The House of Prayer offers retreats throughout the year, focused on our primary ministry of contemplative prayer and spiritual transformation. We hope you will join us this year for one of our retreats.

morning prayer oratory 11-14

From a program attendee:
The magnificence of God’s spirit continues to humble me. I have been led to a tremendous amount of peace and joy, and all just for the asking. God’s grace is so good and also resides in this holy place.

To register and send a check, please contact us at To register and pay online for any of our programs, click here.
Note: Our secure payment page now allows you to pay by credit card or EFT.

A $100 deposit is required for all registrations. You can charge the deposit during registration or send a check to the Episcopal House of Prayer, PO Box 5888, Collegeville, MN 56321. When mailing a check to register, please send the name of the retreat, your name, mailing address information and e-mail address.


Wednesday Night Contemplative Christian Prayer

All are welcome to join us on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 for contemplative prayer. Free and open to the public, we sit together in the Oratory. The prayer begins with a simple chant, and we observe two 20-minute periods of silent prayer with a contemplative walk in between, concluding with a simple chant. If you are coming for the first time, we recommend you arrive ten minutes early so we can welcome you and introduce you to the practice and space.

For information on contemplative prayer at House of Prayer in the City, click here.


2017 Retreats

NOTE: All programs begin with dinner at 6 p.m. on the first day and end with lunch on the final day, unless otherwise noted. Plan to arrive between 3-6 p.m. and leave after lunch on the final day, which is primarily a travel day. Ask about staying an extra night or more for individual retreat time. More general information about our retreats, including travel information, is available here.

What Retreat is Right for Me?

At the House of Prayer, we try to offer retreats for practitioners of contemplative prayer at any level, as well as opportunities for deep experience of silence and more advanced teaching on transformational Christianity. We know that people respond to different approaches. Some of us are more “head-focused” and engage with content, while others respond to a more “heart-focused” invitation. Creativity can be a strong part of spirituality, as is connection to our bodies and senses. You can ask questions about any of our retreats by contacting Ward Bauman at Here is a guide that might help you choose the right retreat for you:

Entry-level retreats: for those looking for a place to enter the work of the House of Prayer, Seeds of Contemplation and Embodied Spirit will be excellent opportunities to nourish the body, spark creativity, and enter into the practice of silent meditation.

Mid-level retreats: Those who are familiar with the approach of the House of Prayer looking for teaching and practice that will support and deepen their own work might consider our retreats with Martin Laird and the August Wisdom School.

Advanced retreats: Kenosis is an advanced retreat. The Beloved Community is also advanced work and particular to our Membership of the Contemplative Body group.


Spirit & Creativity

Wednesday, September 20 – Sunday, October 1; Offered by Sister Bernie Bostwick

$75 Drop in/day; add $60/overnight

Residential and/or Single Day Drop-In option within a retreat setting:  Each day will begin by cultivating Morning Joys and enter more fully our common sense of vulnerability as a strength to explore what it means for us to understand better as artists, artisans, and lovers of beauty the co-creative process.  come and integrate Morning Walks, Morning Pages and allow the Spirit of Creation to guide you through the day as you learn how to accept That Mystery of Creativity in you and you in That.


Holy Wisdom, Mother of God: An Advent Retreat

Thursday, December 7 – Sunday, December 10; Offered by Matthew Wright

$75/Saturday or $395/Full Retreat

Join us for a long weekend of chant, teaching, and contemplative practices to nourish the spiritual heart.  Together we will explore devotion to the Divine Feminine in the Jewish and Christian traditions, particularly under the guises of Sophia, or Wisdom, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  Attention will be given to insights from mystics Thomas Merton and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who acknowledged Christ at the center of creation and further beyond.

People of all spiritual traditions are welcome, especially the majority who affiliate with None.  One prerequisite is a healthy curiosity toward what quite prayer within a framework of silence and solitude may offer anyone on a journey.


Spirit & Breath Cooperative

Thursday, December 14 – Monday, December 18; Offered by Father K.C. Thomas

$625/Full Retreat  (Includes Sunday overnight)

Residential retreat for discerning the Fruits of the Spirit.  This retreat will introduce a method of accessing spiritual consciousness in the service of emotional healing and spiritual transformation.  It is developed from the explorations of contemplative and religious traditions.  Through accelerated breathing, combined with music and focused body work, participants gain access to levels of emotional and spiritual awareness that are not normally in our consciousness.  For many people there is recognition and integration of elements of themselves that are forgotten or energetically and emotionally blocked.  Others experience insights about the nature of spiritual consciousness, and a renewed understanding of self and God.  Many experience a new strength in their connection to the Divine.  Doing this requires a commitment to a personal journey that includes not simply the spiritual experience itself, but also reflection and integration of that experience into daily life.  The retreat is inspired by Holotrope Breathwork of Stan Grof.

Space is limited, register early.


