Manresa House of Retreats
P.O. Box 89
Convent, Louisiana 70723-0089

June 27, 2000


Dear Fr. Clooney,
Manresa is what might be called a "'traditional" retreat house, similar to White House in St. Louis and Demontreville in Wisconsin. Our sole retreat program is the conference retreat of eleven talks given in a closed, silent retreat which begins on Thursday night and ends Sunday mid-day. We have 51 retreats per year on weekends and six which are from Sunday to Wednesday. Every retreat follows the Exercises; none is directed at any other theme or special type (no A.A., for instance). We average about 109 men per retreat; over 6,000 men come each year. Each group has a waiting list. We are a men's retreat house since the Cenacle Sisters opened a women's house in New Orleans and we agreed not to compete with them. In addition, we host the annual retreats of the Bishops of Region 5, the priests of the local diocese of Baton Rouge; and 3 groups of students from Jesuit High of New Orleans. We provide the facilities; they conduct their own retreats.

In addition to our conference retreats, we have a house of prayer available for men and women to make private or directed retreats as our 5 Jesuits on staff are able to direct them. We do not keep statistics, but estimate that some 50 to 60 people use that facility each year.

I have included with this letter the number of non-Catholic and non-Christian retreatants for the last three years. Some men do not indicate their religious affiliation, so the statistics are not completely reliable. Most of these are multiple repeats from year to year. About ten percent or so of our retreatants each year are non-Catholic or non-Christian. We try to be sensitive to religious differences, but remain faithful to the dynamic of the Exercises, just as we try to touch on issues of faith and justice also. It is rare that we receive complaints from non-Christians about our preaching. Many tell me they feel accepted and welcomed. Many such return yearly. The Methodist District allows our retreats to count for on-going formation of their ministers. Non-Catholic ministers also come for directed retreats.

I hope this will in some way answer your basic inquiry. Feel free to contact me if you want further information, or if you have suggestions for us.

Sincerely, in Christ,
Anthony H. Ostini, S.J.

encl: non-Catholic retreatants

Ancletor of New Orleans 1
Anglican 1
Assembly of God 2
Baptist 88
Bible Church 1
Catholic/Baptist 2
Catholic/Episcopal 2
Catholic/Presbyterian 1
Christian 13
Congretational 1
Disciples of Christ 5
Emissary 1
Episcopalian 140
Evangelical 1
Full Gospel 3
Greek Orthodox 2
Hindu 1
Hosanna First Assembly 1
Imm. Baptist 1
Independent 1
Interdenominational 1
Islam 1
Jewish 18
Lutheran 40
Methodist 104
Non. Denomination 25
New Covenent 1
Orthodox 1
Pentecost 2
Presbyterian 66
Protestant 32
Quaker 1
Seventh Day Adventist 1
Theistic 1
Non affiliated 58
United Methodist 5
Unity 2
Zen Catholic 1
Total 655

Created: October 4, 2000 Updated: October 4, 2000