Redemptorist Renewal Center

Redemptorist Renewal Center
Tucson, Arizona


Silence. . . Contemplation. . . Healing


The mission of the Redemptorist Renewal Center is to be a place where the contemplative spirit of the human person may be discovered, fed and nurtured. For 50 years, the Center has served as a haven for contemplative prayer, study, and practice for the local and universal Church, and for people of different faith and religion striving to live in this spirit.

Situated in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains and the beautiful Sonoran Desert, the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks is a spiritual life and renewal center that provides a unique opportunity for solitude, reflection, prayer and contemplative practice.

Located on 120 acres that border the Saguaro National Park West, it is a site that appeals to the nature lover and gently challenges the more urban personality.

With miles of trails available into the desert, the variety of the desert flora (especially the cacti) and fauna, plus ancient Hohokam Indian rock art (petroglyphs) located on the Renewal Center property (shown at right), this place has an atmosphere that inevitably nudges those who come toward the sacred.

For those who come to it for a precious time aside from their demanding life circumstances, the Renewal Center becomes what is was for the Hohokam who etched their appreciation of life and its meaning on its jagged rock hundreds of years ago: holy ground.

On the wall of the Our Lady of the Desert Church at the Center is a saying that paraphrases Hosea 2:14: “The desert will lead you to your heart where I will speak.” For those who come to know this special place in the desert, the paraphrase on the chapel wall accurately depicts their experience here. It is a place that helps people get in touch their inner-self and discover and hear again the Lord speaking to them from within…the most sacred place of all.

The Redemptorist Renewal Center is a place where God may be discovered in action. It is not just a physically beautiful place, but it is a place where a person may listen to the voice of God. It is a place where the Redemptorist community is privileged to serve their brothers and sisters in the Lord. In the inevitable exchange, in each experience of sharing, listening and silence, the healing and nourishing power of the Spirit of God is at work.


Mission Statement

The mission of the ministerial community at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks is to establish a permanent apostolic presence in southern Arizona that reflects the commitment of the Denver Province of Redemptorists to retreat ministry and contemplative renewal.

This presence and commitment to contemplative renewal is expressed in the life-style and work of the community, both Redemptorists and our associates in ministry. This realization of the inseparable unity of divine and human, which animates the contemplative life, is also expressed through the programs created, hosted, and sponsored by the community, each of which reflect, in the way proper to their purpose, something of the living font of the spirit of St. Alphonsus Liguori, which is the charism of “Plentiful Redemption for all.”


Spiritual Growth Opportunities

In addition to published thematic group retreat experiences and the numerous hosted programs that use our facilities, the Redemptorist Renewal Center also offers other unique opportunities for spiritual growth. A sample of the services and programs offered include:

Spiritual Direction — members of the staff are available by appointment for spiritual direction, not only during the time of your visit but also as a regular part of your spiritual journey. Appointments for spiritual direction must be made in advance with your choice of directors.

Directed Retreats — Directed retreats are offered. Retreats are offered by advance appointment with a qualified retreat director. Retreats may be scheduled throughout the year at mutually agreed upon times. A minimum of five full days is suggested in order to benefit from this type of retreat experience.

The Contemplative Study and Retreat Sabbatical — A sabbatical and renewal program for priests, ministers, religious and laity has been established at the Center. The emphasis of the sabbatical program is on spirituality, specifically spirituality that is anchored in a contemplative attitude and approach toward life. We believe that the desert experience is an important part of what makes this sabbatical program unique. RRC offers spring, summer and fall sessions.

Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction — A spiritual direction institute, training spiritual directors from an interfaith perspective, is in session at the Center twice per year.

Twelve-Step Directed Retreats — Directed retreats are offered, using the 12-Step recovery program, popularized by AA and related 12-Step groups. Retreats are offered by advance appointment with a qualified retreat director. A minimum of three full days is suggested in order to benefit from this type of retreat experience.

Private Retreats — Private retreats, in which the individual person directs their own retreat experience, are available throughout the year. If you wish to have spiritual direction during your private retreat, this must be scheduled in advance to determine availability of staff.

Hermitage — A hermitage is available for private retreats upon request. We are also able to direct you to the Desert House of Prayer (across the street from Redemptorist Renewal Center and also staffed by the Redemptorists) if you prefer a contemplative model for your retreat experience.

Preached Retreats — Preached retreats and Days of Recollection are offered throughout the year.

Pathless Path — Christian Contemplative practice, under the direction of Rev. Pat Hawk, CSSR is available in an ongoing way. Residential opportunities and almost monthly Contemplative Intensive Retreats (CIRs) and Zen Sesshins are available throughout the year. Contemplation is an ancient Christian tradition, rooted in Scriptures and the life of Jesus. Through the practice of contemplation, we realize the Mind of Christ, which St. Paul encourages us to make our own (Phil. 2:5-11); and by which we seek the fulfillment of Jesus teaching to “love your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:37, 39).

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