Starting a Retreat Center?

My name is Matt. Recently my mom and I were discussing how awesome it would be if we started a retreat center (tentative name: The John Paul 2 Retreat Center). Few weeks goes by…my co-catechist, Julie, comes up with the same idea (God pushing me to do it I wonder?). It would be open to all denominations of Christian faith, for youth, sisters, seminarians, priests, etc.

The question: WHERE TO BEGIN.
Anyone know of any ideas on how to do this? We really are taking a serious look into it, and any advice would be appreciated :slight_smile:

PS: I put this under vocations because I’m 20, and I’m really wondering if this is a big chapter of my life that God has asked of me.

A few questions:

Where are you located?

Have you and your co-founders put everything down on paper?

What retreat facilities exist in your area?

Has there been any discussion of the subject with your local bishop? (Do your homework before talking to him, though).

The intention is surely noble, but one has to go into it with eyes wide open. If there is a center near you, your project will be seen as competition. If not, the chamber of commerce itself would see it as a blessing, especially if it’s as ecumenical as you’re wanting it to be, and you promise quality customer care.

As strange as it sounds, speaking with the economic development people in your area wouldn’t be a bad idea. But, have everything down on paper before talking this over with your bishop. Also, be specific with what you want from your local ordinary. His concerns would deal with what’s going to be taught there and who’s going to be teaching it. If you’re making the center ecumenical, will non-Catholic ministers be brought in?

This is probably enough to work with right now, but, like I said, get everything written down, and talk to the economic development people before going to your local bishop.


Matt, retreat centers are certainly needed yet many are closing. You might do some research on those to find out why they needed to close.

How will you finance such a center and what will be your ongoing funding? The fees that are being charged now are high and too high for many people including religious women and men to afford. I have other questions but I am due at community prayers in 5 minutes!
Sister Judith Ann,
Monastery of St. Clare
Great Falls, Montana

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