Loyola on the Potomac – Frequently Asked Questions 

How to register?  There are several ways to register for a retreat:

Online: Select your retreat from the Calendar. Then select the Register online button. Upon completion, you’ll receive a confirmation of your retreat enrollment by email.

Mail/Fax: Download the registration form, then print and fill it out. Either mail or fax it to Loyola on the Potomac. You’ll receive a confirmation of your retreat enrollment by mail or email if email address is provided. Fax number: (301) 392-0808

Phone: Call The Retreat House, (301) 392-0800, during business hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  You’ll receive a confirmation of your retreat enrollment by mail or email if email address is provided.

Registration Form

What do you mean by “Silent Retreat”?

Most of us are aware that we live in noisy and distracting times. Exterior and interior silence can help us to open our attention to the whispers of God—and of our own most authentic selves—in our minds and hearts. We invite our retreatants to enjoy here and to provide for one another the exterior silence (of word, gesture, and even glance) that fosters interior silence. On our “silent retreats,” this silent time begins after dinner the first evening and continues until before lunch on the final day. On our “non-silent retreats,” silent times are specified in the retreat schedule.

What do you mean by “non-Silent Retreat?”

“Non-silent retreats” may include some times of silence set aside for private prayer. In addition to presentations and liturgies, there may be small group discussion, and there will be opportunity for talking between presentations and at meals. Often retreatants find a “non-silent retreat” ideal for a first-time experience of a retreat.

Our retreats typically include presentations (offering material for and guidance in prayer), time for silent reflection and meditation, opportunity for a personal conference with one of our Jesuit or lay spiritual directors, and communal prayer (Masses, a Service of Reconciliation with opportunity for sacramental Confession, and more.)   

Some retreats, usually those indicated as non-silent, may include interactive presentations or occasions for focused conversation among groups of retreatants. Depending on the topic of the retreat and format of the retreat (e.g., whether silent or non-silent), the retreat activities may vary.

Adults of all faiths and walks of life are invited to encounter God and to grow in relationship with Christ here at the Retreat House. Our mission is to offer the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola to all, so all our retreats incorporate the wisdom of the Exercises and invite the retreatant to share in the Gospel spirituality of the Exercises. Many of our retreatants represent religious traditions other than Catholic, and many who are not Christian have found a welcome opportunity for spiritual renewal here.  Should you have further questions, kindly contact us, phone (301) 392-0801.

Each retreatant is assigned a private room. You will find our bedrooms simple yet comfortable, ready to welcome you, with blankets, fresh sheets and towels, a writing table with chair, a small closet, and a Bible.  Each room has a ½ bath.  

All room assignments are planned prior to your arrival. If you have a special need or preference for your accommodations, please advise us when you register.

What kind of meals are served?

Loyola on the Potomac is committed to serving well balanced, nutritious meals at all times.  With advanced notice, our Dining Service Team can provide for the following dietary needs:

  • Gluten-free meals
  • Low Sodium meals
  • Vegetarian and/or Vegan Meals
  • Lactose intolerant meals
  • Peanut allergies

Retreatants with additional needs can be offered refrigeration space and a microwave for their personal usage during their retreat.

Coffee, tea, ice water,  fruit and fresh-baked cookies are available in the main Dining Room 24-7.

What are the grounds like?

The Loyola Retreat House is situated in Charles County, Southern Maryland on 235 acres of secluded woodland on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River.  Our inspiring sunsets, hiking trails and beach access allow for a peaceful setting which enhances prayer, reflection and inner healing. Colorful gardens, the calming river view and tree-lined trails with spectacular views provide solitude for resting or walking. See Photos.

The outdoor Stations of the Cross, Rosary Walk, and other shrines provide an opportunity to pray and to meditate close to nature.

What cell phone etiquette is the norm?

To maintain the tranquil retreat atmosphere that fosters interior silence and awareness, we restrict the use of cell phones to the main dining room when that space is not in use. We ask that other Retreat Center spaces, indoor or outdoor, be respected as a “cell phone free” zone and that cell phones be kept off.

What should I wear?

Casual clothing is appropriate. Since the weather can be varied here, even in the course of a single day, we recommend that you bring a few layers so that you can be comfortable even if the days are quite warm and the evenings quite cool. You may bring comfortable shoes so that you can enjoy walking our trails. Spring rains can sometimes be generous, so check the forecast!

You are welcome to bring your favorite Bible (a Bible is provided in each room), a journal, an alarm clock, a flashlight, personal toiletries, and any prescription medications you may need. (A small refrigerator is available inside the kitchen should you need to chill any medicines.)  You are welcome to bring your own bottled water.

When is the retreat balance due?

As your deposit is paid upon registration, the retreat balance can be paid at any time prior to, or upon arrival to the retreat. Cash, checks or credit cards are welcome. (MasterCard, VISA, and Discover Card)

What are the Retreat House office hours?

 Monday thru Friday, 8:30a.m. – 4:00p.m.

 Is there a bookstore at the Retreat House?

Yes. You are welcome to reserve a few minutes of your time here to browse through our well-stocked bookstore. Many of our retreatants find it a valuable resource, as the books have been selected to help retreatants to deepen their relationship with Christ and broaden their lives of discipleship in the world.

Can I be contacted in an emergency?

 Yes. Contact information will be provided on the first day of your retreat.

What time should I arrive for weekend retreats?

Private and Directed

Retreatants usually arrive any time after 4:00.  Dinner is served at 6:00pm.

Ignatian Weekend retreats:

Retreatants arrive any time after 4:00. Confession begins at 5:15, Orientation at 6:30 and dinner is served at 7:00.

Directions to the Retreat Center.


Is there public transportation from the airports or train station?

No, there is no public transportation from the airports or train station.

What we are not.

We are not a spa center. As such, we do not have a pool, sauna, or hot tub. We do not offer massage as a part of any of our retreats or other programs. We do, however, have a small gym room available (treadmill, bike and row machine). If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Individually Directed Retreat FAQ’s

How long are individually directed retreats?

You can stay as many or as few days as you would like.

How do I book an individually directed retreat?

Individually directed retreats are booked through the Registrar at (301) 392-0801 or reservations@loyolaretreat.org.

Booking is possible only when we have both space and a director available, so we recommend booking individually-directed retreats well in advance.

How often do I meet with my director?

Ordinarily, you meet with your director once a day, for up to one hour.

What time should I arrive?

Any time after 4:00p.m.  Dinner is served at 6:00p.m.

What time should I vacate my room?

This may vary according to the length of stay. Time can be provided upon registration.

Is there Mass/Eucharist every day?

Yes, there is Mass/Eucharist available every day. Except on the first day of the retreat since check-in time is not until 4:00p.m.