Announcement of Closing
Desert Retreatants, Companions and Friends,
With the presence of COVID-19 in our midst and the subsequent economic downturn, the Desert House of Prayer has had to make some hard decisions about our immediate future. We know how valued and important Desert House’s mission is to each of you. It has healed and strengthened hundreds of hearts; it is a harbinger of good news for all weary and searching souls; it is, for many of you, an annual desert journey into deep contemplation and spiritual renewal.
We at Desert House of Prayer have to bring you news that breaks our hearts. At present there is no Redemptorist available to serve as Director. For this and other reasons the Redemptorist Leadership of the Denver Province has suspended operations at Desert House of Prayer indefinitely. This became effective June 1, 2020. There were many reasons for this decision, but the most pressing ones are the limited number of Redemptorists to direct the center, the physical condition of the plant and costly repair needs that are arising, and the uncertainty about when and whether the Desert House of Prayer would be able to return to normal operation as the pandemic continues. We realize for all who find DHOP beloved, the suspension of this ministry is a loss, a sadness, and perhaps an agitation. As the Core Community, we share your sense of loss and grief! We already miss you! However, this mission of contemplation and hospitality, solitude and silence still can be carried in the heart and will be always with you on your spiritual journey.
Unfortunately, we will not be taking or holding reservations for the foreseeable future. If you have a current reservation, we will contact you to see what you wish to do with your deposit or payment on file and send you a refund. If you have a reservation, and would like to make a retreat of a week or less, the Redemptorist Renewal Center has offered to honor your reservation at the same rate you would have been charged at the DHOP. If you wish to take advantage of this offer, please call Peter Tran at 520-744-3400 ext. 7115.
Staff is onsite to secure the property; there is no public access to the property or public worship at this time.
The Redemptorists are so grateful for the great support and generosity so many of you have shown the Desert House over the years. Even though we need to suspend operation, please believe you are not abandoned to us. Each of us in the core community–and we believe we can speak for all those core community members who have preceded us—treasure the unique gift of self each of you has shared with us for so many years! We trust without reservation in the goodness of our Most Holy Redeemer who continues to bless, guide, and keep us all united in the Spirit’s compassion. The spirit of the Desert House is most definitely with us all. Please trust that whatever grace you need at this time, it will find you and strengthen you.
Peace in all things,
Gregory Wiest, C.Ss.R
To read the letter in PDF format: click here.
Who We Are
Located on thirty-one acres of Sonoran Desert just outside Tucson, Arizona, Desert House of Prayer, founded in 1974, is a spiritual center and community committed to silence. Surrounded by three mountain ranges, the natural beauty of terrain evokes an awareness of God’s grandeur. The conditions are ideal for fruitful solitude, in which “all things find their just emphasis.” —Rilke
We are rooted in contemplative Catholic traditions, but we welcome people of all faiths and denominations. Those seeking silence in order to encounter and respond to the Divine are at home here. People of all faiths have found Desert House of Prayer a place conducive to rest, reflection, and opening to God. Authors, artists, caregivers, counselors, teachers, and those in transition have found us a haven for reorientation and renewal.
Retreat with Us
We offer intentional hospitality to those who seek prayerful silence and solitude for reflection, discernment, renewal, healing, and to draw closer to God.
We offer spiritual direction to both retreatants and non-retreatants for healing, health, and greater wholeness.
We have an established fellowship that is always welcoming newcomers!