Our Story

In 1948 the Dominican Sisters purchased a large estate in north Oakland County. The large dairy barn on the property was no longer being used for its original purpose. In fact, it set idle for quite some time.

Several years later the barn was renovated to provide housing for church sponsored retreats for teenaged girls. The first such retreat took place in March 1960. This retreat was quickly followed by another, this time for the mothers of the girls.

From this seed St. Mary’s Retreat House was born. Retreats for married, single, divorced and widowed women, retreats for women religious, and retreats for high school and confirmation groups were offered over the years.

Today we open our doors to men and women, young and old, Catholic and interdenominational groups. Retreats are designed to meet the needs of the individual group.

“We are pleased that God uses St. Mary’s as His special meeting place for so many to find Him and respond to His love,” said Sr. Michaelene Kolesar, OP, founding director of St. Mary’s Retreat House. “God has indeed blessed us.”