Silent Retreat with Art (first offering)
- St. Placid Priory and The Priory Spirituality Center
- 500 College Street NE, Lacey, WA 98516
- Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2020 (3 days)
About This Event
During this time of silence, we will meet on Friday for an introduction to the weekend and to get the first art assignment. We will meet again on Saturday morning and Saturday late afternoon for two more assignments of some type of creative art. We will finish up the silent retreat on Sunday with sharing our art and reflecting on the process and the prayer. No prior experience or training required. Materials and resources provided. Feel free to bring your own art project and materials if you desire.
Venue HighlightsThe Priory Spirituality Center is an ecumenical Christian ministry that encourages people of all faiths to seek and discern the voice of God in their lives and in the world. We are a ministry of St. Placid Priory that reflects the Benedictine values of peace, hospitality, community, learning and prayerful discernment.
We offer a peaceful and contemplative setting for personal reflection. We encourage and challenge people to know the presence of God in their lives through classes, workshops, retreats and individual spiritual direction. Other offerings include a women’s book group and formation programs.
AccommodationsWe have ten retreat bedrooms, most of which are equipped with two twin beds. The rooms may be shared if you are coming with a friend or partner, but generally there is just one person per room. Our building is set back among the trees so the rooms stay fairly cool. There is a heater in each room for the colder nights. Each room has a sink, mirror, chair, desk, and small closet area. Towels and linens are provided, but please bring your own toiletries. Bathrooms are shared and showers are available.
Retreatants are welcome to join the Sisters for Mass, Praise, and meals. There is wi-fi available in the Priory Library from 8:30am-8:00pm everyday. The Priory Store is also open on Fridays and Saturdays. Plenty of walking trails wind around the Priory's property and are open to retreatants.
Spiritual Direction is available upon request at an additional charge.
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
- Tour Assistance
- Gluten Free
Menu/CuisineBreakfasts are on your own in our Center Kitchen Monday through Saturday. We provide traditional breakfast items such as eggs, milk, bread, cereals, and fruit. You are welcome to bring supplemental food. On Sundays the Priory provides a delicious brunch usually consisting of eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, toast, pancakes, fruits, and pastries.
Lunch and dinner are provided at the Priory. These meals consist of one or two main dishes and a salad bar. There are often dairy, gluten and soy-free options. If you need to bring supplemental foods or meals, you may keep them in our Center kitchen, cook them there, and eat there or bring it to community meals.
A silent dining area is also available if you prefer to spend your meals in silence.
Coffee and tea is also available around the clock.
DirectionsTraveling north from Portland, on I-5:
Take Exit 109
Turn left onto Martin Way at end of exit
Stay in the far right lane
Turn right at second light onto
College Street NE
Turn right at St. Placid sign
(second possible right turn)
Traveling south from Seattle, on I-5:
Take Exit 109
Turn right onto Martin Way at end of exit
Stay in the far right lane
Turn right at the light onto
College Street NE
Turn right at St. Placid sign
(second possible right turn)
Reviews To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).
Michele Baldwin September 16, 2020Writing As a Spiritual Practice
Thank you so much for offering this course. It was a good introduction for measuring towhead kind of trainings and experiences are offered at the Spirituality Center. Since being mostly confined to home since COVID-19 arrived, I find myself searching for places and people where I can feel like I belong. I don't consider myself a writer, but I do journal, and found the creative writing experiences to be good tools for encouraging more writing. Christine was an excellent facilitator. Michele Baldwin
Jacquelyn Mate August 01, 2020Mostly Lecture
The problem may have been mine because I do not know the Bible very well. I did my best to read the Song of Songs but I didn’t understand it at all. I just felt so totally confused during the first lecture that I did not attend the second one. The lecture format didn’t help me gain understanding of the material covered and too little of our time was spent sharing or asking questions. It was a very boring program.
