A Brief History of Cormaria

This special place on the water has been a great source of strength and peace to the people who visit.

Cormaria is a Catholic Retreat House set on 18 waterfront acres in the historic whaling village of Sag Harbor, New York. The house, originally built for California real estate developer Frank Havens, was completed in 1905 and still contains its original “Tiffany Studios of New York” windows. In addition to the Tiffany windows throughout the main floor and also second floor bedrooms, Cormaria boasts lovely woodwork, paneling and original wall coverings of embossed leather can be found throughout the house.

In 1943, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary established Cormaria as a finishing school for young Catholic women. On Thanksgiving weekend in 1949, Cormaria was converted to a Retreat Center. Cormaria continued to evolve and in 1960 an extension was added, providing 28 additional beds. After Vatican II, the Retreat House programs were broadened to include men as well as women. The Retreat House can accommodate up to 70 retreatants.

In addition to the Retreat House, Cormaria’s many gardens provide havens for prayer and rest. At Cormaria, every season brings a new sense of beauty and calm.

Those who come to Cormaria looking for direction and a closer connection to their spiritual lives present a diverse array of issues and challenges. Cormaria is a place where people come to be still, relax in the quite of their hearts, listening to their God calling them by name and saying you are mine. A place where the retreatants simply seek spiritual refreshment and quite contemplation with their God to be renewed in body, mind and soul.

Cormaria offers retreat services throughout the year, including directed and theme-based retreats, guided retreats, on-going spiritual direction, Days of Prayer, celebrations, weekend retreats for individuals in recovery, and retreats for professionals.

The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary serve as the Cormaria Staff, expressing the mission of the community in their ministry of hospitality to all who spend time at Cormaria.