Our Sponsored retreat programs include weekend, one day, mid-week, and extended retreats and workshops.
2 SD Spring & Summer2014 (rs)We provide a peaceful environment of natural beauty for spiritual growth and renewal. Through innovative and relevant retreats, individuals can discover Gospel answers to today’s challenging questions. Published twice a year, our Newsletter includes pictures and interesting stories along with a listing of 5-6 months of upcoming retreats.Our Retreat Team works tirelessly planning the Sponsored Retreats that we provide. Fr. Evan Howard, OFM, Lorraine Steele, Mary Paella, Dorothy Charbonneau, Lisa Briones, and Br. Mike Minton, OFM with the watchful eye of Fr. Ray, our director, make up the team. The Retreat Calendar allows you to view upcoming retreat titles, flyers and to register on-line.

San Damiano also offers Private Retreats for individuals who wish to enjoy the quiet and tranquility of San Damiano. Usually a 1-5 night stay, Private Retreats can be with or without Spiritual Direction. Here are comments we received from a person happy to have the opportunity to come to San Damiano.

“I arranged to come as a private retreatant. I appreciate the friendly arrangements Lisa made for me. Deborah’s cooking was sumptuous. I’m sure you get many comments on the serenity and spiritual nourishment provided by the natural setting as well as your comfortable facilities.” Paul Seaman

Paul came recently on a private retreat and as you see, had an exceptional experience. We often have space Monday through Friday and you can schedule an appointment with a spiritual director while here. Generally Kateri can schedule you so contact her at 925-837-9141, ext. 315 or

Ray passing cookies

Outside, or Hosted groups, are welcome to contract with us for space and meals. Visit our Conference Facilities and Services page if you are interested in bringing a group here for a workshop, retreat, conference, meeting or training.

If you attend an overnight retreat that is announced in the newsletter, you have the option of a Spiritual Direction session (included in retreat cost) and a chair massage session (additional cost of $15).




Our retreat and workshop presenters are unsurpassed in their knowledge and wisdom. Many people experience profound growth and a sense of God’s presence during their time at San Damiano. A past retreatant exclaimed, “The new insight I came away with is to take more time in the day to reflect, be positive, trust in God, see the beauty everywhere, and be grateful!” As a retreatant pointed out last month, “You have the most inspiring and insightful retreat presenters!”

Fr. Laurence Freeman Silent Meditation May 16-18

Fr. Laurence Freeman
Silent Meditation
May 16-18

Fr. Tom Weston Recovery June 6-8

Fr. Tom Weston
June 6-8

Sr. Ishpriya Silent Contemplative June 9-13

Sr. Ishpriya
Silent Contemplative
June 9-13


Paula Jenkins, MAR and Br. Mike Minton, OFM facilitate our retreats for Young Adults. Each year there are day retreats that focus on an aspect of the spiritual life. Check back for the next retreat dates.

One recent participant commented that “Everyone is very open and created a welcoming environment.” Another participant said: “…I especially liked the facilitators, having a choice of activities and the discussion groups.”

Young Adult Ministry

St. Francis & the Sultan

stfrancisandsultan (rs)Part of the Franciscan tradition is the historic visit St. Francis of Assisi made to the Muslim Leader Al-Malik Al-Mamil. Br. Mike Minton gave a day that looked at the story and developing hagiography of Francis traveling to Egypt. There was time to integrate the implications of the story into our own lives and discuss how it calls us to respond today. Here are some comments from the participants:

“I learned how the experience of other religions might help make us better Christians or pray-ers.”

“This is new information for me. I am thankful to learn more about St. Francis.”

“I’m developing a growing understanding of the universality of the one God.”

“Glad to learn more about other religions.”


“The friars live the Franciscan spirit, I am touched by the example of community prayer, welcoming, and presence.

“Prayer services were well planned and uplifting.”

“Your hospitality is fabulous and welcoming!”

“I especially liked the presenter and the staff that is so welcoming and caring.

“The workshop gave me a great deal of insight on how to empower myself.

“San Damiano – a little bit of heaven, far beyond the hectic pace and the busy freeway. Flowered paths, open and caring people, a labyrinth to the soul’s center.

“The retreat was a truly joyful and spiritual experience.

“I found the facility very warm, generous and welcoming.

“I especially liked the activities we did: soul collage and lectio divina.

“The prayer services were deeply moving and enhanced the experience.


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