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
3600 SW 170th Ave., Beaverton, OR 97006-5099
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.
11957 SE Fuller Road, Milwaukie, Oregon 97222
Phone: (503) 652-7476
Fax: (503) 652-8937
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
6902 SE Lake Road, Suite 300, Milwaukie, OR 97267
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
St. Benedict, Oregon 97373
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)
56630 North Bank Rd., McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413-9614
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).
OTHER RETREAT CENTERS
The following retreat centers are not operated by Catholic organizations, but are suitable for offering Catholic and Christian retreats. They have meeting areas for groups, overnight lodging, grounds for nature walks (either owned by the site, or available in adjacent/nearby areas, or both), and serve meals or have kitchen facilities. Most of these retreat centers are available for multiple uses: in addition to spiritual or religious retreats, they might be used for business meetings, for family reunions, and vacationing groups. Although the setting is suitable for all these varied uses, the retreat is, of course, organized differently than vacations and holidays away from home. As described by Margaret Silf, in her book Going on Retreat: A Beginner’s Guide to the Christian Retreat Experience (2002, Loyola Press):
A retreat provides a prayerful environment where many people congregate to focus on some aspects of their journey with, and growth in, God. It is this focus that makes the distinction between a “spiritual holiday” and a genuine retreat. On vacation, the focus is quite legitimately on the vacationer. On a retreat, the focus is on God, as retreatants seek to discern more deeply where God is active in their lives.
For ease of locating potential sites for a group retreat, these are organized into three regions: Portland Area (sites located north of Salem); Central and Southern Oregon (located south of Salem); and the Coastal Area (ranging from north to south coast, within 10 miles of the ocean).
Menucha Retreat and Conference Center
Site address: 38711 Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett, OR
Mail address: P.O. Box 8, Corbett, OR 97019-0008
Phone: 503-695-2243 (9:00AM - 5:00PM, weekdays)
Menucha is a sacred sanctuary held in stewardship as an ecumenical, community-based mission of First Presbyterian Church of Portland, Oregon. Its 100 acre property is located 22 miles east of Portland, in the Columbia Gorge, seven hundred feet above the Columbia River. It has eleven buildings as residence halls (some with meeting areas) that can provide lodging for up to 160 guests, with the primary building being the historic Wright Hall that includes the kitchen and the dining areas used by all groups for whom the center prepares food. Wright Hall also has a gift shop and conference facilities for the group using Wright Hall, a large meeting room comfortable for 90 persons on the main floor (there is also balcony seating); two smaller meeting rooms have space for about 15 persons each. This Hall will accommodate about 50 overnight guests, relying mainly on bunk beds (there are two semi-private suites). Costs will depend on selection of halls, lodging options, and meals. The Center can be rented for a retreat and it also offers retreats that can be joined in by the public; as an example, a three day, two night woman’s spirituality retreat has a cost of $159 to $259 that includes meals, accommodations, and the retreat events.
Alton L. Collins Retreat Center
32867 S.E. Highway 211, Eagle Creek, Oregon 97022
Alton L. Collins Retreat Center, established by the Idaho-Oregon Conference of the United Methodist Church, is a forest reserve located on 68 acres in a second growth forest with trails through the woods and along the streams Deep Creek that meander around the grounds in the Clackamas River water shed. There are also three miles of hiking trails to enjoy on the property. The facility, about a one hour drive from Portland, provides accommodations in single and double occupancy for groups up to 46 people and up to 66 in semi-dorm style. Each of the 23 motel-style rooms has its own bathroom (linens and towels provided). Meetings spaces can serve groups of 10–130 people with flexible seating and audio-visual offerings. Meals are served family or buffet style; in the summer, an onsite organic garden helps supply fresh vegetables. Use rates vary and complete packages are available for easy meeting planning. The center also offers a variety of retreats through out the year.
