What is the Bridges Retreat?

At Bridges, we invite retreatants to experience the ancient wisdom of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola in a way that will transform their contemporary lives of faith. We’re here to be the connection—the bridge—that helps them see and respond to the movements of God. The Bridges retreat takes place over the course of 8 months each year from September through May.

Here’s what is involved:

  • The opportunity to have a full experience of the Spiritual Exercises over an 8-month period, as envisioned and created by St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). 
  • A commitment to about an hour of prayer each day, following a modern translation of the original text. 
  • Personalized, one-on-one guidance from an experienced, trained prayer companion.
  • Weekly or monthly small community meetings at several locations throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area;
  • An online option for those outside the area or those who need a virtual experience;

Using the wisdom of St. Ignatius and a daily commitment to prayer and scripture, each retreatant is given the opportunity to learn different forms of prayer and discover their own prayer style, while being supported and gently challenged by their prayer companion. Above all, they are drawn into a more intimate relationship with God through scripture and the life, ministry, passion and resurrection of Christ.

More than a Program or a Course

The genius of the Spiritual Exercises is that, although there is a common tradition and text, no two people experience it in exactly the same way. Rather, through the guidance of the prayer companion and the work of the Holy Spirit, each person’s experience will be uniquely theirs. They receive the graces they need depending upon their personal spiritual needs, their openness to the ongoing wisdom inherent in the Exercises, and their awareness of the work of God within them. 

Because of this flexibility, Christians of many different denominations and traditions have found the Bridges experience of the Spiritual Exercises to be life-changing and faith-enriching. 

Due to a limit of the number of prayer companions available, participation is limited.

Forming a Community

As mentioned above, one important component of the Bridges Retreat in Daily Life is gathering together and forming community with others. Below are the meeting times and sites for the retreat that begins in September 2024:

DeSmet Jesuit High School 
233 N. New Ballas Rd, St. Louis, MO 63141
Tuesday evening weekly group meetings, 7 p.m.
Glendale Presbyterian Church
500 N. Sappington Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122
Wednesday morning weekly group meetings, 10 a.m.

All Saints Catholic School
5 McMenamy Rd., St. Peters, MO 63376
Thursday evening weekly group meetings, 7 p.m.
St. Louis University High School 
4970 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, MO, 63110
Saturday morning monthly group meetings on first Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon
St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church 
2715 N Sarah St, St. Louis, MO 63113
Saturday morning monthly group meetings on second Saturdays.

Online Site meets weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. (CT). 

Get More Information 

Download a PDF version of the Bridges brochure: English // Español

Attend an Information Session: Free one-hour information sessions about the Bridges Retreat are offered in the summer throughout the St. Louis area. At the Information Session, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the Bridges Retreat and the application process.

For more information or a conversation, contact executive director Steve Givens at executive.director@bridgesfoundation.org or 314-401-2072.

I’m Interested! What’s Next?

  • The first step is submitting a completed registration form. Registration forms are accepted until late August each year. 
  • After we receive your registration, we will contact you with next steps, which include writing a short spiritual autobiography and meeting with a Bridges representative at the site you have chosen. The application process and consultation are a discernment process for you and a method for us to get to know you—a necessity for prayerfully matching you with your prayer companion.

If you’re interested in participating and praying the 2024-25 Bridges Retreat, take the next step by proceeding to the next page, registering, and completing the “Application” packet.