What to Expect

An Introduction to the Cloisters

Watch this video to hear Joe Ricketts describe how you can make a retreat at The Cloisters on the Platte and what you can expect from the experience.


Father Matzko (left) and Father Schneider (right) are the priests-in-residence at the Cloisters on the Platte. They are onsite to manage the weekend retreats. Father Matzko frequently serves as a confessor. Father Schneider frequently serves as a spiritual director and a few times a year as the retreat director. They are available as needed during the weekend retreat to see that everyone has a wonderful faith-filled weekend that inspires.

Arrival & Orientation

You have arrived. At the check-in, we provide additional directions to get you oriented. After checking in, you are assigned a private room with a bathroom and shower. These initial moments are a time to settle in and make yourself at home. You will have a chance to meet Cloisters on the Platte staff, ask questions, get acquainted with the grounds, and visit with others attending the retreat.

All retreatants receive a special “Welcome Packet” containing a schedule of events, map, and other information specific to your retreat . At 6 p.m. Thursday evening, you and other retreatants staying at your lodge will have a short 10 – 15 minute meeting with your Lodge Captain where they will share more details about the weekend.

Continue reading to learn more about the routines and options for each day.

The Experience

From Thursday through Sunday, retreatants are given opportunities to worship, receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, pray, reflect, and receive spiritual direction. The days provide a regular routine, while also allowing for flexibility depending on the retreatants’ individual needs.


On Thursday, after check in, there’s a mandatory meeting with your Lodge Captain at 6 p.m. followed by dinner. Opportunities for fellowship are available before and during Thursday evening dinner for those who choose. All meals are served in our dining hall. We provide a vegetarian option (and can accommodate some allergy requests) at mealtimes with advanced notice. If you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, we recommend that you bring your own food. There are microwaves and refrigerators available for use in the lodges.

There are announcements and a welcoming after dinner, in which time silence commences. Silence is key to an Ignatian retreat. In the Spiritual Exercises, you journey with the Lord in a renewal of mind, body, and spirit.

Thursday closes with a conference in the chapel led by the Retreat Director.

& Saturday

Each of your two full days at the Cloisters follow the same schedule. Your day begins with morning prayer in the Chapel at 7:15 am, followed by breakfast in the Dining Room.

Throughout the rest of the day, you have the opportunity to participate in various spiritual exercises and meetings with the Retreat Director and Spiritual Director. Twice in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening, the Retreat Director leads conferences in the Chapel. Retreatants enjoy free time when they can explore the library, enjoy the tranquil ambiance of the solarium, walk the Stations of the Cross, visit the other lodge buildings, or discover the beautiful nature trails throughout the extensive the grounds.

Confessions are available in the Chapel at various times throughout the day, and personal spiritual direction is available at assigned times in the morning and afternoon. There is a midday Angelus, afternoon Rosary, evening Liturgy, and evening Benediction in the Chapel.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the dining room.


Your final day at the Cloisters closely resembles Friday and Saturday, until 11:00am. At that time, retreatants gather in the chapel for mass, immediately followed by evaluations and an opportunity to make a goodwill donation to support The Cloisters on the Platte. Lunch will follow at 12:30 pm in the dining room.  Shuttles will pick guests up at their Lodges between 1:00 and 2:00pm and return them to the Gatehouse, drawing the retreat to a close.

The Cloisters on the Platte retreats are for those who want to learn and pray the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. We extend the invitation to attend these retreats to people of all faiths who have an interest. To learn the Ignatian prayer, those attending must participate in the retreat conferences. Failure to attend the retreat conferences by anyone attending the retreats indicates that the Ignatian retreat is not a good fit for their spiritual needs. If this should happen, the Cloisters staff has the right to remove these retreat participants, who fail to attend retreat conferences, from future retreats at the Cloisters.

*Exceptions for missing conferences only for cases of severe illness or another emergency.

Try to keep your soul always in peace and quiet, always ready for whatever our Lord may wish to work in you.
St. Ignatius

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