Diocese assumes operations of Franciscan Retreat Center
By Veronica Ambuul
COLORADO SPRINGS. The Diocese of Colorado Springs has assumed the operation of Franciscan Retreat Center, located at 7740 Deer Hill Grove in northwest Colorado Springs, through an agreement effective Aug. 1.
The retreat center, which opened in August 1988, was previously operated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration’s Western Province. The sisters will continue to reside at Mount St. Francis and will be designated as a convent under the order’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Province based in Mishawaka, Indiana.
The current retreat center staff will remain as employees of the diocese.
“After working with the Franciscan Retreat Center Director and staff to review both their programs and financial statements, we determined that their financial condition was excellent and very good fit with little risk to the diocese,” said Wayne Paton, Finance Officer for the Diocese of Colorado Springs.
“Effective Aug. 1, 2023, their programs will merge into the Diocese of Colorado Springs.”
The retreat center consists of 34 rooms with 70 twin beds; six conference rooms; and a cafeteria that serves three meals daily. It is anticipated that the facility will be used by the diocese for meetings, conferences and lodging.
The retreat center consists of three main areas: Francis Place, Marian Hall and Stone Haven.
From 1909-1947, the property was the site of the Modern Woodmen of America Tuberculosis Sanatorium.
Francis Place, the building where retreatants currently register and check in, was built in 1914 and was first used as a garage-repair shop, with sleeping quarters upstairs.
Marian Hall, the second of the three buildings that make up the retreat center, was originally a dormitory that housed male sanitorium workers. After the Sisters of St. Francis acquired the property in 1954, they used the building to house girls who attended St. Joseph Convent High School, a boarding school that closed in 1968. Sister Marietta Spenner, provincial, is a graduate of the high school.
Stone Haven, the third building that makes up the retreat center, was built in 1914 and was originally the sanitorium carpenter and paint shop. From 2003-2010, it was the home of the Alpine Autistic School. Today it is used as a hospitality center for wedding receptions and other events.
The entire campus was remodeled in the late 1980s to accommodate conferences and retreats. A Peace Park was added to the grounds in 2002 that includes a grotto, pond, statues, benches, tress and bushes, all of which were donated by families in memory of deceased loved ones.
To arrange a tour or inquire about making a reservation at Franciscan Retreat Center, visit franciscanretreatcenter.org or call 719-955-7025.