SDSLC Testimonial Image

San Damiano Spiritual Life Center Testimonials

Father, thank you from the bottom of my heart and with great sincerity for sharing your gift of catechetical grace. You are a superb teacher and guide - don't ever change a thing!

This was my first retreat. It helped immensely in the self-examination that I sought and prepared me for the next steps to grow in faith. I suggest developing another retreat that picks up where this one ended - a “201-level” session building on this “101-level” course.  May God continue to bless you and your work in His vineyard!

 -A sister in the Diocese of Arlington.


First, the silent retreat I attended with Fr. James Hudgins on the spirituality of St. Catherine of Siena was outstanding and inspiring. Fr. Hudgins is an amazing, engaging, and thought-provoking retreat master. He led an excellent retreat that brought St. Catherine to life for us. Second, the San Damiano Spiritual Life Center is a lovely, and extremely comfortable retreat center. I loved my room. It was so cozy. And my bed was sublime. I was tempted to spend a lot of time in my room, except that the surrounding building and grounds are so beautiful, I had to enjoy the larger retreat spaces as well. I especially enjoyed the walking paths and the rosary walk. I'd also like to commend the center for its tasty and healthy food. I really appreciated all the little extras that were provided to accommodate a diversity of tastes and diets. My retreat was truly a rejuvenative experience. Thank you to all the staff of San Damiano for giving me such a perfect retreat experience. 

 - A Sister from Charlottesville


I have never done a retreat before so I didn't know what to expect.  I was a little hesitant and apprehensive when we started.  But I'm really glad I came.  I was able to slow down .... I realize that I have a long way to go on my spiritual journey , but I have taken the first steps.  I learned a lot, prayed more than ever before, and got my head into the Bible to an extent I never thought I would.  I strongly recommend that others take this journey.  This retreat offered me Hope.

 -A Brother from Fredericksburg.


This was my first retreat in almost 15 years.  Less than two days ago I came here tired, anxious, and completely strung out by our modern and noisy world.  I fell the best I have in years-renewed-and I think that is a comment on how far I had drifted from God, but also how incredibly helpful this retreat has been in re-centering a skewed life. 

 -A Brother from Springfield.

"My daughters and I have used the San Damiano Retreat Center for our private retreats for many years. It has been the perfect place to prepare for the new liturgical year, or to wrap up our homeschool year, with spacious grounds for walks, little corners for quiet time, and a chapel that's always open for short visits during our stay. We've especially enjoyed using the library and cozy sitting rooms for our talks, and the staff has always been helpful and welcoming. We look forward to returning every year."

 -Diane Auclair 


"San Damiano Retreat Center is one of my favorite places. Settled in the beautiful country near Winchester, VA, it is not really that far from any place in and near the Beltway. However, when you arrive, you feel as though you have stepped away from your busy routine and work to appreciate the quiet of seeing mountains in the distance, birds singing in the trees, flowers abounding, several ponds where fish can be seen rising to the surface, and hiking trails so that you can walk and enjoy the gift of God's beautiful nature. There is an outdoor Rosary Garden as well as a walk along the Stations of the Cross that ends in the resurrected Jesus. So, it is a true physical retreat from daily responsibilities.

 Yet, those are just the externals. San Damiano offers one a quiet space not only in the lovely guest rooms that totally surround a courtyard garden where you can sit, relax and be still but also especially in the lovely chapel where you can spend time with the Lord and where the light, reflected through the colorful stained-glass windows, gently creates a warm glow that sets an inviting atmosphere to draw you into the peace and joy of quiet prayer, reflection and meditation in the presence of the Lord.

 San Damiano draws me back regularly because of its natural beauty and location which enable me to renew my relationship with the Lord with some extra time for quiet, rest, and prayer whether in the chapel, the inner courtyard, or walking the trails and seeing so much of God's beautiful world. The people who serve any guest are always so warm and welcoming and the more you come, the more you look forward to returning again and again. For me, it is an oasis where you can be refreshed and re-energized but especially where you can be renewed in your friendship and relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Sister Patricia H. Earl, IHM, Ph.D.