About St. Francis Retreat Center

A Place of Peace, Rest, & Encounter

​Allow 95 peaceful acres of gently rolling hills and pine groves located in the heart of Michigan to be the backdrop for your spiritual renewal.

 

We offer the perfect setting for your parish mission, team building, staff meeting, youth/Kairos retreat, team camp, personal get-away, or your unique event designed for a specific purpose. 

 

For individuals and groups seeking an encounter with our Lord, consider one of our programmed retreats specifically crafted for parishioners, RCIA candidates, married couples, Confirmation candidates, or those seeking an Ignatian Spirituality contemplative experience. 

 

Our Ministry team is available to assist in creating the perfect spiritual component to your vision.  Guest Services staff will ensure that you have the tools to accomplish whatever you envision.  And, our professional kitchen staff’s creativity will exceed your specific requests or work within a budget to make your stay with us truly memorable.

Mission

Our mission is to provide experiences that foster encounters with Christ through retreats, spiritual development, formation, and learning so as to empower others to live holy, wholesome values in our contemporary society. We commit ourselves to offering:

  • A variety of programmed and private retreats as a means of providing an encounter experience.

  • Retreats and events to foster the development of individuals with regard to RCIA and the Sacraments.

  • A place of welcome and hospitality for persons, communities and organizations consistent with Christian values.

  • A natural environment conducive to reflection and healing.

  • We embrace the gospel call to compassion, justice, and inclusivity.

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History

The Franciscan friary and retreat house were built on the former property of Sylvester and Florence Surrat.  The friars purchased the property in May, 1954.  The retreat house in DeWitt was originally named “Portiuncula in the Pines.”  “Portiuncula” is Italian for “little portion” which aptly describes this little garden of Eden amid the high pressure hustle and bustle today’s world. 

 

In September of 1960, Bishop Albers dedicated a separate Friary.  This allowed the entire community to live under one roof and freed up space in the Retreat House for retreatants.  In 1966, the friars, concerned that the vacant land west of the original acreage might be developed into housing, purchased the additional sixty-five acres that now is part of the ninety-five acres of inspirational beauty. 


​In 1988, the number of brothers residing at Portiuncula in the Pines had declined.  The responsibility of caring for the land and buildings had become too much for the remaining friars.  With the approval of Bishop Povish, the Diocese of Lansing purchased the entire complex. In 1989, Father Larry Delaney was appointed its founding Director.  

 

To address the growing awareness of the needs of the youth of the diocese, construction began on Bethany House in 2000. The project revamped the interior of the Friary and added fifty-two overnight rooms, a conference room and a large common area.  With the strong support of the Lansing area Knights of Columbus, Bethany House was completed in the fall of 2001 and is serving the needs of our diocesan youth and various other groups. 

 

The Retreat Center continues to provide the rich tradition of offering retreats for men and women, the work begun by the Franciscans and carried on since 1989 under the prayerful guidance of our founding director, the late Fr Larry. 

Beautiful Place!
Go and enjoy God and all his creations.

Don S., Facebook

Amazing place for a personal retreat! The grounds are beautiful and serve as a great place to walk around. They also have a frisbee golf course. The private rooms are very pleasant and comfortable. It's a great deal for the price. It's a very peaceful environment. I had lunch while I stayed there and it was delicious.

Clara S., Google

Best place ever this side of heaven.

Brendalynn B., Google