Retreat center offers variety of programs, outdoor trails

Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center/Tracy Simmons - CreedibleWEST HARTFORD — Nestled among a quiet West Hartford neighborhood is a 48-acre Catholic retreat center that offers a variety of programs and workshops and plenty of places to find the stillness of nature.

The Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center is one of the largest in the nation and for 60 years has been providing a place for people to get away from the rush of everyday life and find simplicity.  When you pull into the center, first you’ll see a voluminous building which encompasses a bookstore, offices, chapels and guest rooms. Behind the building, are trails, the stations of the cross and a stone labyrinth that exudes history and symbolism. The  150-year-old cobblestones came from New York City streets and the empty stone circle centered in the labyrinth reminds us to empty ourselves – our minds – and refocus on the Christ.

People stop in all hours of the day to explore the trails and walk the stations, and of course, to walk the labyrinth.

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