Saint Mary By-the-Sea Retreat House to Close Permanently

By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor

Photo: St. Mary By-the-Sea Retreat House

CAPE MAY POINT, N.J. — Saint Mary By-the-Sea Retreat House, which is located in Cape May Point, will close permanently, according to an announcement made by the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Philadelphia.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph in Philadelphia own the building, and they will hold a closing ceremony for it at some point later this year. They expressed their desire to return the land where the property sits to nature rather than use it for further development.

“Thousands have been a part of this holy history. The ministry at Saint Mary’s has been blessed by the generosity and love of so many staff, volunteers, and retreatants,” the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Philadelphia said in a statement. “We are grateful for all those who have encountered God and each other in this sacred space.”

The retreat house had previously canceled its programs in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It had been operated by the Sisters of Saint Joseph since 1909 prior to its closing, which was announced on Friday, and it was located just one block away from the iconic Cape May lighthouse.

Before its closing, the retreat house offered a number of different religious programs — including one-on-one and guided retreat visits.

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