Andrea Jerabek July 19, 2020Song of Songs Virtual Retreat
When I first signed up for this particular retreat, my choice had more to do with the timing of the retreat than the content. Just as it happens throughout life, sometimes you choose something for one reason but God had a plan of His own in mind. This is exactly what happened for me with this retreat! This particular book of the Bible had special meaning to me a couple of decades ago, as I was a member of a Messianic Congregation whose Rabbi & wife performed a theatrical rendition of the book. That time of my life was filled with very deep spiritual growth and understanding. Fast forward to 2020, that part of my spiritual journey was safely stored away in a box titled, "past religious experiences." It wasn't until this retreat, that I was put face to face with something that I thought had very nicely remained in the past. I was very wrong! Because of this retreat, and the perfect timing of it right before my Oblation commitment, I was reminded about the tremendous depth of love that Christ has for His Bride, and namely me! I am so grateful to the Priory for holding this retreat! The one drawback was that it was all online, and that made it very hard on my neck. As it was said by several people, there is so much to be discovered within this beautiful book that you can't give it justice by going through so much material in a brief period of time. I would highly suggest having perhaps a series on the Song of Songs. Thank you for bringing back a very important part of my spiritual journey, and reminding me of the importance of maintaining that passionate and deep relationship with Christ! Blessings, Andrea
Verlene White July 18, 2020Writing as a Spiritual Practice
The only thing that could have made this retreat better would to have been able to do it at the retreat center with the others who participated online. Because that would not have been possible for me even without the restrictions of the pandemic, I was grateful that I could attend the retreat at a reasonable cost. Christine Valters Paintner has become one of my favorite writers and mentors. She has facilitated spiritual and psychological growth for which I am deeply grateful. This retreat on writing as a spiritual practice brought me back to doing something I have not done for many years and it was life giving.
Jacquelyn Mate July 16, 2020A very deep and intense experience
The program was beyond my expectations. It brought very intense feelings to the surface. It was a very cathartic experience.
Laura Simmons July 16, 2020"Writing as a Spiritual Practice" online workshop.
I am familiar with St. Placid Priory and The Priory Spirituality Center through Christine Valters Paintner, one of its oblates. To have her offer an online writing workshop through St. Placid was wonderful. The pandemic has prevented in-person writing events Christine had scheduled in Ireland, including one in which I was scheduled to take part. This was not a perfect substitute, but Zoom made it feel very personal (in spite of the nearly 100 attendees!). Christine is very experienced in writing as a spiritual practice AND teaching it as part of her expressive-arts work. The three hours flew by, with a mixture of writing prompts, deepening exercises, small and large-group sharing, and teaching on how to integrate writing into our spirituality. I have spent this pandemic working in a hospital several days a week; I deeply needed this time away. Thank you, Christine and the Priory!
Julie Parisi July 16, 2020Thoroughly enjoyed this workshop
Writing with Christine Whatever is in your heart Love and gratitude
Olga Hammock July 16, 2020Wonderful writing retreat
I found this writing retreat so very helpful. Christine's warmth shines through despite the fact that there were so many of us, and the practices she taught us were very stimluating and useful to get started writing again. I had been put off creative writing by a rather negative tutor in a university course, so this was just what I needed to let go of that and start witing again, but this time for myself and my own spiritual journey. Every retreat I do with the Priory has helped me a lot. Thank you so much! My only very slight disappointment was that there were so many of us that I didn't get a chance to talk to Christine directly as I have done with the speakers on other retreats - but I appreciate that there are many others who want to benefit from her teaching.
Suzanne Johnson July 08, 2020"What Do You Seek"
The silent retreat "What Do You Seek" provided, not only space to reflect on past commitments, but an invitation to let commitment be transformed. This transformation of a commitment to community, to peace, to hope, and to love seemed renewed in an invigorating way. Rather than experiencing this deepening into change as a weighty responsibility, there was freedom. The space created by the verbal and visual images shared allowed this participant to embrace the possibility of change to be a natural outflow, a promise of hope made tangible, a gift.
Olga Hammock July 05, 2020Incredibly helpful
This retreat spoke to me directly and had so much to say which was relevant to my current situation. I loved the link between Buddhist Mindfulness and centring prayer. The meditation exercises were so very good and will help me in my silent hour with the Quakers. Paul is so tremendously warm, and clear at expressing ideas. Each retreat I do with the Priory makes me wish I lived neared to attend in person!
Diane McCarthy June 24, 2020Take nothing for the journey, but take lots for life!
I am so grateful for this wonderful retreat. The message was not complicated, but so important. Christine is an amazing and delightful storyteller. I am so glad for this opportunity to be with her, again. I loved the format and the breakout rooms and meeting such inspiring people from all over the world. The time went by too quickly! Thank you for such a great experience that I still think about often.
Olga Hammock June 24, 2020Taking Nothing for the Journey
This retreat was utterly wonderful. Christine is such a warm, positive person and it was a joy to be with other like-minded people, to be part of a spiritual community even for a short time. It was all very helpful and in the middle I had an epiphany about someting that had been troubling me for some time. I took copious notes to which I can refer when I forget. The break-out groups were also great- I was with a lovely small group of ladies who gave me affirmation about the way of life I have now chosen. All in all, I can't recommend this kind of retreat enough. I live in Oban, Scotland, and the Zoom meeting enables me to attend the Priory which I would love to do in person but obviously it's rather difficult.
Don Cairns June 16, 2020Bernard of Clairvaux’s Contemplative Approach to Song of Songs
I appreciate the preparation work that both Sr Lucy and Sr Anna Camille did and how that affected them. Their own personal stories and enthusiasm helped take the retreat into an authentic contemplative direction in addition to providing Bernard’s profound mystical perspective on this brief OT love poem. Going deeper into the contemplative side of Benedictine Spirituality is a major reason I became an Oblate. I also appreciated the individual sharing from participants. For me, this was the most impactful retreat I have experienced at the Priory. It has inspired me to go deeper into contemplative practice...
Pamela Sampel June 14, 2020Outstanding Retreat day on Song of Songs
Our Oblate Retreat weekend on the Song of Songs led by Sisters Anna-Camille and Lucy Wynkoop on June 6-7, 2020 was outstanding. The in-depth research that was shared with our retreat group was second to none and was incredibly thorough. We had time to contemplate the text and share thoughts, and were able to talk (and hear) about all of the possible (well, many) translations of this beautiful text. Sisters Anna-Camille and Lucy did a fantastic job. I took away many reflections that will serve me well in the upcoming year. Thank you!
Bonnie Westmark June 12, 2020Song of Songs Retreat
This weekend retreat was exactly what I needed. As usual, Sister Lucy and Sister Anna Camille were well prepared and engaging. They explained each verse in such a way that it seemed to come alive. The imagery and use of literary devices took me to the garden. Each time I take a retreat at the priory, in person or on Zoom, I come away with a feeling of God's presence and love all around me, even in times of struggle. Each class manifests itself in some creative experience. After this retreat, I found myself creating a moon garden. As I sit each evening watching the light of the moon reflect on each flower, I am reminded that I am surrounded by God's love always.
Kat Duck May 31, 2020Excellent lectio experience
"How Long Will You Sleep" is (for me) a stellar way to do lectio, a practice I've long enjoyed with the printed word. The short film opened up possibilities of reflection with it's multi-dimensional view of the world and how everyday things and events interact and unfold.It was beautifully crafted and presented, and I would welcome more film lectio.
Lizz Slabaugh April 19, 2020Transforming Trama - WOW
What a powerful two hours spent with a community dedicated to healing, inspiration and waking up over and over again. I felt heard, inspired and supported during the Transforming Trama event. I appreciate the environment that Marilyn provided and loved spending time with everyone who joined. I would love to take part in more of these. Thank you!
Olga Hammock April 09, 2020Superb!
I found this retreat so helpful and interesting. Kayce is a wonderful speaker but not only that, she engaged so well with each of us, and made me, a compete outsider, feel so welcome. I took so many notes and will refer to them again and again in this time of difficult living. I particularly liked the image of drawing a heart in our minds when we wake in the middle of the night, distressed, and filling it with soft cuddly things. I have done this several times and have never got futher than two things before falling back to sleep. Thank you, Kaycee and the Priory!
Margaret D. McGee March 26, 2020Zoom program - "I was blind and now I see."
The 2-hour Zoom retreat program had 18 participants, and I was concerned that we'd be talking over each other, but Sister Lucy handled the facilitation with expertise and it all worked great. The other participants' comments and insights greatly deepened my own experience. I left the retreat feeling strengthened and centered.
Bev Parnell January 27, 2020Souls Slow Ripening
What an incredibly beautiful day of connection, dance, prayer and contemplation! The vibrant energy of Betsey was such a GIFT and the flow of the day was a dance unto itself. I will treasure my CD, feather memento for continued dancing and the closing poem created has been an ongoing source of contemplation and prayer Huge gratitude and thanks for a wonderful, deeply impactful spiritual experience and for the phenomenal St. Placid hospitality. My spiritual fire, focus and faith were all refueled.
Amber Christine January 20, 2020My favorite retreat place!
I'm so thankful for St. Placid. Every time I visit, I feel so warmly welcomed and feel God's kindness and presence. The rooms are always clean, quiet, and peaceful. The forest is such a beautiful place for sacred moments to happen. I recommend it to everyone!
Julie A. Ferraro December 19, 2019A Place to Find Peace
When I first arrived in Washington State, a top priority was finding St. Placid's Priory. Immediately made to feel welcome, I was also invited to the Oblate's Advent retreat, where the atmosphere was so pleasant, the hospitality so genuine, and the discussions so lively, I went away with my soul feeling refreshed and energized. The benefits of attending St. Placid's programs are many! Everyone should make a point to take such time from their regular routine to "get back to basics": the relationship between the individual and God.
Pamela Sampel November 29, 2019Outstanding Retreat day on Thomas Merton
My retreat day at St. Placid Priory Spirituality Center on Thomas Merton, led by Paul (Jake) Jacob, was outstanding. A great mix of Merton's works and readings, reflection, discussion questions, and time in a small group. Jake really covered a wide range of Merton's material and offered much appropriate background information and knowledge and the day flew by. We also had time for attendance at Morning Praise with the Sisters and a break for lunch. This was one of the best retreat days I've attended.
Linda Lysne July 19, 2019Peaceful haven
I have been on silent retreats here before, but was blessed this time to be able to take my daughter on our own private retreat. The first full day, I believe we both slept most of the day! We needed that!! The place provides just what I need to rejuvenate my soul and get more solid on my faith walk - every time! It is so very peaceful there, clean and neat, and the people very friendly, but at the same time, providing the space you need. I love the nature setting and trails for walking. Hope to come back, time and again! <3
Stuart Scadron-Wattles June 09, 2019As it is, so is it
The material was as advertised and the leadership (although overly male), was impressive in both experience and humility. The retreat began in a mode that relied too much on power point style presentation, given the level of experience of the participants. It took a few hours of this before it was opened up into more of a shared discussion with a leader at the front. I think I would have benefited more, had there been small group breakouts with more discussion and exchange of experience. Given that it was billed as an intro to CP, it makes sense that this was not planned. It could, however, have been provided for as an optional direction for the leadership to take.
Bill Lindekugel May 31, 2019Introduction to 11th Step Silent Centering Prayer
It was very helpful to have a room full of people, from a variety of addiction backgrounds, who use the 12 Steps. I have never had anyone in AA able to talk about the 11th Step using the Centering Prayer method. It was especially helpful to have two 12 Steppers, with years of experience, to share how they have used CP to deepen 12 Step Spirituality. Finally, I was able to get some language and ways of talking about CP to my fellow 12 Steppers. Sitting in Silence, Bill Lindekugel
Pauline Erera May 30, 2019interesting ideas
The retreat / workshop at the Priory Spirituality Center was a lovely experience. The topic and the presenters were interesting and the locations was magnificent. From my perspective, there was one problem:more than half of the retreat addressed meditation 101, assuming none of us meditates. Only a small part of the retreat focused on the Centering Prayer. I suggest that in the future you be clear about that and that you devote the morning to meditation 101, and invite experienced meditators to join in the afternoon for the Centering Prayer. Thank you! Pauline
Tony May 23, 2019Retreat Experience
I appreciated the initial warm welcome of Janice, sharing Mass and morning/evening meditation. I was fortunate to have Total privacy during my stay. My Spiritual direction sessions with Sr. Monica helped framed my visit; I appreciated how she gave me space to draw my own revelations and conclusions. I have special memories with a few nuns I had meals with. I am Grateful I came.
Maria Slizys May 16, 2019Priory Art Show
This was my third time at St. Placid for an extended retreat stay. All times I have spent there have been restful, regenerating and wonderful! The Spirituality Center Staff attended to comfort and logistics in the most gracious way. I look forward to my next experience soon!
Gail Shurgot April 17, 2019Beauty, silence, big trees
St. Placid Priory near Olympia, Washington, is located in a large quiet setting of fir trees and native plants. The monastery houses a community of Benedictine nuns along with its Spirituality Center for retreat guests. The Priory has a beautiful chapel and a good library and dining hall which are also available to the guests. The Spirituality Center has comfortable, private rooms and several areas for meetings or for individual prayer.
Robert Alan Rife April 08, 2019"A human being, fully alive."
The best part of a deepening spirituality is just how "normal" it is. We may come expecting divine fireworks. Instead, we get light ocean breezes rustling old trees who have heard it all before. We get the fun and energetic conversations at tables and the promise of more of the same. In the words of Iraeneus, "the glory of God is a human being fully alive." St. Placid helps me become just that! Many thanks, as always...Robert Rife
Michele McCall April 05, 2019Silent Centering Prayer Retreat
This was my first extended Centering Prayer Retreat. I truly went without any agenda, just wanting to sit in God’s presence silently as much as possible. The time felt deep, peaceful, and I know God met me there. The weather was amazing and allowed time for silent reflection outside. Even eating in silence with other people was a pleasant experience! I undoubtedly will attend another-like retreat sometime in the future if at all possible.
Suzanne Johnson February 03, 2019Vocation Retreat
The quiet, the kindly conversations, the fresh food, the natural beauty, the generous and hearty laughter, the gracious fun, and the meaningful fellowship, each add to the sense of a need to return again, soon. The veil is thin in this place, the distance between heaven and earth seems nearly transparent. The lived expression of fidelity to Christ's Way of Love seems evident in interactions between visitors and those who invite them. Gracious reminders of His Life, His Love, and His Resurrection radiate in the people of this place.
Hillary B. Kimsey December 01, 2018A lovely place for quiet reflection
I very much enjoyed my private retreat at St. Placid's Priory. I went for one night, arriving around noon the first day and leaving around 8am the next morning. The sisters and the staff received me with hospitality and explained everything I might need to know about services, meals, and available resources. I very much look forward to going again.
Laura Tenisci November 27, 2018Soul Nourishment
For this personal retreat, I combined a weekend of quiet time at the Priory Spirituality Center with a day workshop on Soul Collage by Pamela Bradburn. Though there was already a retreat happening at the Spirituality Center, but a room was available. It was perfect, AND quiet. The retreat group were also very kind and welcoming to a stranger in their midst. There was a hostess on site for the weekend to help with questions and needs. I attended Mass at the Priory that evening and then joined the Sisters for dinner. Bonus! At the end of the evening prayer service, Camille the postulant became Camille the novice! There is a profound sense of peace, warm hospitality and caring at St. Placid's. The bookstore and area near the front desk are full of treasures waiting to be discovered. I didn't get a chance to walk the woods this time as I forgot my sneakers, but they (nature, woods, and trails) too are a welcome invitation to deepen the spiritual journey. Check out their website for program offerings. Benedictine spirituality rocks!
Mary Helmer Grant November 15, 2018Peaceful place to regroup
I spent 4 days with my sister at St. Placid Priory. We met there to share some time together in a beautiful, spiritual place. We walked the trails through the surrounding woods, ate dinner with the nuns and attended a few of their services. The nuns were warm and embracing, and very open minded, truly interested in talking with us and sharing stories. However, if you choose not to partake in any of the dining or service activities, that is an option also. The rooms were small, but comfortable with the bathroom down the hall. They provided all the basic necessities. I would highly recommend a visit to the priory if you are looking for a peaceful, safe, friendly place to be.
