Retreat Centers in the Diocese of Des Moines


In the words of our Holy Father Pope Francis, “Those who live a retreat in an authentic way experience the attraction and fascination of God and return renewed and transfigured in their daily lives, their ministry, and their relationships.” Therefore it is my pleasure to invite the people of the Diocese of Des Moines to explore the great treasures that are our three retreat centers and the opportunities that they provide.


                                                                                                                                                                                        The Most Reverend William M. Joensen

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tenth Bishop of Des Moines



The Creighton Retreat Center

The Creighton University Retreat Center fosters an active prayer life, allowing for deeper conversion and relationship with our Lord Creighton Retreat Center Jesus Christ. Consistent with our Jesuit tradition and Ignatian heritage, we offer individual and group

  • Retreats and spiritual direction based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
  • Five, eight or 30-day directed retreats, or private retreats
  • Weekend retreats for men, women and couples
  • Facilities for large or small conferences
  • Parish confirmation retreats

The Creighton University Retreat Center is a full- service center for all wishing to retreat. It is set in 153 wooded acres teeming with wildlife, song birds, miles of hiking trails and an awesome night sky. In this quiet setting you can find yourself and God while communing with the wonders of nature. It is a place in which you can respond to the Lord’s invitation to “Come away and rest for a while.”

  • An assortment of private and double rooms with accommodations for more than 100 people
  • Several apartments and a guest house with cooking facilities
  • Spacious dining hall serving wonderful home-cooked meals
  • Beautiful and scenic chapel for private prayer and celebration of liturgies
  • Numerous prayer gardens and statues on the grounds

The Creighton Retreat Center is located just outside Griswold Iowa. Contact the office staff for more information on retreats and the facilities.

The Saint Thomas More Center

St. Thomas More CenterThe Saint Thomas More Center serves the Diocese of Des Moines by offering retreats and a host facility for youth and young adults. It is primarily known as the home of the Catholic Youth Camp.

The Center hosts retreats for teens in middle and high school, and young adults as they grow to become joy-filled missionary disciples of Christ. As Christ habitually went up the mountain to pray before many of His pivotal life events, we are called to regularly seek the Lord in silence and solitude. Contact the office staff for more information on programming or the facilities. The Saint Thomas More Center is located on Lake Panorama in Iowa.

“I think that if any good thing shall go forward, something must be adventured.” - St Thomas More

The Emmaus House Retreat Center

The Emmaus House Retreat Center is a place for silence and solitude, spiritual renewal and prayer.  It is located in Urbandale and offers an oasis of quiet in the midst of the busyness of daily life.

The model for the ministry of Emmaus is the disciples’ encounter with the Risen Christ on the road to Emmaus in Saint Luke’s gospel. Through their personal conversation and discussion of the scriptures along the way, and in the breaking of the bread at table, their eyes were opened and they recognized him (Luke 24:32). The stillness of the house offers the opportunity for prayer and reflection on our relationship with God.

Trained spiritual directors are available for spiritual direction, directed retreats and to serve as a resource for days of reflection and renewal, both at the house and at other locations. Eucharist is celebrated at Emmaus House every Tuesday and Thursday at noon, and all are welcome to participate. The Emmaus House is located at 3315 70th Street in Urbandale. Contact the office staff for programming and scheduling information.