Monastery of St. Gertrude Spirit Center

Monastery of St. Gertrude Spirit Center
Cottonwood, Idaho

Spirit Center is a 21,800 square foot, state-of-the-art retreat facility located on the beautifully secluded, historic Monastery of St. Gertrude. Located on 150 acres of wild, scenic Camas Prairie country, the site offers views of Gospel-Hump Wilderness and Seven Devils mountains. Constructed in 2005 using multiple sustainable building techniques, Spirit Center was carefully engineered to leave as small an ecological footprint as possible.

Spirit Center was designed for flexibility and is able to accommodate your large or small group in an intimate and comfortable atmosphere. Our largest meeting room holds up to 120 participants in theater-style seating or 80 people at tables. Other meeting rooms provide break-out space and adaptive configurations, including soft seating and informal group spaces.

Spirit Center comfortably accommodates up to 44 overnight guests. The 22 double-occupancy rooms feature private bathrooms with showers, one double bed or two twin beds, desks and rocking chairs. One room is handicap-accessible. Bedding, linens and homemade lap quilts add the comforts of home for your retreat or meeting participants. An elevator offers easy access to all three residential floors and each floor includes a lounge and kitchenette .

A galley kitchen provides space for your group to prepare and serve snacks or light meals. Visitors may choose to share delicious home-cooked meals with the sisters in the Monastery dining room. Other amenities include guest library, laundry room, chapel, outgoing mail service, and public computer.

Spirit Center provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Guests are invited to explore the Monastery forest. The Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers are just minutes away.

Peace and Inspiration

This peaceful and inspirational setting makes Spirit Center the ideal location for your next meeting or retreat. Previous retreats have included team-building encounters, off-site strategic planning meetings, church groups and organizations, and educational workshops.

It was great. In fact I would definitely plan on using the facility again. My only complaint was that we didn’t stay longer. The staff was courteous, the food was great and the views from the top of the hill were worth the hike. (Mike Howell, University of Idaho Extension)

Spirit Center is an ideal place to hold a retreat or training. The beautiful and peaceful setting provides an opportunity for attendees to take a deep breath and open their hearts and minds to new learning and insight. (Lisa Stoddard, Community Action)

Each time we come here the setting, the hospitality, deep rest and peace at Spirit Center help make change for the better possible. We have been able to weave your Benedictine values of simplicity, hospitality and peace into our LCSC Yoga Retreat and our lives. Thank you. (Meredith Robbins, Adjunct Professor of Kinesiology, Lewis-Clark State College and Jeanette Gara-Betzold, TRIO Program Retention Specialist)

About the Spirit Center

A tradition of welcoming people of ALL beliefs…

Spirit Center is a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, located in north central Idaho in Cottonwood. This community is guided by the values of Healing Hospitality, Grateful Simplicity, and Creative Peacemaking.

Spirit Center has twenty-two double-occupancy rooms with private baths. Each bedroom floor features a lounge with a kitchenette which can be used for small gatherings. In addition, there are three meeting rooms for groups up to 120, with break-out space and adaptable arrangements. Our green facility features two conference rooms and 22 guest rooms, utilizing partial solar power as well as geothermal heating and cooling.

Mission Statement for Spirit Center

Spirit Center draws upon the core values of the Monastery of St. Gertrude — Healing Hospitality, Grateful Simplicity and Creative Peacemaking — in its role as a center for the exploration and promotion of the arts, spirituality, history, and social justice. We offer contemplative space for learning, renewal and crucial conversation as we partner with others for a better world.

Mission Statement for the Spirituality Ministry

Responding to the world’s profound hunger for depth and meaning, our Spirituality Ministry nurtures and supports the individual spiritual journey of all faith traditions. Rooted in our Benedictine spirituality, we offer certified spiritual direction, private retreats and group retreats. Inviting inner transformation and deeper connection with our Creator, we welcome each person into a sacred space.

While You Are Here

Visit the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude showcasing the history of north central Idaho and the Monastery.

Explore our forested grounds and learn about our call to care for the land. If you would like to meet our forester, Sister Carol Ann Wassmuth, visit the Care of the Land page.

Explore the Gift Shop offering homemade jam, hand-crafted herbal soaps, salve and lip balm, books, music, souvenirs, one-of-a-kind items and more.


Thanks to the generosity of our friends and donors, we have scholarship funds available. You may also consider joining in our Spirituality Ministry by donating more than the suggested amount.

Individual Retreats


Relax and renew in the peaceful space that is Spirit Center. Whether for a couple of days or an entire month, an individual retreat will rejuvenate your spirit and awaken a deep sense of stillness.


Your soul yearns to escape the everyday noise of your busy life. It longs to linger in a nurturing, quiet space where the voice of God can be heard, where you can acknowledge the whisperings of your heart.


Stepping away from a demanding routine allows your mind to explore new perspectives and invites inspiration. Reframe your life to include soul-nurturing space.

On your own, with us

St. Benedict said, “Listen with the ear of your heart.” Why? It is this type of listening that allows the hearing of divine wisdom and inspiration that guides our lives into ever increasing fullness, peace and joy. But sometimes the noise and blur of life make that difficult. That is why we offer you the opportunity to come to Spirit Center and listen.

Whether you have a few days or a few weeks, the intimate, contemplative atmosphere and support of a praying community invite you to hear.

Your private retreat may include praying with the monastic community, hiking the hillside trails, meditating in the chapel or simply basking in the sunshine that streams through the windows of our lobby. A personal retreat is your time, your space.

Individualizing your personal retreat

You may wish to explore your relationships with God, self, and others with the guidance of a certified spiritual director or experience healing at all levels of your being with biodynamic craniosacral therapy.

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction is a sacred time to talk about your relationships with God, self and others. The director listens attentively and together you discern God’s movement in your life.

Whether you are local or staying with us as a retreatant, a spiritual director will provide support as you seek to become more attentive to God’s presence and respond more fully to the mystery of grace. That may sound like a difficult task in this world — but as many of the saints found, the spiritual journey can go much better with companionship.

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