Christian Renewal Center
22444 North Fork Rd. SE Silverton, OR 97381
Fax/voice mail: 503-873-8300
This retreat site is on 40 acres of wooded land, located adjacent to Silver Falls State Park, about a one and a half hour drive from Portland. Individual retreats and groups up to 135 people are handled at this economical Christian conference center (guests provide their own towels and bedding), available for reservations from September through July. Costs are based on which buildings are reserved and the number of meals and number of nights. The minimum weekend reservation is for 3 meals and 1 night. The center offers use of several buildings for overnight stays: Main Lodge (25–29 persons), Heritage Lodge (14–19 persons), Good Shepherd Lodge (22–30 persons), as well as less expensive Cabins and the Hilltop Lodge (12–18 persons). Meals cost from $6 to $10 per person. Children are welcome at the facility (7–12 years old are half price). A basic three meal one night stay has a cost of about $60. There is a prayer chapel and meeting rooms.
The Cedars Retreat Center
17036 South Eaden Road, Oregon City, Oregon 97045
Located just 25 miles (about 45 minutes drive) from downtown Portland, this secluded retreat center nestled in old-growth forest on the banks of the Clackamas River, is well-suited to small group retreats. The center hosts one group at a time, with a 14 person minimum and 30 person maximum; there is lodging for 30 overnight. The 80 acres of forest and fields serve as a bird sanctuary and have many hiking trails. The lodge, remodeled in 1995, has two separate meeting rooms with fireplaces, skylights, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Half of the 12 guest rooms have twin beds, half have a single and bunks; all rooms contain a vanity/sink. Meals feature fresh ingredients and northwest cuisine (e.g., salmon, berry pies) buffet or banquet style. Day use is $30/person including continental breakfast and lunch; dinners are $17; overnight lodging is $45 per person, and various package plans are available (example: two nights plus five meals for $120 per person).
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN OREGON
Rock Springs Resort and Conference Center
64201 Tyler Road, Bend, OR 97701
Phone: 1-800-225-3833 or 541-382-1957
Billed also as a “Dude Ranch,” this retreat center for groups is located a few minutes from Bend, has a lovely setting among mountains and valleys, with pond and forest views. It has well designed meeting facilities (including two large and two small meeting rooms) and only one group uses the entire ranch at one time. The facility has overnight accommodation in cabins for up to 26 single occupancy or 50 double occupancy, with daily maid service; each cabin has private entrance, bathroom, and sundeck. The center offers three meals per day, continuous coffee service, and break snacks. Comprehensive facility use package pricing is offered based on number of persons and time of year.
River’s Edge Manor
Site address: 39975 McDowell Creek, Lebanon, OR 97355
The Rivers Edge Manor Retreat site is east of I-5 between Salem and Eugene, located on the South Santiam River, with 600 feet of river frontage on the property. The 7 acre park-like setting has a 3-level manor home and a guest house across the way; there is a lap pool and fire pit overlooking the river. The main meeting area has a 24-foot vaulted ceiling. There are many supplemental areas for small group breakouts, and the numerous couches, chairs, and rugs provide ample seating. The river view is expansive, and the meeting area, dining room and kitchen (meal service is not provided) all take full advantage of it. The facility is available for weekend, week long or single day retreats and seminars and is ideal for small groups of 10-22 persons. With the church group discount, total cost of the manor home and guest house for exclusive use of the property is about $300/night for the first two nights, and $200/night for additional nights. For day use only, the costs are on an hourly basis (e.g., $32/hour for the manor only).
Buckhorn Springs Lodge
2200 Buckhorn Springs Road, Ashland, OR 97520
Buckhorn Springs Lodge is located within the Cascade/Siskiyou National Monument, 20 miles from Ashland. It is in a peaceful, rustic setting of 280 acres nestled in a small valley with woods, creek, and open meadow. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a District due to the many historic buildings. The lodge is suitable for personal and group retreats. The restored lodge (originally built in 1892) has 8 guest rooms with private bathrooms, and a large common area; there is also a four bedroom spacious house (which is suitable for small group retreats in itself; the lodge is for groups of 15 or more), and three 2-bedroom cabins with kitchens, and 3 single bedroom cabins. Meals are served for groups; the staff specializes in vegetarian cuisine and there are fish and chicken options. The common area is a meeting/dining space that comfortably seats 30 people and can be expanded into the adjacent meeting area to seat 60 people. A new “sacred gathering space” has been constructed, which will seat 70. Group use cost is $79 per person per day for double occupancy lodging and three meals. For small groups, the house and/or cabins can be rented.
