Programs & Retreats

Event Details

Weeklong Individually Directed Retreat
Location: Potier Center
Category: Individually Directed Retreats
Date: Sunday September 10, 2023 through Sunday September 17, 2023
Cost: $585.00
Minimum Deposit: $100.00


7:00 pm September 10, 2023 to
10:00 am September 17, 2023

Weeklong Individually Directed Retreat


The tranquil environment of the Villa Maria grounds offers the perfect background for this retreat. Prayerful reflection, often with Sacred Scripture, in an atmosphere of complete silence is the usual setting for this process.

Each retreatant will meet daily with a director who will help them:

  • Notice the reality of God’s presence and activity.
  • Come to trust what has been noticed.
  • Respond to this presence and activity.

Participants may attend the retreat in its entirety or may choose to schedule a shortened retreat.

Directors for this retreat:
Ardath Blake, HM 
has received training and supervision in spiritual direction through the St. Bueno Spiritual Exercise Centre, Asaph, Wales, United Kingdom, the Center for Spirituality and Lay Ministry of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut and at Loyola House in Guelph, Ontario. Ardath also has a MA in Theology and MS in Education and experience in parish pastoral ministry.

Carol Creek has a Masters in Christian Spirituality and a Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Carol brings a rich life experience to this ministry.  She believes spiritual direction is the process of awakening to the presence of God within oneself and in everyday life.  She is a companion to her directees as they journey to discover the deepest longing of their hearts. She has directed retreats at Rivers Edge in Cleveland for the last 15 years. She is married and has four adult children and ten grandchildren.

Catherine Higgins, CSJ is an experienced Spiritual Director with extensive background in education, human services and religious studies. She has been an elementary principal, a caregiver, a medical social worker, a hospice chaplain and a spiritual director, all while living a consecrated life as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA. Sister Catherine has wide-ranging experience in companioning people on their journey to God by providing support to both individuals and groups in a variety of ways and settings. She has ministered with numerous faith-based organizations, including the Jesuit Collaborative in Pittsburgh, PNEUMA at the Pittsburgh Theological Center, Celtic Hospice, and St. Joseph Spirituality Center.

Donna M. Koller has over 20 years of spiritual formation experience with youth and adults in her Catholic community before also becoming involved in ecumenical ministry in 1991. She received advanced training and certification in formative spirituality at Epiphany Academy, Pittsburgh, an affiliate of the Association of Theological Schools. 
Donna received graduate certification in the Associate Program for Spiritual Directors with the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality in Charleston, West Virginia. She has been an active member of Spiritual Directors International for over 21 years. Through the years, Donna has offered retreats, workshops, and generational healing programs in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. For 16 years, Donna’s spiritual direction and retreat ministry was primarily at Servant Song Ministries, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, where she served in full-time ministry.  Donna and her husband, Larry, have two children and seven grandchildren.

Roseanne Oberleitner, CSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph, presently serves as a Spiritual Director at Villa Maria where she also received her Spiritual Direction certificate. From 2003-2013, she served on the Leadership Team of her Congregation in Baden, Pennsylvania. Sister Roseanne has ministered as Program Director for Girls Hope, a residential program for at-risk girls who show academic promise. A former educator, she continues to serve on the board of Girls Hope. Her educational background includes degrees in education with minors in psychology and guidance. She also earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. With an outgoing and welcoming disposition, Sister Roseanne, a guitarist and singer, enjoys celebrating family birthdays and holidays and cooking dinner for friends. In nature, she finds a peaceful backdrop for prayer, rising early on the weekends to catch the morning’s beauty.

Rosemary O'Brien, SSJ celebrates life and mission as a Sister of St. Joseph of NWPA. She has a background in education, pastoral ministry, formation ministry, leadership and interfaith and intercultural experiences. Her present ministry includes ongoing formation, spiritual direction and retreats, interfaith dialog, advocacy and outreach to refugees as well as involvement with her Congregation’s Justice and Peace efforts. Education includes M.A. in Sacred Science, St. Bonaventure U.; 4-year certification program in Spiritual Direction through VMESC; Pastoral Counselling certification, and ongoing program of personal and professional development.

David Roncolato is the director of Civic Engagement and professor of Community & Justice Studies at Allegheny College. Previously he served in full-time ministry including eight years as the Catholic youth minister at St. Brigid Church in Meadville, Pennsylvania and 12 years as the Catholic Campus Minister at Allegheny College. Dave completed a master’s degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University and a Ph.D. in Catholic Social Ethics, from Duquesne University.  He continues to offer ongoing spiritual direction for adults and to co-lead an annual week-long mission trip to Appalachia Kentucky.  Dave is married to Reverend Sarah Roncolato, an ordained United Methodist minister who serves as the pastor of Stone United Methodist Church in Meadville.  They are blessed with two daughters, two sons and an ever-expanding family.

Registration due by: August 27, 2023


If you would like to register for this or any of our programs, there are several easy ways to do so. 
You may:
• click the "Register" link located at the bottom of this page
• call 724-964-8886 to speak with a member of our friendly staff
• complete and mail a printable registration form along with your payment to:

     Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center
     2067 Evergreen Road
     P.O. Box 424
     Villa Maria, PA 16155 

Refund Policy 

Additional Information:
Cost includes: Daily Sessions with a Spiritual Director, lodging, and meals from light supper on Sunday to breakfast on Sunday
For more information
Phone: 724-964-8886
March 2024
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