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Retreats now offered at St. Katharine Drexel Residence

CHARLESTON — Individuals and small groups looking for spiritual enrichment can now find it at the St. Katharine Drexel Volunteer Residence.

The house, located at 34 Wentworth St., has been adapted to allow for retreats of individuals and small groups. It also is home to the Diocese of Charleston Volunteers program for people who wish to spend a summer, or six months to a year in various ministries.

Associate volunteers have now been included to assist with the needs of the retreat program.

Bishop Robert J. Baker blessed and dedicated the rooms in a special Mass and ceremony March 3, the feast day of St. Katharine Drexel.

Msgr. Anthony A. LaFemina is the director of the volunteers. He is a former official of the Roman Curia and served in the Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Janet Varner, the associate volunteer director, will coordinate retreats.

She said people can take private, silent, undirected retreats from Friday evening through Sunday morning. Groups that wish to use the facility must make arrangements to bring their own facilitator.

The first retreat will be for men. It is set for April 13-15. A women’s weekend will take place April 20-22. The Drexel residence has 10 rooms for women and 12 for men.

While on retreat, people will have access to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The house is a former convent and the rooms have been refurbished thanks to donations. Each was dedicated to a saint and retreatants can request a particular saint’s room. The house also has a library with books and videos.

The suggested offering for a retreat is $125 for the weekend.

Varner said the retreat program is still evolving.

“We’ve been working on this for a year now,” she said. “Our goal is to have two retreat weekends a month.”

Though the retreats are undirected, participants may make appointments in advance with Msgr. LaFemina for spiritual direction and confession.

For more information call (843) 723-5258 or visit

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