful, bewildering or frightening.                                                

Matt Blake OCD


July 13 – 15
Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Living in communion with the Mother of Jesus – drawing inspiration from the richness of the Carmelite Marian tradition.

Iain Matthew OCD


August 13 – 16
(This retreat begins Monday evening 6.00pm and ends lunchtime Thursday)
The experience and teaching of St Edith Stein
“God is Truth. Those who seek Truth seek God, whether they know it or not.”

Matt Blake OCD


August 17 – 19
Saints Zelie and Louis Martin
[parents of St. Therese of Lisieux]
We will explore with Louis and Zelie their model of married love, family life and everyday holiness.  These ordinary parents will show us how, when a couple is struggling, the hidden strength of the sacrament of marriage can carry them through times of brokenness and towards wholeness. 
This retreat is open to everyone, whether living as a couple, or single. If appropriate, some sharing of family experience may be invited. (This weekend will include the launch of Annette’s book on this subject.)

Annette Goulden OCDS


October 5 – 7
From Arid Land to Green Pastures – Experiencing God’s incredible promises.

When you are at a low point, upset, worried or hurt, from where and from whom do you draw hope and strength? Learn new insights into how the divine promises, through Word and Sacrament, reassures, comforts and strengthens in times of fear and trial, making divine peace your daily experience.

Alexander Ezechukwu OCD


November 2 – 4
Healing the Wounded Tree:
prayer life and the cost of forgiveness.

Thaddeus Ekuma OCD


November 30 – December 2
“Stay awake, praying at all times and stand with confidence before the Son of Man.”
[Luke 21:36]
We begin our Advent journey in prayer and meditation.

Matt Blake OCD


December 7 – 9  Advent Retreat
'The Virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall call his name Emmanuel' [Cf. Isaiah 7:14-15]
A meditation on the wonder of this.

Liam Finnerty OCD


December 14 – 16
“All my cares forgotten among the lilies” 

The Dark Night of St John of the Cross as the authentic route to true freedom, lasting  peace and the fullness of life.

Matt Blake OCD


Individually Guided Retreats
During these retreats participants will meet with their director each day. There is also the opportunity to join the Carmelite Community for Eucharist and Prayer.
We try to keep an atmosphere of silence in the house during these retreats.

July 2 – 8

Anne Donald OCDS & Sue Pacey OCDS

August 6 – 12

Annette Goulden OCDS & Fr. Paul King

September 3 – 9

Barbara Thacker OCDS & Janet Saywood

In addition to the organised retreats people are very welcome to come to the priory for a private retreat when space is available.
Local people are welcome to attend our retreats on a non-residential basis but meals can only be provided for those who are resident.
We try to cater for vegetarian and diabetic diets but we are not in a position to cater for more complex special diets.

Suggested Offerings
All payments for retreats are by voluntary offering. No one should decline to come on retreat for financial reasons.
Those who give a little extra help to support those who cannot give the full amount. The following are our suggestions to cover our costs:

Day (24 hours with full board) £55
Weekend: - Single room £110
Weekend: - Twin room (sharing) £90 per person
6-day guided retreat - Single room £330
6-day guided retreat - (sharing) £270 per person

Deposits (non refundable)
Weekends: £20;      Longer retreats: £40
Please make cheques payable to Carmelite Priory.

Click here to see a map of how to get to The Carmelite Priory, Oxford
Email: Retreat Enquiries
Carmelite Priory
Boars Hill
Oxford, OX1 5HB
Tel: 01865 730183/322300

Charity Number 207738