Molalla Retreat Camp and Conference Center
Site address: located 7 miles from Molalla; see website for directions
Mailing address: PO Box 943, Molalla, OR 97038
This Christian retreat center, about an hour from Portland, offers its facilities year round. The camp borders the Molalla River providing a peaceful setting and recreational opportunities. The site can accommodate small or large groups; it offers simple meals or the kitchen facilities can be used by a group to prepare meals. The primary facility is a lodge that sleeps 55 people (in group rooms including some bunk beds; bath and shower facilities are on the lower level) and has meeting and dining space for 100. For small groups (or to extend the capacity of the Lodge), there are three A-Frame cabins; one has a meeting area downstairs and sleeps up to 8 upstairs; another sleeps up to 14, and one is suitable for housing a guest speaker or single family. The facilities may be rented for day use or overnight; per night rates are $18 to $25 per person; day use depends on facilities chosen (the Lodge rents for $150 for the first four hours and $25/hour after that).
Langlois Mountain Retreat
Site location: about 5 miles from Port Orford (between Bandon and Gold Beach)
Post address: Mike and Jaime Sterling, P.O. Box 81, Langlois, OR 97450
Phone: 541-347-3303 or 541-348-2288
Just inland from the Pacific Ocean, at 1200 feet altitude, is this rustic retreat center with 80 acres. It is suited to small group retreats. The “Rogue Hall” includes meeting room, a full kitchen, and bath house with showers, restrooms and a view deck. The overnight lodging is in dorm style rooms with futon beds; there is also a private cabin with its own bathroom and kitchenette. The 80 acre property has garden-lined pathways and there are broad vistas from rooms and decks as well as from outdoor seats and benches on groomed lawns, as well as ocean views from spots along the trails. The entire facility, which sleeps 14 (single occupancy) to 20 (double occupancy) can be rented for $500 per night (with discounts for multiple night stays).
Harbor Villa Retreat Center
Site address: located 14 miles north of Tillamook, about one mile from Rockaway Beach
Mailing address: P.O. Box 6 Rockaway Beach, OR 97136
Phone: (503) 355-2284
FAX (503) 355-8341
Harbor Villa Retreat Center is an oceanfront facility for retreat groups of 10-40 people. Each of its three large beach homes come equipped with full kitchens and comfortable living/dining areas where the group can meet; two smaller units may be reserved in combination with the larger homes when additional lodging is needed. The beach is the area for walking and leisure activities. The main facility (“Lighthouse”) has 6 bedrooms, 18 beds, and four restrooms; the meeting area has a capacity of about 25 persons, and rents for $280 per night plus $5 per person per night. Guests bring their own bed linens or sleeping bags (pillows and pillow cases are provided, however), plus towels and toiletries. For large retreats, and especially for youth retreats, the Twin Rocks Friends Camp (which operates Harbor Villa) has extensive facilities and can handle groups up to 330 persons (www.twinrocks.org).
ASSISTANCE IN LOCATING ADDITIONAL SITES
A website dedicated to listing retreat sites is: www.findthedivine.com. Among its services, it lists retreat centers by state, and has an extensive listing in Oregon and Washington. At the time of this writing, 40 sites are listed in Oregon, including the ones listed here and several that are small camps and converted homes and farms as well as some very large centers that might be especially suited to youth retreats.
Would you like to have your Oregon (or south Washington) retreat site considered for addition to our list? Or, do you have corrections or updates to submit for your current listing?
Please send details to: