A New Focus For Bethany Retreat House

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Poor Handmaids are known for listening to the needs and responding in a courageous way. Sometimes this means opening or closing new ministries, or changing the focus of a ministry.

Sister Joyce Diltz, PHJC, Director of Bethany Retreat House in East Chicago, Indiana, listened to the Spirit in 1992 when she began providing silent retreat space at Bethany Retreat House. Along with day and overnight silent retreats and ongoing spiritual direction, over the years, Bethany added various workshops and reflection groups to its offerings, and has discontinued others.

Over twenty years later, Sister Joyce again feels the spirit leading her and Bethany Retreat House in a new direction. She states, “In my annual retreat this past spring, it became clear to me that it is time for another adjustment in our offerings, namely, for me to lay aside overnight retreats here at Bethany. As I have prayerfully lived with and tried to understand this new direction, I am aware that to continue offering overnight retreats requires a ‘push’ that is no longer healthy for me. So, after much prayer and discernment, I have come to the decision with the Poor Handmaids that as of May 16th of this year, Bethany Retreat House will no longer offer overnight retreats.”

Bethany Retreat House will continue to offer other resources to help people pay attention to the inner life. Sister Joyce will continue to provide ongoing spiritual direction and to facilitate dream groups and other reflection groups. Individuals are welcome for daytime retreats. Occasional group day retreats and workshops will be offered. The spiritual reading library will continue to be available for guests, and the bookstore will go on for the present time.

Sister Joyce continues, “I am deeply grateful for God’s call to accompany individuals in their life with God and I look forward to continuing to do so as we adjust the focus of offerings here at Bethany. Thank you for your ongoing support in our mission of helping people listen for and respond to God’s presence and invitations.”