We returned for our second silent retreat (click here for first one) at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades, located above the shores of Puget Sound in Federal Way. The silent retreat is provided through the generosity of the Archdiocese of Seattle and Seattle University’s Jesuit mission, and is open to people of all faiths and spiritual direction who have a connection with the university.
The three day retreat begins Friday evening with communal dinner and conversation, followed by an introduction of participants and spiritual directors (who are like counselors). Then the silence commences, and only the spiritual directors occasionally speak at various optional half hour “movements” throughout the weekend. The topics vary, spanning from personal to religious to inspiring stories to guidance on how to heal or think or live fully. The spiritual directors also offer two optional half hour private one-on-one sessions for freeform talk about whatever a participant would like to discuss.
The grounds span a beautiful 39 acres of Puget Sound waterfront, with forested walking trails, courtyards, labyrinth, meditation benches, and gardens spread around the property. The main buildings also house a chapel, library, and multiple meeting rooms, all open 24 hours for anyone to visit and meditate in at any time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinners are served in a large dining room overlooking the Sound, though the only sounds in the room are from silverware clanking and people eating.
Participants come for many reasons, spanning from healing to thinking to planning to relaxing to re-forming. The atmosphere is one of camaraderie and shared intent. The spiritual directors are there to provide a meaningful yet self-directed experience for everyone.
Archbishop Brunett Retreat & Faith Formation Center at The Palisades