In a secluded and peaceful corner of Mississippi sits St. Mary of the Pines Retreat Center. Catering to the spiritual needs of the rural area, the SSND retreat center is surrounded by woods and provides ample space for walking, an outdoor swimming pool, a cosmic walk, a meditation well, a labyrinth, outdoor Stations of the Cross and a small lake. While the retreat center offers unique, serene and peaceful opportunities for its visitors regardless of religious background, many return because of the sisters’ welcoming and inclusive attitude toward all who come.

The retreat center at St. Mary of the Pines provides peace and solitude for visitors.

The area owes its religious history to the Redemptorist priests and brothers who settled in Chatawa in the mid-1800s. In 1873, the Redemptorists erected a church and a three-story brick monastery for priests, brothers and novices. Later, this building became the sisters’ convent. Currently, the three-story brick monastery is used as a residence for those on retreat.

In 1874, the School Sisters of Notre Dame came from Milwaukee to open a girls’ day and boarding school. By 1879, the Redemptorist community left the Chatawa area, and sold the sisters three buildings, 300 acres of land, farm implements, cattle and fodder for $9000. After the purchase of the land, the School Sisters of Notre Dame set about building a school, dormitory, dining room and conservatory for their students. After 100 years in existence, the school closed, and the building became a retirement home for sisters. In response to the need for spiritual activities in rural Mississippi, sisters opened a retreat in 1989.

The retreat center at St. Mary of the Pines provides peace and solitude for visitors.Today, visitors of the retreat center have many options available to them, including directed retreats, spiritual direction and private retreats. Sisters Sue Von Bank, Dorez Mehrtens and Joan Schaefer serve as staff, welcoming those who visit. The sisters welcome all faiths, with a variety of organizations booking retreats year after year. The nearby SSND retirement center provides those in retreat with opportunities for liturgical services and prayer opportunities.

For more information regarding retreats, view the 2018 brochure.

 
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Want to learn more?

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School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100

info@ssndcp.org

 

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