Desert House of Prayer


What exactly is Centering Prayer?

We are so glad you asked! This pamphlet gives a better overview than we ever could.

How long can I spend on retreat?

Well, that’s a little tricky. We’d love you to stay forever. But that’s not fair to others, so we limit stays to 120 days. Check out our pricing plans.


The desert does have scorpions, but honestly, the bigger fear at the Desert House is running into Father Tom and Sister Deb before their morning coffee. All rooms and hermitages are treated regularly. (We have designated places for retreatants who are sensitive to chemicals. Talk to our Guest Coordinator about any sensitivities when making reservations.) We recommend wearing shoes in your room/hermitage, if you’re still worried.

Are you open year-round?

We wish! We shut down for approximately six weeks – first of July to mid-August – for renovations, deep cleaning, and Community and family visits. Other than that, we’re here and waiting for you!

What is a typical meal?

Our talented chefs make sure to prepare meals to accommodate special dietary concerns, so meals can vary. Please let our Guest Coordinator know about your specific needs or requests. Visit our Retreats page for more details.

May I make an appointment for spiritual direction if I'm not on retreat?

We get this one a lot, and we always like to say absolutely, so Absolutely! Email us at

Isn't Tucson hot?

Where do you guys come up with this stuff?

Can I cook in my room?

Hermitages are equipped with small kitchens, but our rooms are not.

I need to change my reservations. What do I do?

Just email us at, and our Guest Coordinator will get you all situated.

Is there a way to specify where my donation is spent?

We are in the process of implementing a new online donation form with our bank that will include a list of our greatest needs, but in the meantime, just put a note in your PayPal donation for us about where you’d like your donation to be applied. You can see some of our past needs in our newsletters and see a list of current needs on our Donations page.

I'm not Catholic.

Mazel tov! While we are in the Roman Catholic tradition, our guests come from a very wide range of religious traditions. 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, as well.

I'm still not Catholic. What is the Way of the Cross?

The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. We have a Way of the Cross path that begins behind the Office (on the way to the hermitages) and winds around to the library. Each Station is clearly marked and has a place to rest and honor Jesus’ journey. You can learn more about the Way of the Cross here. You can be of any or no faith and enjoy this walk around the property. We just ask that you respect anyone in ritual.

Do you have any group hikes?

When we have requests for them, we do organize group hikes! We always put notes on our bulletin board in the Common Room about current goings on. We also highly encourage our retreatants to leave notes on the board with their expected time of return when heading out for an individual hike.

Are there petroglyphs?

Now you’re talking! Our area is known to be a prime petroglyph site. This article has a lot of good details, but feel free to ask any member of our Core Community during a time of conversation or stop in the office to ask our Guest Coordinator for maps.

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