Kat Duck November 11, 2018Cinema Divina
This retreat was excellent in several ways. First, participants were able to employ the stages of lectio divina in a new and very meaningful way; second, the short films were beautifully done; and last, the experience of sharing with others was enlightening and helpful. The retreat leader was knowledgable and talented both as a film maker and as a lectio divina guide.
Terry Murray November 07, 2018Clergy Retreat
Thanks so much for holding the container for time in personal reflection, prayer and connection with other clergy. It's a blessing to me.
Robert Alan Rife October 10, 2018Sister Act...
My most recent incursion into the peaceable, but lively existence of the dear folks at St. Placid Priory was, as ever, transformative. I haven't a great deal to say here since I wrote more extensively about a previous experience on my blog (https://innerwoven.me/2017/10/10/st-placid-silent-notes-from-a-noisy-journal/). I say simply this. I am uncertain how the Desert Mothers and Fathers might react to the reality of my weight gain at a spiritual retreat center, but I think they'd offer me leash when I tell them it came at the cost of deeper, less visible interior growth! I love this place. I think it's coming to love me too. Come for the food. Stay for the peace! Robert
Melody Adams-Forsstrom October 10, 2018Good
Nice area. Accommodations sufficient. Location access hard for Friday traffic.
Rebecca DeShaw October 07, 2018Lovely grounds. Peaceful surroundings
We held our Fall retreat at The Priory for Daughters of the King. The folks are helpful and the grounds and other facilities are lovely. There was a minor issue of what a volunteer knew regarding my Canine Companions for Independence puppy being present and the acceptance by the people I talked to when making the arrangements. My time would have been calmer if they had been in sync.
Darcy Cline September 04, 2018A Wonderful Experience!
I attended the Iconography Workshop at St. Placid Priory with Fr. Damien from the Monks of Mt. Tabor Monastery in August 2018. This workshop was wonderful. It provided me with an opportunity to reflect and meditate on the process of painting holy icons for worship. I left feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and excited about my faith and a future in the Catholic experience. This positive experience in art and religion is not for everyone. It is about the process of our faith and creating art that is given over to a higher power. I am already looking forward to next year's workshop. 5 stars for this experinece!
carol gabbert September 04, 2018Iconography Workshop
St. Placid Priory is far and above, one of the most welcoming places I have ever visited. The Sisters, the volunteers, and the staff responded to my every question, concern and need, both in preparing for my visit and during my stay, with an attitude of gracious hospitality. This was my first experience with Icon writing and I cannot recommend Fr. Damien Higgens more highly! Wonderful, wonderful week, I look forward to returning!
Judy Delong-Rittman August 17, 2018A warm, welcoming oasis of peace and quiet.
I love everything about The Priory. The sisters and staff are so welcoming. The absolute only thing I'd change is this cheesy guru.com platform. All of the 'canned' emails I've received since you started the on line registration process detract from what I know you really are. It is so not you. Is there any other vendor you could use? You are all about being personable and the emails though computer generated with my name are clearly not written by anything but a template pre programmed....except of course when I go directly to your website and leave a personal email....then I get a lovely, warm response.
Angela Ensminger August 14, 2018Private Retreat
I have been coming here for years and once again, it was a relaxing and restorative time for me. The rooms are just enough to keep my mind and heart focused without being distracting. They supply towels and all bedding. There are private walking trails with plenty of benches and nooks to spend private time in prayer and comtemplation. You can attend prayer and Mass with the sisters or use the chapel on your own. Breakfast foods are available in the retreat center and lunch and dinner are supplied in the main building. There is a basic selection of food but it is all wonderful. You won't go hungry. Lots of books and art supplies are available if you need those.
Jennifer Garrison Brownell July 17, 2018Wonderful
This retreat was so inspiring and God was so present. Beautiful hospitality, delicious food, comfortable bed, and lovely setting. I was especially grateful for permission to rest!
Sidney Barthell June 30, 2018Silent Retreat
My weekend at St Placid Priory was so restful! It was my first visit to the Priory and I enjoyed the people and the woods. Mass on Sunday was a special treat.