Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center

Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center
Hiawatha, Iowa


Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center is a sacred space where people of all faiths and cultures are invited to explore and nurture their relationships with the Source of all Being, Earth, Self and Others, with an increasing awareness of the story of the Universe. Prairiewoods is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, a Catholic community.

The vision of Prairiewoods is of people everywhere, awakened in consciousness and energized by the loving, creative Spirit of the Universe into a community, moving together into wisdom, compassion and the fullness of life.

Our Franciscan Heritage calls us to:

  • integrate the principles of the universe: Interiority, diversity and communion as a basis for all decision making.
  • reverence the Divine Presence within all creation, including in each member of the Earth Community.
  • provide programs and opportunities for ongoing personal transformation for the development of wisdom and compassion.
  • encourage care for the earth through our practices, programs, retreats and outreach.
  • collaborate with others in developing programs that enhance spiritual deepening and impact greater ecological consciousness.
  • celebrate the privilege of being human.
  • provide sanctuary and rest, a place where each individual is welcomed with warm hospitality and respect.
  • encourage dialogue among various faith traditions to promote respect and cooperation.
  • continue involvement with the broader community around sacred values.


Prairiewoods offers a variety of programs to help you nurture your relationship with the Source of all Being, Earth, Self and Others. From Green Cleaning Practices to Spring Seed Starting to Creative Art Workshops, Prairiewoods is a great source for education, enlightenment and entertainment! See our calendar & registration page for details on upcoming programs at Prairiewoods.


Go to the places of stillness where knowing comes to the surface. Here you share and reflect on everything that you have learned from a deep place of listening, asking,
“What wants to emerge here?”  (Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer)

As a place of peace and transformation, Prairiewoods invites you to enter into the sacred rhythms of creation to listen deeply and discover what is emerging in your own life.

  • Refresh yourself through the healing energy of Dry Creek flowing lazily throughout the lush woodlands.
  • Breathe in the balm of the gentle, soothing breezes stirring your senses and your soul.
  • Catch your breath when a doe and her fawns gaze up from the stream or peek out from behind the trees.
  • Drink fully from the prairie’s deep quiet, with only the swaying grasses and birdsong as your daily companions.
  • Rise with the sun on a cool morning walk through the orchard or flower gardens.
  • Enjoy the local, organic food served with simple hospitality and warmth.
  • Renew your bodily spirit with massage, healing touch or reflexology.
  • Enjoy a good read in the media center, listen to soothing music while writing in your journal, or walk mindfully along the Cosmic Walk through the woods.
  • Sip your favorite tea in the last light of the evening sunset from the comfort of the Guest House porch.
  • Create a mesmerizing mandala, paint your own soulful portrait, or compose a poignant haiku in the inspirational setting of the Art Room.
  • Laze through the day in a sky chair, hammock or lawn chair, or slumber with a favorite poem by the fire in the Lounge.
  • Journey through the labyrinth with the moon and stars as your trusted guides.
  • Pray and give thanks in the meditation room.
  • Sleep peacefully. Swim in the deepest pools of your own fertile imagination and dreams. Awake refreshed and energized. Reconnect with your life’s joy.
  • Be.

Whether you choose a group or private retreat, you are welcome to nurture your spiritual journey at Prairiewoods. You can go a long way in a short amount of time! You set the time and we’ll help with the details.

Private Retreats

Prairiewoods tailors your retreat to address your needs and provide you the most meaningful experience.

Directed Retreat

A directed retreat provides extended time for prayer, solitude and quiet. According to your preference, a daily one-on-one meeting with a spiritual director is provided. As a retreatant, you enjoy comfortable guest rooms or Hermitages and meals in quiet areas. Retreat length is flexible, and you may schedule directed retreats any time throughout the year.

Private Retreat

Do you desire time alone to pray and reflect using your own spiritual resources? Private retreats allow you to enjoy a comfortable guest room and meals in the quiet areas of the Spirituality Center or the solitude of the Hermitage. You may schedule private retreats any time throughout the year.

Group Retreat

For groups or organizations, the Prairiewoods staff offers days of prayer and renewal as well as weekend retreats on pre-selected themes. These retreats provide opportunity for input on a specific theme along with time for private prayer, reflection and group dialogue. Staff members help create, guide and facilitate quiet time, activities and space.

Day Stay/Day of Prayer

Come for a day of quiet and personal prayer. You will enjoy a room at the Guest House to use for rest and relaxation during this day stay. If desired, arrangements can be made for you to meet with a spiritual director or holistic health practitioner.

Hermitage Stay

Two Hermitages are available if you seek the solitude and peace of the woods. Each Hermitage has radiant floor heat and bath and kitchen facilities. Since the Hermitages are solar powered, the electrical outlets do not accommodate appliances like hair dryers or computers. Bring food for your stay, though staples are provided.

Prairiewoods Saint Francis





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