HC77, Box 537
Pittsburg, Missouri 65724

Phone: 816.363.3968
E-mail: Reservation Secretary


A Journal is placed in the Retreat Center and many retreatants have added to the sacredness of the place by offering comments of gratitude. Some are shared below.


My stay has been wonderful, even though it was a short one. The serene setting is beautiful, the quiet and stillness is refreshing. I shall return for a longer stay later this year. You really can feel God working when you are out of the hustle of your daily life/routine and away from the distractions of 'the world.'

This quiet, serene, beautiful place moves me away from the noises of city life and forces me to go deep into my spirit where there is stillness, quiet, emptiness, yet fringed with questions. Who—what—why—in life and love!? Dedication and commitment!? I will go forth from there with the force of my God beneath me feet to --------------------?

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Divine blessings upon all who dwell in or visit this Holy place.

In the dark stillness of this hermitage, I feel embraced by the Holy, affirmed in my Creator’s love, blessed by the gentleness of this place and renewed to return to my world of teaching and advocacy.

This place has again nurtured my soul. The gift of silence, solitude and others who yearn is a gift beyond words. Thanks for the possibilities of living deeper and extending peace to the world.

A cabin nestled in the woods. Wide open space to see the tops of the trees and the rippling waters. A cozy fire with dancing flames. Sanctuary. Thank you.

I especially appreciate the creature comforts –well stocked kitchen, comfy furniture and great shower. The body and the spirit are well tended in this place. Thank you.

I arrived last evening. So far my experience has been one of discovery. I found the books that Fr. Paul authored, in the collection between the living room and kitchen. I am fascinated by this gem of a person I found here in the middle of nothing extraordinary. What a gift!

Then, I just completed walking the Labyrinth. What an experience! It is my life! At first things were pretty easy, the path was clear, and I was comfortably near the center. Then I started moving out. This had some level of uneasiness, but the ropes were still plainly visible so I felt reassured. Every now and then I came to an obstacle, but I found that obstacle not only to be a barrier but also the source of strength as I used it to support me as I pulled on it through. The ropes became hidden and I had to scrape away leaves and grass so I could find the way. I had to be more alert. But, I think I got over- confident as I missed a turn and found myself going over parts I had already traversed. I had two choices. I could just cut across the labyrinth to a place before I made the mistake or I could just continue where I was repeating part of my journey. I chose to continue from where I found myself. Then when I came to the area where I had made the mistake, I became extra vigilant knowing that my previous over- confidence had led me to error. I watched carefully and this time I saw the rope segment which I had missed before. I turned and soon found myself in the center. I was filled with joy! Such a simple experience! But such a profound message! My time here is over. I have done a lot of praying and reflection. I needed this time away and I am thankful for this resource. You are a blessing.

Whoever reads this I say to you now, that I truly hope that you enjoy your time here. I resided in this place for a week and accomplished a great deal of discernment about my life. This is a place to think, yet also a place to simply 'be.' Be a good friend to yourself here and allow whatever higher power you believe in to come intimately close to you as you go through your activities (or lack thereof) each day. Bless you, and enjoy your time here—for that is what the human life is for…to enjoy. Love now.

Coming here was something I decided last minute when my schedule just opened up. I had no idea what to expect and was very nervous about being all alone in a strange place for three days. I am a very spiritual person and have a strong belief in God, but I am not very religious. And I was unsure of what a place that seemed so religious could offer me. Turns out it was very generous!!! The spirit of divinity is so strong here, anyone, regardless of personal beliefs, can benefit enormously. On my third day I kept being prompted to go speak with Fr. Paul. I was very hesitant to do so, rationalizing that I didn’t know him and it would be silly for me to bother him for no apparent reason. But I gave in, conceding that God knows better than I do. He welcomed me with such an ease and kindness that I found myself literally relating my life story to him! And he offered me such priceless insight and deepened my own understanding of my current situation. After leaving his home I truly felt my stay was complete and that I can bring what I’ve learned back to my everyday life to gain greater peace and a much closer relationship to God. Also come to find out, I’m very talented with the watercolors and magic markers! The art supplies are very therapeutic, I highly recommend them.

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Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place. My first step out of the door and a butterfly alighted on my head. From that moment on I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. My two days have reaped renewal, peace, joy and love. Thank you for such a peaceful haven and heaven. Praying the stations and my rosary everyday has changed my life.

Thank you for offering this place for spiritual retreat. It is exactly what I needed. I praise God for making this available at exactly the right time. May God continue to bless your with good things.

Thank you. This place has been so good for me, as God uses my time alone to teach me many lessons. This time lessons about prayer, and about who I am in God. Who I was made to be, and how to love and feed that. Beautiful. Read the pamphlet on Living Prayer and was astonished to find that it’s not that I’m really bad at praying, it’s just that I didn’t know what I did could be called prayer. What a beautiful release. Praise God. The labyrinth is wonderful. Having been blessed with the opportunity to walk the labyrinth in Chartres, France, this summer, it was a great blessing to be able to walk it again here, this weekend, and to ponder the ways in which my life is a labyrinth, feeling I come close to the Center only to be pulled away again and walk seeking until I learn to find myself in the journey, only to find myself at the Center before I realized it, when I wasn’t even looking for it. Thank you for providing such a blessed, holy place. The Lord be with you and all who enter here.

I came to find peace for my spirit and peace I found in the tranquility. I came to find God’s love, I leave knowing I am loved. I came to learn to pray prayerfully, and through your books I have learned. God helped (guided) me to find you and I thank God for this wonderful hermitage.

I come to you with outstretched arms and open hands. I offer you my painful past, disappointing present, uncertain future. I offer you my controlling spirit, shallow heart, judgmental head. And you give me hope, healing, wholeness. So undeserved yet so desired… and I am grateful.

I love this place! Thank you for providing a ‘space’ in this world that is set apart. It’s just what I needed—peace, solitude, focus on the Lord. It was one day in my journey, but one day that has nourished my soul for the days ahead.

Thank you so much for the chance to come here. It was very refreshing. I realized that I’ve spent so much time “doing for” God that I wasn’t spending much time “being with” God. Your booklet Living Prayer helped me understand this. So many times as people in ministry we get caught up in doing and gradually we think it is our relationship with God when really it’s not. I had been so caught up with doing that I thought I was going to go crazy the first couple of hours here. Once I got passed that I was able to truly be with God. This was a great blessing.

I love it here. The peace, serenity and tranquilty. I randomly select a book and start reading “wherever” and it never fails to be exactly what I need. I was burdened with too much when I arrived and I leave with many of the burdens lifted, lightened or understood. The beautiful quiet, the walks and the labyrinth reconnect me to God.

"Not that we discover a new unity; we discover an older unity. My dear, we are already One. But we imagine we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity –what we have to be is what we are."—Thomas Merton. Christ enters the Garden, seeking whom he never left. Finally I understand. Not that the distance is on my part, but that there is no distance—turn around, I’m here.

Thank you for sharing your little slice of heaven on earth. My time was all that I hoped for and so much more. Thank you for a weekend of spiritual renewal. God is so present here in every breath I take and every sight I see. Thank you for providing the space and for opening my ears, eyes and heart to all of God’s blessings.



The Hermitage Spiritual Retreat Center is a not-for-profit corporation
governed by a Board of Directors of many Christian traditions,
open to all persons seeking spiritual renewal.


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