By Sarah Rachfal

Referred to as a “hidden gem of Detroit,” St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat & Conference Center receives all who strive to deepen and renew their awareness of God's presence in their lives.

Since 1948, the center has welcomed groups and individuals from many religious denominations to retreat with the mission to step back from life’s daily demands, gain perspective and rest.

“St. Paul of the Cross is a ‘unique sacred place’ in which all are welcomed and all are treated with compassion and hospitality,” said Susan Gentner, a Pastoral Ministry student at MU and employee at the center.  “From the very moment a visitor enters, the spirit can be felt.”

Gentner calls the Center “special” and said most visitors who walk through the doors come for a retreat weekend, sponsored by the Passionists. The weekends run from September to June and offer a theme; this year’s theme is “Are we there yet?” and is focused on helping those who come on retreat to continue their journey with God. 

St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat & Conference Center offers many hosted events that cover a wide variety of needs, including days of meditation, events for married couples and events that focus on the needs of the nursing profession. One of the guiding values of the Center is to be of service to all and to discover and meet the unmet needs of others. The center also serves as a place where many 12-step support groups meet and find comfort.

Home to the Dominican Sisters, the sisters offer several of their own workshops and provide spiritual guidance and support to military personnel, their families and veterans.  The Passionist priests are involved in the community through their ministries and volunteer work, and all are proud to serve the greater Detroit community.  The Center has been a launch pad for “Helping Hands”, a volunteer group committed to working in the community through St. Christine’s Soup Kitchen.  Community service hours and an internship opportunity are available for those interested in religious direction.

“I fell in love with the center from the moment I walked in,” said Gentner.  “There was a stillness that I recognized but was never able to achieve. The spirit of St. Paul of the Cross has become part of me and now extends into my everyday life.  I am sure if you visit, you, too will be touched in a way that meets your needs and will stick with you in everything you do.”

St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat & Conference Center now offers a public Mass at 9 a.m. every Friday.  For more information about the center and its retreat schedule, visit or call 313-535-9563. 



St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat & Conference Center provides compassion, hospitality