About Our Retreat Center

Humble Beginnings

The retreat houe began 90 years ago in a simple Victorian house  purchased as a vacation home for the Redemptorist community.  But from the beginning retreat guests were always welcome.  In September of 1925 the first formal retreat was conducted on the site.  The next year, 240 retreatants came to the retreat house.  By 1927 it was up to 398. Today over 12,000 retreatants come to San Alfonso each year.

Growing Through Change

Additions were added over the years to accommodate the growth,with additional purchases of property in 1932. The original prayer garden was added in 1939, and has been renovated several times since then.  After World War II the retreat movement in the United States grew greatly and, as a result, beginning the 1950's the Victorian buildings were gone and over the ensuing years the structures seen in the picture below became today's retreat center.  Most recently, we have had a major reconstruction of our shoreline and prayer garden, as a result of destruction from Superstorm Sandy. 


Looking to the Future

Our recent shore and garden reconstruction is being followed now by room upgrades and improvements to our meeting and reflection areas.  Retreat houses are part of a long-standing tradition and charism of the Redemptorists in spreading the Gospel and ministering to the needs of the faithful. In his time, St. Alphonsus insisted that the houses of the Redemptorists should always include rooms that would be available to lay people who wanted to make the "spiritual exercises" under the guidance of one of the members of the community. In the U.S. and throughout the world, Redemptorists also feed the spiritual hunger of pilgrims who visit their shrines and holy places.  We intend to continue that mission into the forseeable future.



San Alfonso Retreat House offers retreats in the Roman Catholic tradition under the guidance of the Redemptorists Fathers and Brothers.  It is an iconic location at the Jersey Shore offering a spiritual place to "come away for awhile" and enjoy time with the Holy Spirit.

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