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Welcome to Bethany Retreat House

paying attention to the inner life


Christians know Bethany as the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, a place of hospitality where Martha served Jesus.

Away from the demands of public life, Bethany was a place of intimacy where Jesus and his friends could share their faith, their dreams.

In Bethany Mary enjoyed sitting at Jesus' feet as a disciple. In Bethany Jesus raised Lazarus to new life. To Bethany Jesus went for comfort and friendship before his passion.

Like its namesake, Bethany Retreat House is a place apart to spend time with God. It offers hospitality, beauty, and encouragement for prayer and discipleship.

Bethany Retreat House is open to women and men of all faiths, to laity, clergy, and religious who seek its silent atmosphere for prayer and reflection.

News and Events

From the Director’s Chair

by Joyce Diltz, PHJC

In Bethany’s meditation garden is a small pond with a waterfall where the local birds like to drink and shower. On a really hot day recently I enjoyed watching a small group of robins at the pond until, to my dismay, one of them plopped himself smack in the middle of the water stream and kept shooing other birds away, as though he didn’t know there was enough water for all of them to enjoy and benefit from. With my annoyance growing at his seemingly selfish ways, I decided to break up this pattern of behavior by opening the patio door and making some noise. They flew away and the stream was fair game again for any other birds who wanted to enjoy it.

That’s the only time I’ve noticed one bird commandeering the waterfall. It may or may not happen other times, but the incident felt terribly familiar. How often we humans, fearing there is not enough to go around – of love or praise or happiness or good will or whatever it is we are feeling insecure about – attempt to commandeer and protect our “share” lest someone else get “more” or get “mine.” Watching the birds, I know the water will keep flowing and that there is plenty to go around.* My guess is that God looks at us in much the same way, longing for us to know life as abundant and to have hearts that are grateful and gracious.

In that spirit of abundance and gratitude, Bethany again hosts our annual autumn tea, this year with the theme of “Autumn Reflections.” We do hope you can join us, and we are grateful for any sponsorships and prizes that you are able to offer, both in support of the ministry of Bethany Retreat House and to the delight of all who come to the tea and experience the abundant blessings that autumn and the celebrate.
*It is with deep gratitude to Butch Frigo and Mike Szany for repairing the electricity to the pond this summer that it does indeed flow abundantly!

Journal Writing Group Forms to Explore Inner Work

Beginning this fall, Bethany will offer a six-session journal writing group for those interested in spiritual growth through journaling. Facilitated by Sr. Joyce Diltz, PHJC, the group will meet on the third Tuesday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning September 15. An additional evening or Saturday group may form if interest warrants.

Each session will begin with a check-in of participants followed by a seasonal opening prayer and guided journal exercises. Time will be provided to share one’s writing, but no one will be pressured to share beyond what he or she finds comfortable. There will be a short break and refreshments, and the session will close with prayer. The fee for each session is $20. Additonal information and a registration form can be found at http://bethanyretreathouse.org/index.php/bethany-offerings/journalgroup

Autumn Tea Set for October 11

Friends of Bethany Retreat House will gather for the autumn tea on October 11 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help social hall in Hammond, Indiana. Proceeds from the annual tea help with operating expenses for the retreat house.

A menu of mini scones with jams and Devonshire cream, a variety of tea sandwiches and an assortment of mini desserts will delight guests who will again have the opportunity to take chances on large gift baskets. There will also be a wide array of door prizes. To make these prizes possible, the retreat house welcomes door prize items from newsletter readers and the general public. Bethany also seeks any gift items that might be incorporated into the raffle baskets. Donations can be brought or mailed to the retreat house. Sr. Joyce Diltz and Susan Steinkraus in Bethany’s office will be glad to answer any questions you might have about prize and raffle items.

Bethany seeks sponsors to underwrite expenses for the event. Sponsorship gifts from $100 to $500 are welcomed. A tax acknowledgment will be provided to each donor.

Doors open at 1:15 for the 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. tea. Tickets are $30 per person, with reserved tables of eight available for $240. Registration information can be found on Bethany’s website, http://bethanyretreathouse.org/index.php/news-special-events/autumn-tea

We Need to Paint the Fence!

If you can spare two to six hours to apply roller and brush, we need your help!
Please call us to volunteer some time on a dry day between rains: 219-398-5047. Many thanks!