(610) 670-3642

Did You Know?

In addition to the retreats and programs offered by our Spiritual Growth staff, the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth welcomes Catholic and other ecumenical groups who are looking for a beautiful setting to conduct their own group meetings.


Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding

and my entire will,

All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.

To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.

Give me only your love and your grace,

That is enough for me.

—St. Ignatius of Loyola

Dear Friends,


Nearly fifty years ago, our founder, Fr. George J. Schemel, SJ, attended a meeting to discuss the future of the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, PA.  George later related what happened at that meeting:


On the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4, 1969), I drove to Wernersville.  All the important men of the Maryland Province were there.  Everyone at the table agreed it should be closed.  And there was a long silence.  Finally I spoke and said quietly, “This is where I learned to pray.”  Another person at the table ventured, “This is where I learned about religious life,” and another recalled what he had learned here.  And so it went around the table.  Wernersville was a house of bread.  Each of us had acquired something, learned something of such spiritual importance to religious life that we were not willing to let the place go.


From that moment of insight an experiment was born, the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth.  The experiment has proven to be resoundingly successful, as countless women and men, lay people, clergy and vowed religious, of every Christian denomination, have been nourished by this “house of bread,” growing in their relationship with God and spreading the graces of their growth into the world.


As we move through this spring, there are signs of renewed life all around us.  The grounds are recovering from the winter cold and a severe windstorm, the house is being spruced up for the busy spring and summer season of directed retreats, and innovative programs such as the Ignatian Schola’s Guided Lenten Retreat and the University of Scranton Alumni Retreat have brought many new people to the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth.  We've announced our program calendar for 2019, and I am sure you will find something here to nourish your spirit.  Come join us at this “house of bread”!


Christopher Derby, SJ, Executive Director



If you have any questions about our Spiritual Growth retreats or programs,

please email Melinda Leonowitz


A Message From Our Director

Spiritual Growth

Meet Our Staff:

Dedicated, compassionate, experienced...

Just some of the words that describe our staff.

Please meet them by clicking on their name.



Christopher Derby, SJ, Executive Director


Andrew Dotter


Alisha Forcinio


Frank Kaminski, SJ


Melinda Leonowitz


Anita Wood




Associate DIrectors


Board of Trustees