In 1911, Rev. Terence Shealy purchased the Meyer estate on Staten Island. With magnificent views of the New York Harbor, the estate was a dream come true for Father Shealy. He was at the forefront of the lay retreat movement in the United States, and the Meyer estate was the perfect refuge for men to escape from the stress of everyday life. Judges and bricklayers came together to meditate and enjoy the beauty of this hilltop in rural Staten Island. The lay retreat movement grew and spread across the United States, with thousands coming to Mount Manresa. The house also had a strong relationship with Fordham University. The first retreat took place at Rose Hill campus, and three former Fordham presidents became directors of Mount Manresa after they left their posts in academia. Today Mount Manresa plays host to a multitude of retreats throughout the year, bringing more than 15,000 guests to the campus annually.