Pacem in Terris is a place of beauty and incredible peace. Everyone who comes through the door feels special because they sense that God has prepared this place just for them. But our community house–Our Lady of Pacem–is only a doorway that leads to the heart of Pacem; the hermitage. In that sanctuary of silence and solitude, riches beyond the human imagination await the open heart. It would be our prayer that one day you will visit as our guest or as a hermit.
We have done our best to anticipate your questions, and answered them below. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 763-444-6408.
Frequently asked questions:
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a staff member who will answer any questions you may have and invite you to share any special prayer requests (The Pacem staff prays for all our guests during their stay). You then will be taken, with a food basket and your belongings to your hermitage.
Once nestled in your hermitage, your holy time begins. Pray with Scripture. Read your Bible and spend time just talking to God and listening for His Word. Don’t be anxious. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Many hermits arrive tired and weary, and need to begin their retreat with rest for the body as well as the soul. Sleep is an important part of God’s healing plan for “Holy Rest.” Long nights to sleep, as well as “naps,” are gifts to be enjoyed. During your stay, you will probably spend most of your time inside the hermitage or on the attached screen porch. You may choose to walk in the woods along moss-covered paths, in the wildflower prairie, or sit on the boardwalk that extends over Lake Tamarack.
You will not be disturbed except at your request or in the case of an emergency. There is a mailbox on each hermitage for daily communication with Pacem staff. A Pacem staff member is always available if you need assistance or someone to talk with.
Each hermitage contains an altar, The New Jerusalem Bible, a handmade wooden cross and icons. Large windows provide a view of the wonders of nature in all seasons. An extra-long bed, rocking chair and a screened porch add to the restful comfort of the hermitage.
There is a wardrobe for clothing. General supplies (flashlight, towels, washcloth, bedding, soap, coffee/tea, rain poncho, umbrella, insect repellent) are furnished.
In the spirit of simplicity, there is no electricity or plumbing. A gaslight and candles provide light, and a thermostatically-controlled gas wall heater provides for winter comfort. A gas burner allows guests to heat water for coffee or tea and for personal grooming. The outdoor “biffy” is a short walk away and a commode is available in each hermitage.
Showers are available in the Community House from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Clothing appropriate for the outdoors: good walking shoes and boots (the trails and woods may be muddy), comfortable layered clothing (temperatures in the woods may vary from your home), and a sweater or jacket. Many people prefer lounging-type clothes and slippers for inside the hermitages.
Personal grooming items.
Your may wish to bring your own personal Bible and journal.
Pacem in Terris is open all year, seven days a week. Each guest will determine his or her length of stay and pattern of visit. If possible, allow at least two nights so that you may experience “desert time” – the freedom “to be” away from any pressures of time, structure or personal concerns and responsibilities. In the desert quiet and stillness of our hearts, God’s rich and abundant blessings are more freely received.
Hermitage food is simple. A basket of fresh bread, cheese and fruit is provided for each guest to take into the prayer cabin. Fresh water is provided, and hot water for coffee/tea can be prepared on the gas burner. Dinner with the Pacem staff is available Monday–Friday at 5:30 p.m.
We ask our guests to prayerfully consider making a freewill offering keeping in mind that our approximate cost of providing a hermitage retreat is $90.00 per night. Additional funds are always needed to meet the ongoing operational expenses of Pacem in Terris. We are able to accept payments by cash or check. (Contributions over the actual value of $90 per night are tax deductible.)
Smoking is limited to the screen porch. This is for the comfort of the other guests and the protection of the woods.
Sorry, we are unable to accommodate pets.
Pacem in Terris is about an hour from the St. Paul-Minneapolis metro area, 20 minutes north of Anoka, Minnesota, on Highway 47.
When a priest is available to offer Mass we will inform our hermit guests. Staff can also provide a directory of Mass times and a map to surrounding parishes.
If hermit guests who are priests would choose to offer Mass here, we have a fully furnished Sacristy next to the Chapel or we can provide a Mass kit to take to the hermitage. Priests may talk to the staff when making your reservation if you would like to offer Mass while here.