Wisconsin Retreat:
What We Need is Here

What We Need is Here
A Contemplative Retreat in the Manner of Friends
at the Siena Retreat Center, Racine, Wisconsin
May 3-5, 2024

Come then and simply be with God. Attend to the divine stirrings of the soul, opening to grace. 

During this retreat, participants will experience the distinctly Quaker manner of knowing contemplation in community. There will be individual silent time for prayer, reflection, rest, and walks. Some of our meals will be taken in silence, and we’ll also engage in “active silence,” where we will gather comfortably to read, journal, do handwork or artwork, or engage in some similar quiet activity. 

Sinking down into the silence, we are likely to want to give voice to what we’re encountering there, so we’ll have times for worship sharing in small groups as well as an invitation to meet one-on-one with a retreat leader for anyone who wishes to do so. 

We will also offer, for those who wish to participate in them, some spiritual exercises, including singing, breath work, and art. We hope that they will enrich our sharing with one another and enhance our awareness of being gathered in blessed community. 


Retreat Leaders

Photos of four retreat leaders

Catherine Cox (Goose Creek, Baltimore Yearly Meeting) is a graduate of the School of the Spirit Ministry’s program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer and also of the Shalem Institute’s program Transforming Community: Leading Contemplative Spiritual Groups and Retreats. She has facilitated contemplative retreats under the care of the School of the Spirit for the past ten years.

Thais Carr (Nashville, Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting) is a graduate of The School of the Spirit program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer as well as the Heart Longings program through Shalem. She is a crafter and gardener in addition to sharing her life with rescued dogs and cats.


Elizabeth Evans (Milwaukee, Northern Yearly Meeting) joins us as a mentee through our retreat leadership mentoring program. She is a graduate of the Siena Center’s Spiritual Guidance Training Program and has been part of a monthly letter-writing spiritual nurture group for more than two decades.


Maryann Concannon (Red Cedar Friends, Lansing. Michigan, Lake Erie Yearly Meeting) joins us as a mentee through our retreat leadership mentoring program. She is a graduate of The School of the Spirit program Participating In God’s Power.  She knits and crochets in addition to sharing her life with two rescued dogs.


Siena Retreat Center has 67 private bedrooms with private bath facilities. There is elevator access to all floors and the center is accessible to people with moderate physical limitations. Retreatants have access to the retreat chapel, outdoor labyrinth, Siena Center library, washing machine and dryer on each floor, and Creativity Room with a variety of arts supplies. Please indicate any mobility concerns on the Registration Form. A gallery of photos is available on the Siena Center website.


First day, Friday:  1:00 to 4:30 pm Arrival and settling in 

Final day, Sunday: 12 noon Lunch followed by departure 

A detailed schedule will be sent in advance by the retreat leaders. 

Flexible Fees

The full cost of attendance is $450.

Our intention with Contemplative Retreats is to break even. Because retreat center costs have gone up, we have reduced the time of the retreat rather than raising our fees. (However, participants who wish to do so are welcome to add a day of personal retreat, Thursday-Friday or Sunday-Monday. Please see information below.) We recognize that this cost may still be prohibitive for some attendees, and assistance is available! Please reach out to us about scholarships at info@schoolofthespirit.org.


Registration is in TWO steps.

STEP 1: Please fill out the registration form. The form will ask for your personal information, your room and dietary preferences, and what you will pay.

STEP 2: Instructions as to how to pay will appear on your Confirmation Page. Paying online will take you to PayPal where you can pay via credit card. You do NOT need a PayPal account to do this.

Alternatively you can send a check made out to the School of the Spirit Ministry, for the amount in the table. Mail your check to: The School of the Spirit Ministry, c/o 4 Long Shoals Rd. Ste. B484 Arden, NC 28704.

Keep an eye out for an email from us with any further instructions.

Cancellation Policy
30 days or more prior to the event, full refund less $20 processing fee. 14-29 days prior to the event, 50% refund. Less than 14 days, no refund.

Those who would like to add private retreat time around the group retreat can email the Siena Retreat Center at arrangements@sienaretreatcenter.org or phone (262) 898-2580. The cost will be $85 per night per person with the option to add on meals. Continental breakfast is $11, lunch $16, and dinner $14. They will need a minimum of 10 days’ notice for all add ons and extra meal orders. The front desk is staffed on Thursday, 5/2 for early arrivals between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Those who chose to add time at the end of the retreat would be welcome to stay until 4:30 pm on Monday, 5/6. Payment for the additional time will be due at the time of making the reservation and can be paid with a check in the mail or via an online invoice.

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