A listing and review of Oregon retreat sites (list and reviews by Body Theology, www.itmonline.org)
OREGON RETREAT CENTERS
Retreat centers can be found around the world; the following is a representative sample of retreat opportunities for the Archdiocese of Portland (Oregon). There are several Catholic retreat centers that offer retreat opportunities, most of them in or near the Portland metropolitan area and in Mount Angel. Following are brief reviews of each site, by region: Portland Area; Mt. Angel; Southern Oregon. Several other retreat centers are also available for use and are listed after the Catholic centers.
Our Lady of Peace Retreat House
Our Lady of Peace Retreat House is staffed by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows. It offers many amenities for retreats, including wooded grounds for walking, overnight residences, a large meeting hall (for up to 60 participants), a small meeting room (for groups up to 10 persons), a chapel (seats 100), book and gift shop, library, and meal service. The Retreat House is suitable for personal and group retreats, offers several retreat opportunities for one to join into (including several 3-day women’s retreats and men’s retreats throughout the year), and encourages both short and long stays. Personal retreats include a private room for a day retreat ($40) or an overnight retreat ($60); group gatherings for a day are $175 for facilities with meals are purchased separately, and for an overnight event the cost is $60/person including meals and the use of facilities. Weekend retreats cost $120/person ($220/couple for couples’ retreats). There are reduced costs for those who attend weekend retreats but do not spend the night (e.g., for local participants who opt to return home). Meals that may not be included in the package are purchased individually ($4 breakfast; $6 lunch, $10 dinner).
Site Address: 8840 NE Skidmore St., Portland, OR 97220
Mailing Address: PO Box 20008, Portland, OR 97294
The Grotto, a national Sanctuary and Shrine, is operated by the Servite Order (Servants of Mary). It has over 60 acres, including an extensive walk at the upper level, accessed only by elevator, featuring numerous unique religious art works, such as representations of the mysteries of the rosary; images of the life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; a collection of reflections on the joys and sorrows of Joseph; and an obelisk with depictions of the sorrows of Mary; there is also a large quiet observation room overlooking the plains below and mountains in the distance. The “grotto” itself is a large cave with a statue of the Pieta. On the main grounds, there is walk with outdoor stations of the cross, and numerous statues of Mary and other saints, and a large gift shop. The Chapel has Mass daily (May–September, either in the building or outdoors in front of the grotto, weather permitting), and Sunday Mass throughout the year. There are three conference rooms, available for groups of 5 to 225, with meal catering available.
The Grotto does not have overnight accommodations, though there are many hotels nearby. Individuals, families, or groups, together with a retreat master from the Grotto may design one or more days as a retreat to include spiritual direction, faith sharing, completive prayer, and quite time. Day retreats associated with the key events of the liturgical season are offered, and there are several special Mass celebrations for feast and memorial days.
The Griffin Center was completely remodeled in 2003 to act as a retreat house and an education and conference center. It is the home to the Ministry Formation Office of the Archdiocese of Portland which helps to educate lay ministers in our parishes and schools. The large campus offers a nice quiet atmosphere for any event such as a retreat or meeting. The center includes 21 private rooms, each with its own bathroom and shower. Additionally, there are six double rooms bringing the total number of beds to 27. The facility has a spacious conference room for large groups (classroom-style seating for 80) as well as three classrooms (that each accommodates 20–40) as break-out rooms or for multiple meetings. There is also the Fireside Room with comfortable couches and dining room table suitable for a casual meeting or relaxed class. The Chapel seats 40 and supplies needed for conducting Mass are available for use. There is a commercial kitchen, dining room, and patio. Day use costs $10 per person up to a maximum cost of $150, with a $45 cleaning fee; night residence is $35/person ($25/person for double occupancy), and there is a small fee for kitchen use. Discount rates apply for Tuesday and Wednesday facilities use.
