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A Minnesota Hermitage Retreat Center | 763-444-6408

What to Expect

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. Our community house – Our Lady of Pacem – is 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 is 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Pacem in Terris located?

Pacem in Terris is about an hour from the St. Paul-Minneapolis metro area, 20 minutes north of Anoka, Minnesota, on Highway 47.

Click here for a location map and directions to Pacem In Terris.

Are tours available?

Yes, our staff would be delighted to provide a tour of the main retreat building and bring you out to see a hermitage. It generally works best if you call ahead to schedule a tour, so that we can arrange the tour around our incoming guest arrivals. If you would like to arrange a tour, please call us at 763-444-6408. We look forward to showing you Pacem in Terris.

What is the cost?

We ask our guests to prayerfully consider their freewill offering. The suggested donation is $140.00 per night, which is based on the operational cost of Pacem in Terris.

Additional funds are always needed to meet the ongoing operational expenses of Pacem in Terris and extend the hermitage experience to all. We are able to accept payments by cash, check or credit card. Contributions over the actual value of $140 per night are tax deductible.

Are Gift Certificates available?

Yes, Pacem offers gift certificates in any amount. They make great gifts. We can mail them directly to the recipient or to the gift-giver. Typically, gift-givers will give them in the amount of a two-night stay. For more information, or to purchase a gift certificate, call Pacem at 763-444-6408.

How do I make a reservation?

Reservations are required. To arrange your visit at Pacem in Terris, we invite you to contact us by phone at 763-444-6408 any day between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (CST).

How far in advance should I make a reservation?

Reservations are required. During Pacem's busiest seasons (September to November and March to May) weekends can fill up two months prior. During other times of the year, there may be availability within the same week. There are often cancellations, and you can be added to a wait list. We encourage visitors to call as soon as possible to make reservations. To arrange your visit at Pacem in Terris, we invite you to contact us by phone at 763-444-6408 any day between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (CST).

What is check-in and check-out time?
Check-in is between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check-out is by noon.
What is the recommended length of stay?

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.

What should I bring?

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.

You may wish to bring your own personal Bible and journal.

What is provided?

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 5 p.m.

What will I eat?

Hermitage food is simple. A basket of fresh bread, date nut bran muffin, cheese and fruit is provided for each guest. Fresh water is also provided, and hot water for coffee/tea can be prepared on the gas burner. Gluten-free options are not available.

Cooking is not permitted in the hermitage cabins.

Can you tell me about the bathrooms?

Pacem provides three bathroom options. In our main building, you'll find bathrooms with running water. These bathrooms provide a shower, toilet, and sink. They are shared by our guests and have locking doors. Bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths are provided, as are body wash and shampoo.

Outside, you'll find our "spiffy biffies," which are very clean, comfortable outhouses.

A camping commode is also available inside each hermitage. Hermit guests are asked to clean and sterilize the camping commodes if they are utilized during one's stay.

What are the hours of the main retreat building?
Our Lady of Pacem, the main retreat building, where the chapel, library, dining room, indoor bathrooms, and exercise/weight room are located, is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
What should I expect?

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 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.

Is Mass available?

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.

Is smoking allowed?

Pacem in Terris is a tobacco-free campus. This is for the comfort of the other guests and the protection of the woods.

Can I run/jog on the trails?

No, the trails are meant for Pacem's guests, for prayerful, quiet, meditative walking. For those guests who desire to bike, run, or jog, we recommend utilizing the road. Highway 47 has a wide shoulder, and Old Sullivan Road, located just north of the Pacem grounds, has little traffic and is a good place for jogging or biking.

To maintain a distraction-free atmosphere for all our guests, we request that you refrain from the use of hammocks, snowshoes, or skis on the roads and trails. The staff can suggest places off our property for these activities.

May I bring a pet?

Sorry, we are unable to accommodate pets.

Does Pacem allow Emotional Support Animals (ESA)?

No. According to Minnesota State Law, a Service Animal is allowed, but as a private, non-profit organization our policy does not allow Emotional Support Animals (ESA). Minnesota State Law differentiates between the two. For further information, see It is not lawful to claim that an Emotional Support Animal is a Service Animal.

What is Pacem’s cancellation policy?

Effective April 1, 2024, individuals who make reservations will be required to use a debit or credit card to hold their booking. Guests who cancel or reschedule reservations within 14 days of their scheduled arrival, or who do not show for their reservation, will be charged a $50 cancellation fee on their card. A guest who cancels a reservation earlier than 14 days before their schedule arrival date will not be charged.

I’ve never been on a silent retreat. What will I do?
The beauty of Pacem in Terris is that there is nothing that you have to do. There are no schedules, no phones, no meetings. Nothing is required but for you to be in the presence of a God who loves you and cares for you. If you feel like getting holy rest, you’re free to do that. Your time is your own. Allow yourself the luxury and freedom for the Holy Spirit to move you to prayer, rest, walking the trails, watching wildlife amidst God’s creation, sitting in your rocking chair, on your porch, or down by the wilderness lake, praying in the chapel, or just “being.”
Are candles permitted?

Please burn only the candles provided for you in the hermitage and in the containers which hold them. If you need to have candles replenished, please place the empty votives in your mailbox at the time of noon mail pick-up, and we will replenish them for you.

In consideration of our guests with allergies, please refrain from burning scented candles, incense, or herbs in the hermitage. For the same reason, please refrain from using essential oils or perfumes.