Wednesday, 4 May 2022 3:00 PM - Friday, 6 May 2022 10:00 AM PDT

31001 N. Valyermo Road, Valyermo, CA, 93563, United States

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Wednesday, 4 May 2022 3:00 PM - Friday, 6 May 2022 10:00 AM PDT

If the event is listed as "Sold Out" please contact us for real-time availability and waiting list.

 Please note: Until further notice, proof of COVID-19 vaccinations is required for any "in-house" retreat stays and restrictions apply for shared occupancy. In order to accommodate those who choose to opt-out, we are doing our best to continue offering various retreats online via ZOOM. Your support during this time is greatly appreciated. May God bless you all. For any questions or more information please call our retreat office at 661-944-2178 or email


THE REALITY OF THE UNSEEN: Looking at Mysticism & Religious Experience as a Gift of Being Human

Wednesday, May 4 – Friday, May 6, 2022

This retreat will reveal and illumine our inner experience of God in its subtle and its dramatic forms. Being human is acknowledging our dependence on the Unseen, the Transcendent, the Creative Source--God. Made in God's image and likeness, mystics experience this more-than-human knowing and loving that comes from their Creator. Are we all not called to be in mystical communion with God? Paying attention to God's interventions in saintly lives can illumine our personal path of religious experience that draws us closer to God and to our true selves. The works of William James, Evelyn Underhill and Bernard McGinn will be a few sources in our exploration.

Fr. Francis Benedict has been a monk of Valyermo since 1967. He earned an MA in Philosophy from Loyola-Marymount University and an MS in Theology from Mt. Angel in Oregon. He was ordained a priest in 1976. He served as the Abbey's Abbot for 16 years. His special areas of ministry include spiritual direction, preaching retreats, and working with 12-step recovery groups. In addition to many responsibilities at the Abbey, he now serves as the Director of Oblates. 

Tony Verhallen is a retired high school teacher. He taught sources on Ethics, Church History, and Scripture at Pius X High School in Downey, St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, and Servite High School in Anaheim. He does volunteer for the Western Service Workers Association, an organization that assists low-income families, and weekly conducts discussions and reflections on the Scriptures at St. Boniface parish in Anaheim. 



St. Andrew's Abbey Retreat Office

Phone: (661) 944-2178


Office hours:


(Closed for Mass and lunch 11:45am-1:30pm) 

Saint Andrew's Abbey Retreat House