Wisdom School: The Ongoing Quest – Crossing the Threshold to Being

Monday, August 14 – Saturday, August 19, Offered by Bussho Lahn, Diane Millis, and Matthew Cobb


Building upon last year’s Wisdom School, we will continue to develop our inner authority or “sovereignty,” as stated in The Gospel of Thomas. This preeminent spiritual work is at the core of human development. This wisdom school is considered more advanced work, where the student, not the instructor, is the primary focus. Here our instructors will work as guides in order to help each participant work with his or her own inner teacher. Although this retreat expands on ideas from last year’s Wisdom School, it is a stand-alone retreat and is open to all participants.

“When you give birth to that which is within yourself, what you bring forth will save you.” (Thomas #70)  All instructions will be geared to this endeavor, as we seek to discover those practices that can increase our awareness of our inner treasure. Students will leave with a stronger sense of their own inner domain and its resources.


To register and pay online for any of our programs, click here.


About Our Presenters

Gary Barrett has practiced classical chinese T’ai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung for 28 years in central Minnesota. He has taught groups in St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Brainerd, and Alexandria, Minnesota, as well as worked with many private students.  Additionally, he has been a primary presenter and participant at the annual T’ai Chi retreat weekend Way In The Woods at Deep Portage Environmental Learning Center in north-central Minnesota for the past 20 years. He brings a deep commitment to the practice of contemplative mind-body work as a way to personal spiritual transformation. Gary is a member of the Contemplative Body and lives with his wife Brenda in St. Joseph, Minnesota.

Rev. Dr. Matthew Cobb becomes new director of the House of Prayer in February, 2016. He has served since 2008 as rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wamego, Kansas, and has served in a variety of capacities, from campus ministry to spiritual care and chaplaincy in hospital and long-term care settings. He holds a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union at University of California, Berkeley; a Master of Divinity Degree in Social Theory from the Seminary of the Southwest; a Master of Arts in Ignatian Spirituality and certification in Spiritual Direction-Directed Retreats from Creighton University. Matt has recently held a post-doctoral fellowship with St. Xavier University in Mumbai, India and he has had a daily meditation practice for 25 years.

Tom Darnall is Professor Emeritus of Theater at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. Teaching the Theater Arts in a Liberal Arts context allowed Tom to emphasize the spiritual roots of theater. He recognized that the extensive mindful somatic training required of the actor is a journey into what it means to become fully human. Throughout his career Tom has studied with master teachers of a wide range of somatic practices, including the work of Alexander, Rolf, Feldenkrais, Linklater and others. The integration of mindful movement, breath and sound establishes the premise that the quality of being determines the quality of any action. Tom has been involved with the House of Prayer since its inception and is a founding member of the Contemplative Body.

Fr. Martin Laird, OSA, has lectured and led retreats throughout the US, UK, and the Republic of Ireland. He is the author of Into the Silent Land and A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation. He is preparing An Ocean of Light: Contemplation and the Ethics of Silence (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). He is professor of Early Christian Studies at Villanova University near Philadelphia.

Rev. Bussho Lahn is a certified spiritual director and an ordained Soto Zen Buddhist priest. He is a teacher at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, Aslan Institute, and the Episcopal House of Prayer. Bussho is grounded in contemplative spirituality, interfaith experience, addiction recovery, and shadow integration. He is experienced in pilgrimage and retreat facilitation, and public speaking on a variety of spiritual subjects. His special interests include Zen ritual and ceremony, poetry, and interfaith dialogue. He also teaches meditation, mindfulness, and the basics of Zen Buddhist practice and philosophy, and is an experienced retreat and pilgrimage leader. He lives in Eden Prairie with his wonderful wife Karen and their cat, Hobbes.

Diane Millis, PhD, is a teacher of Christian spirituality, spiritual director and author of Conversation–the Sacred Art: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction and Deepening Engagement: Essential Wisdom for Listening and Leading with Purpose, Meaning and Joy. Diane brings twenty-five years teaching experience in the fields of Christian spirituality, communication studies, family studies and human development. Her deep gladness is witnessing hearts awaken through contemplative practices and group spiritual companioning.  Diane served as the founding director of the Companions on Journey initiative at the College of Saint Benedict and now facilitates retreats on the sacred art of conversation in corporate, health care, philanthropic, educational, and ministry settings throughout the country.

Sister Bernie Bostwick, Co-Founder of Green Mountain Monastery in Greensboro, VT.  Keeper-of-the-Flame of Fr. Thomas Berry’s life work as a Geologian, Contemporary Artist, Iconographer, Mother and Grandmother.

Matthew Wright, Director of the Community of the Holy Spirit Blue Stem Farm, a Millennial Priest who lives and works in community at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY with his life partner Yanick.  A pioneer in the field of Interspirituality and Interspiritual Practice, Matthew grew up in a Pentecostal family in North Caroline inspired by Berry and Teilard.

Father K.C. Thomas has a Masters in Philosophy and Integral Counselling Psychology from Sadhana Institute founded by Fr. Anthony D’mello.  He is a former faculty member of Institute of St. Anselm (U.K.), Sophia Center (Holy Names University), Oakland, and is currently the Director of Bosco Institute of Psychology and Spirituality (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) and a certified facilitator of Holotropoic Breathwork.  He has given workshops in Salesian Pontifical University (Rome) and Tangaza University (Nairobi).