Manresa is a Jesuit retreat house located in Convent Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi River midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It offers three-day preached retreats, made in silence, based on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola. These retreats are conducted for men only through an agreement with Cenacle Retreat House for Women in the New Orleans area.

            Some of the historic and picturesque buildings on the 130-acre campus date from the early 19th Century, when Manresa was the site of Jefferson College, a private school for sons of plantation owners. Between the Civil War and the Great Depression the Marist Fathers conducted the college as a Catholic school. The Jesuits Fathers purchased the property in 1931 as the site for a retreat house.  

            Retreats are offered every weekend except for the last weekend of the year; these begin on Thursday night and end early Sunday afternoon. In addition, six  “mid-week retreats” are offered from Sunday night through early Wednesday afternoon. An assigned retreat Director preaches eleven retreat conferences (or “talks”) during the course of the three days. Each conference lasts around 30 minutes. A staff of trained Jesuit priests is available for individual conferences. Daily Mass and other devotions and activities are available to fill out the retreat.  

            The capacity for each retreat group is 111 and no exceptions are allowed; the average is 108 men. No set fee is required, but a suggested donation is indicated. All contributions are anonymous. Manresa is a Catholic retreat house, but men of other faiths are welcome to attend the retreats.

            The minimum age requirement for attending a Manresa retreat with one of the 57 retreat groups is 18 years of age. The man's 18th birthday must occur prior to the retreat date he is attending. There are no exceptions to this rule.

            There are 57 retreats groups, and each group has a number of “captains” who receive reservations from men who want to make a retreat. All groups have a waiting list, but it is possible to find a vacancy. To make a reservation to attend a retreat, new retreatants should consult the current schedule of retreats which lists the captains, and contact one of them. A new retreatant should contact the group whose retreat falls at a convenient time. Some flexibility is often needed. The current schedule is available on this site; a printed version is available from the retreat house.   

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