Franciscan Spiritual Center
The Franciscan Spiritual Center is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. The Center, opened in 2002, has a labyrinth room and meditation room available all day for drop-in clients, a gift shop, rooms for spiritual direction, plus a conference room. The Center offers an array of flexible, ecumenical programs, workshops, retreats, and services (including massage therapy) to support the spiritual journey. The Center seeks to provide environments, experiences and resources for individuals and groups to use both stillness and activity on the path of spiritual growth, discovery, and healing. Among its offerings are spiritual direction for individuals as well as supervision for new spiritual directors and peer supervision for those who want a support community. Centering Prayer is an important focus in workshops, retreats, and practice sessions held throughout the year, as well as Hispanic ministry, Celtic spirituality, and Franciscan spirituality. The Center offers a variety of one-day retreats such as Caregivers Retreat Day, Bodywork Retreats, Journeying with Biblical Women of Faith, and Nonviolence Retreats, and there are multi-session classes as well. Events have a cost of $10.00 to $50.00; see the six month calendar on the Center’s website.
Loyola Jesuit Center
Site Address: 3220 S.E. 43rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97206
Mailing Address: PO Box 86010, Portland, OR 97206
The Loyola Jesuit Center is a place of beauty and spiritual peace, supporting the work of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, offering a home for the local Portland Jesuit Community, and providing hospitality to Jesuits, their apostolic co-laborers, and their guests. Guest and conference facilities are available Monday through Friday for day use (8:30 A.M. –5:00 P.M.) by groups of the Roman Catholic Church as well as external groups whose operations are in concert with its missions. Retreat groups provide their own program, director(s), and sacramental ministers. The 6-acre site has a chapel with a glass wall looking into greenery and an outdoor fountain populated by colorful fish; a conference room that comfortably seats 35 people; a small meeting room for up to 8 people, and a guest house with living room (which can serve as an informal meeting room for up to 10 persons) and full kitchen; there is also a dining hall where lunch can be arranged Monday-Thursday (for Friday, external catering might be relied upon). About half the campus is a grove of towering cedars, which is encircled by a walking path lined with Stations of the Cross. The 14-acre Creston Park is a few steps from the Jesuit site. Cost for meeting spaces is calculated by the half day ($70 for the conference room $30 for small meeting rooms); the center provides groups optional coffee/beverage service and lunch (about $9 for lunch).
Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey
Site address: 9200 NE Abbey Road, Carlton, Oregon, 97111
Mail address: PO Box 97, Lafayette, Oregon, 97127-0097
Phone: 503-852-0107 (Monday–Friday, 9:00 to noon)
The abbey is located about 40 miles southwest of Portland (about a one hour drive), between Newberg and McMinnville, and operates a small non-denominational retreat facility for both men and women. Each of four retreat cottages houses two retreatants—one upstairs and one downstairs—and a shared bath is located at a mid-level between floors. The cottages are set in a village arrangement near the monastery church (a new building completed in 2007), in a lovely setting amid ponds and grassy areas; nearby paths lead through a wooded hillside of about 800 acres. Guests eat the same vegetarian meals that are served to the monks.
Retreats are undirected; however monks are available for a spiritual direction session upon request. Small rooms are available for day use only; meals are included in this arrangement (suggested donation of $20 per day); overnight, 2-night, and 7-night retreats may be booked (suggested donation of $50 per day). A 30-day monastic life retreat is offered to men who are contemplating this vocation for their religious life.
Shalom Prayer Center
840 S. Main St., Mt. Angel, OR 97362
Email (Church and non-profit organizations group retreat reservations): firstname.lastname@example.org
Shalom Prayer Center is located on the campus of Queen of Angels Monastery, the home of the Benedictine Sisters. This retreat center offers a number of opportunities: personal retreats ($60 per day); group retreats (cost varies; a day-long retreat is normally $55); individual spiritual direction given by one of the sisters on staff ($55 for 50 minutes); spiritual direction training and supervision (contact Sister Joan Pokorny). Shalom Prayer Center has meeting rooms and overnight accommodations for church and non-profit groups of varying sizes. The largest space, Agatha Hess Hall, seats up to 200 for meetings and 120 for sit-down dinners, in a comfortable room of original wood and tall windows. Depending on the group’s size, meals are provided or a caterer is used (contact Sister Gertrude Feick). Also available is a book and gift shop. Retreatants are welcome to come to the Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist with the monastic community right next door. In 2008, Shalom Prayer Center celebrates its 35th anniversary.
