Silent Retreat
A week set apart to meet with God
15-20 March 2015

Paulus Abdij

Do you recognize a need to step off the treadmill for several days so that you can come to a place of rest, seek God's presence, and come home to yourself and to God? Then this silent retreat may be just what you're looking for.

In the documentary 'The Big Silence, Christopher Jamison makes a case for incorporating daily moments of stillness into our busy and hectic lives. He calls silence 'medicine for the soul'. During this week we'll be become acquainted with the secret of silence. We'll resist it at times. And we'll learn to enjoy it as we discover its beauty, and the strength and insight it offers.

Silence opens a gateway to the soul. As we enter silence, space is opened up to become (re)acquainted with our true selves. During this retreat we put God's Word central, drawing richly from the Ignatian tradition of imaginative contemplation. The silence is filled up with God's presence and love, and this offers the opportunity to enrich your life and deepen your faith.

After an orientation, the week progresses in silence. Each day holds guided prayer times as well as one-on-one conversations with your spiritual director/retreat leader. These will help you with navigating the experience of silence, integrating how God is speaking through the Word into your life, and the structuring of your day.

During the days you'll have the space to walk out in nature and for creative expression, both highly useful activities for your connection with God and yourself. My co-leader for the week is Marianne Groen who also brings skill and passion for leading retreatants into the merciful presence of Jesus.

The group is limited to 8 to 10 participants (both men and women). The guided prayer times will be led in Dutch. Spiritual direction can take place in English or Dutch, according to your preference.


Silent Retreat Details

When: 15-20 March 2015
Location: De Spil, Maarssen
Time: Sunday 17:00 to Friday 19.00
Cost: €490 includes 5 spiritul direction conversations & art supplies
Register: via Retraitecentrum de Spil
Questions? Email Elizabeth or Marianne

Good reasons to participate

  • You long to experience the intimacy of God's presence.
  • You're in need of an oasis of rest and restoration for body and soul.
  • You want to work through a big issue that requires an extended time of prayer.
  • You need to make an important decision and are seeking insight and discernment.
  • You're ready to set a week apart to (learn to) listen to God's voice.

The retreat leaders/spiritual directors

Mariannne Groen Marianne Groen has led retreats at De Spil since 2008. While participating in silent retreats herself over the past several years, she discovered how silence creates space for a deeper encounter with yourself and with God. In 2011-12 she followed a training in England to become a spiritual director. Conversations with Marianne offer a safe place to express deep questions about life and faith.
Elizabeth de Smaele Elizabeth de Smaele, the founder of Deeper Devotion, has practiced spiritual direction since 2006, helping people to integrate their life and faith, and to grow in wholeheartedness. In one-on-one conversations, workshops and courses, Elizabeth coaches on engaging contemplatively with the Bible as means of deep and relevant encounter with God.
In partnership with
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Read a testimonial from a retreat participant.
My blog post on this retreat.


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a weekend
of silence?
Imaginative contemplation
Teresa of Avila
stilling the soul

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