Eastern Point Retreat House, a grand house located on the Atlantic shore in Gloucester, Mass., has been welcoming retreatants since 1958. The breathtaking ocean views, rugged coastlines and tides that continually alter the landscape lend themselves to contemplative appreciation of nature’s beauty.
Many retreatants head down walking trails through the woods to the ocean to enjoy the crashing waves. Retreatants often sit out on the rocks, where they might encounter seals sunning themselves.
The retreat center provides rooms for meditation and spaces for prayer and contemplation. The Eucharist is offered daily in the Fireplace Room, with dark wood paneling, a marble floor and windows looking out on the cove. The guest rooms are located in an annex.
An eight-ring labyrinth, lovingly built by retreatants with stones and pebbles, serves as a wonderful meditative space. Meals are prepared with care by a food service specializing in healthful and tasty fare.
Open year-round, the facility offers directed, guided and weekend retreats. In January and July, the full Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola are offered on an individually directed basis. Each year there are about 20 directed retreats, three guided retreats and eight weekend retreats. Retreatants are male and female religious and laypeople from many different religious affiliations. Currently, there are three Jesuit priests, a lay director and a sister of Saint Joseph on the staff, along with trained guest directors.