Mount Angel Abbey Retreat House
This retreat house is located on the campus of the Mt. Angel Seminary. The abbey specializes in offering personal retreats, ranging from a full day retreat to 2-3 days (special arrangement may be made for longer duration). Spiritual direction is available upon request. Meals are served buffet style with other guests. The cost is $60 per day including three meals, lodging, and use of facilities. Retreatants can participate in the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours prayers that the monks practice at the chapel. The abbey also offers group retreats for Oblates of St. Benedict, group vocation discernment retreats, and specialty retreats (for women; for men; for married couples, etc.). These group retreats are mostly organized as 3-day weekend retreats (7:00 P.M. Friday to 1:00 P.M. Sunday) and have a cost of $130 (single occupancy; $105 for double occupancy).
Father Bernard Youth Center
Site Location: 980 South Main Street, Mt. Angel, Oregon 97362
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 790, Mt. Angel, Oregon 97362
The Fr. Bernard Youth Center was opened recently (2006). The mission of the Fr. Bernard Youth Center is “to provide a special place for prayer and personal growth, focused on assisting youth and their mentors in their spiritual development.” The new center offers numerous youth events, and makes its facilities available for group retreats. Its building has nearly 15,000 square feet of working space, including meeting rooms and residences, and houses the beautiful St. Anthony’s Chapel. The fireside room, chapel, and “great room” all have capacity for 75 persons or more, and there are smaller “break-out” rooms. The cost of renting the entire facility is $61–$92 dollars per person for a weekend retreat depending on if food is provided or not. Weekday retreats are $482 for a full day.
St. Benedict Lodge (Dominican Retreat and Conference Center)
This center is located about 50 miles east of Eugene. It sponsors several retreat events, such as Holy Week Retreat, men’s retreat, and women’s retreat, and is available for both group and personal retreats. It has 70 acres of wooded grounds, bounded on one side by the McKenzie River and on the other by the national forest, at 1,400 feet altitude. Groups pay from $20 to $24 per person per night with minimum numbers in the range of 35–45, depending on the season. The Retreat Center is used by only one group at a time and can accommodate up to 82 persons (44 private rooms, others are multiple occupancy; linens, blankets, and towels are not provided). Group retreats are generally booked a year in advance. Meals are not provided, but there is access to the fully equipped kitchen and dining room to prepare meals. For private retreats, there is a guest cabin with two self contained rooms (suggested minimum donation is $40 per night, or $60 per night with double occupancy). Daily Mass is offered if a priest is on site; confession, counseling, and spiritual direction are available upon request.
St. Rita Retreat Center
Site Location: exit 40 from I-5, right on Blackwell Road (1.5 miles), follow signs to St. Rita’s.
Mail Address: PO Box 310, Gold Hill, OR 97525
Fax: none at this time
Website: none at this time
Established in 1983, this retreat center for personal and group retreats (primarily weekend retreats) is located about one half hour from Ashland or from Medford, Oregon. It is a peaceful hillside area surrounded by tall pines and colorful gardens; the grounds include walking trails, Stations of the Cross, and a labyrinth. The main building provides a meeting space that also serves as a dining hall. There is an adoration chapel and a library. On Saturday, three meals are prepared with mostly vegetarian dishes; Sunday brunch is also provided. The center has capacity for groups of up to 32 persons (16 rooms with two beds each and private bathroom and shower; bed linens are provided; guests bring towels and personal toiletries). Established through the Archdiocese of Portland to serve southern Oregon, the retreat center hosts a wide variety of religious retreats, but is especially utilized by the Dove Renewal Center, which is a Catholic Charismatic organization with offices in Rogue River, near this retreat site (phone for schedule of retreats: 541-582-2968).