Programs & Retreats

Event Details

Weeklong Individually Directed Retreat Register
Location: Potier Center
Category: Individually Directed Retreats
Date: Sunday September 8, 2024 through Sunday September 15, 2024
Cost: $660.00 *
Minimum Deposit: $100.00


7:00 pm Sunday, September 8 to
10:00 am Sunday, September 15, 2024

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.

Sharon Cahill, HM has a Bachelor of Science in Education and holds a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Studies. She has over twenty years of teaching experience and transferred these educational skills to her role as liturgical minister. She has 15 years of experience in this field, serving in parishes and at the Sisters of the Humility of Mary Motherhouse, Villa Maria. She has also shared in a spiritual direction formation program. She has worked with young children, teens and adults in these ministries.

Donna Clark received a certificate in Spiritual Direction in 2016 from the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University, Cleveland. Since then, she has worked with local people seeking direction, participated in several silent directed retreats with a team of directors, and given one-day retreats and talks on spirituality and healing our image of God. The certificate was a culmination of her work in a range of ministries where her natural gift of listening assisted many seekers on their spiritual journey. Donna arrived in Erie in 1998 with her husband Matthew as they each responded to the call of ministry. She worked at Mercy Center for Women and Erie Dawn before coming to Our Lady of Mercy parish, Harborcreek, PA as a pastoral minister in 2003.  She served that community through a broad range of ministries, including outreach ministries, stewardship and pastoral council, finance and administrative support and music ministry.  Donna, herself, has been a life–long seeker on a spiritual path, working in ministry positions for at least 40 years. It was her early ministry experiences that led her to pursue formal study and complete a Master of Divinity degree from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN in 1998.

Fr. Mark Nowak is a priest of the Erie diocese who received his training in directing retreats at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA.  Father has served as pastor of a parish and is now transitioning into retirement and focusing on the ministry of spiritual direction.

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, 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 23, 2024


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 Spiritual Director, lodging and meals from light supper on Sunday to breakfast on the following Sunday
For more information
Phone: 724-964-8886
July 2024
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