We welcome people of all faiths into a retreat environment where you can relax, unplug, revitalize your spirit, rejuvenate your soul, and where you can withdraw from ordinary activities to commune with God.
Bethlehem Retreat House is a short walk down the road from the Abbey along a wide and well-kept path. Bethlehem accommodates sixteen people, each with a private room. The first floor includes the chapel, the speaking room, a library, a reading room, the kitchen and refectory (dining room), the retreat house manager’s office, bathrooms with showers, and five bedrooms. Eleven additional bedrooms and a bathroom are on the second floor. Each simple bedroom includes a bed, a desk and two chairs.
Delicious midday and afternoon meals are prepared by our staff.
Retreatants eat in community in the refectory. The midday meal is the largest meal of the day with meals usually consisting of meat, vegetables, bread and dessert. A Continental Breakfast is offered daily, and is taken individually. We can accommodate vegetarian diets. People with other special dietary needs should plan on bringing their own food supplies. There is a refrigerator available.
We offer our guests the opportunity to reflect in silence without the noise of the outside world.
Silence is maintained at Bethlehem House throughout the retreat, other than in the designated Speaking Room. We encourage our guests to embrace this silence during their retreat to keep the atmosphere quiet for all. There are no internet services available in the Retreat House for guests. Cell phones may be used in the parking lot. Retreatants are invited to participate in the retreat conferences and the liturgy of the Abbey, though attendance is optional. Conferences are given at 2pm on Tuesdays and 10am on Thursdays in the library at Bethlehem Retreat House, and at 7pm on Saturdays in Merton Hall at the Abbey. Spiritual direction is available at the Abbey from 9:30am - 11:30am on Tuesday and Thursday. Guests sign up in the reception area.
You will find yourself surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of nature in the picturesque and historic Genesee River Valley.
The Genesee Valley Greenway, a trail from the Southern Tier to Rochester, runs through the property and offers a beautiful place to walk along the river, through woods and beside farm fields. Wildlife abounds, especially deer. The barn at Bethlehem Retreat House hosts a colorful flock of chickens who can be found free-ranging around the backyard in the afternoon. The barn is also home to Adelaide and Bernice (Addie and Bernie) a pair of friendly goats who love nothing more than meeting new people.
“Thank you for helping me so quickly to find a rhythm! Love the psalms, the meals, the hikes to the abbey. Everything in the house was simple and basic but exactly perfect!!”
“I felt like I unplugged, unwound, and went right to God because I had no earthly concerns. Thank you for the delicious meals.”
“Very positive and spiritually refreshing”
“I enjoyed the silence. The schedule is very nice as well, it reduces the number of decisions to make. Structure is good for healing. The food was wonderful.”