Pacem in Terris to build three more hermitages

Due to unprecedented demand, plans are underway to build three new hermitages at Pacem in Terris Hermitage Retreat Center.

A hermitage at Pacem in Terris with a wooden cross, icons and a Bible on a small table. (Photo by Dianne Towalski/ The Central Minnesota Catholic)

Each week, approximately 33 hermit guests arrive at Pacem in Terris, a 240-acre retreat located just north of St. Francis near Isanti. Since the fall of 2020, Pacem has had a continuous waiting list for its existing 16 hermitages, some weeks turning away as many as 17 guests.

“Pacem’s board decided in April to move forward with building three additional hermitages to meet the growing demand,” said Tim Drake, executive director, in a press release April 29. “The hermitages will be built on existing land that had been set aside for this purpose.”

Construction will begin in June on the new prayer cabins — 21 years after its last hermitages were built — and is expected to be completed in September so that they can be used for the fall season.

While the new hermitages will be similar in style to the retreat center’s existing prayer cabins, they will utilize maintenance-free building materials, Drake said.

A donor has offered a $125,000 matching opportunity to offset the cost of the additional hermitages, according to the release. If Pacem can raise $125,000, the donor will match that amount, providing the total funds necessary for the building project.

Snow covers the grounds around the St. Kateri Tekakwitha hermitage in this photo from 2018. (Photo by Dianne Towalski/The Central Minnesota Catholic)

“Holy rest is critical for mental and spiritual health and wellness,” Drake said. “This is the restoration Pacem offers its guests. Many discover a peace they have never experienced in their lives.”

Pacem seeks to provides a place for those seeking a holy place of silence and solitude where they can be alone with God, the release said. Many are in job transition, facing marital or parental crisis or are in recovery from various addictions. Some seek discernment; others healing. Many are simply looking for a time of rest from their busy lives.

To learn more about how to support the building project, visit:

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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