Mission, History and Values
Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center, a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, provides an atmosphere of peaceful, quiet and sacred space in a natural setting.
Lindenwood offers individuals and groups an environment for faith development, personal and spiritual growth, team building and artistic endeavors.
We do this with a welcoming presence to all we serve.
Lindenwood envisions itself as the retreat and conference center of choice in northern Indiana. The guests who fill our center experience warm hospitality, peace, serenity and the presence of God.
Our Core Values
We believe that our four Core Values flow from joyful service to all, especially the needy and underserved. These values are Openness to the Spirit, Community, Simplicity, and Dignity and Respect for all.
Learn all about our Core Values by visiting the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ website.
In March 1986, several months after Lindenwood began its existence, the Villa Maria underwent a major renovation to transform it from a girls’ dormitory for Ancilla High School to a retreat/conference center. Major components of the construction project included private bathrooms for all bedrooms, creation of several single bedrooms, installation of air-conditioning, an elevator, handicapped bedrooms, meeting rooms, and a small kitchen area. The recorded information from this era reveals that Lindenwood, the new ministry, was striving to provide educational and renewal opportunities to guests as was first proposed in its charter documents.
Early retreats included such offerings as “Today’s Look at Confession” and “Understanding One’s Family.” Along the way, topics addressed issues of the day such as the farm crisis. Later many programs addressed personal and family crisis through the work of organizational partners such as Beginning Experience and Right Relations. Today’s programs and retreats such as the Men’s and Women’s Retreats, 12-Step Retreats, Conference Retreat and Icon Painting Retreat strive to “provide an environment to stimulate creativity and bring balance to life’s issues.”
On November 2, 1986, approximately 200 guests attended a dedication and reception marking the official opening of Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center at Convent Ancilla Domini, Donaldson, Indiana. At the dedication, Sr. Kathleen Quinn, then the Provincial of the Poor Handmaids sponsoring the new ministry, stated: “Lindenwood reflects our mission of serving God through the use of our talents and resources.” That mission continues today.
The latest renovation, completed in December 2009, added an addition which contained five meeting rooms, bookstore, restrooms, office space and storage. This new area transitions into the overnight accommodations allowing guests to be in close proximity with their meeting rooms. This project was the realization of a dream to have all retreat facilities centralized for the ease of guests’ access.
Guests come to Lindenwood in search of a special place for retreat or to hold their conference. Lindenwood Retreats and Programs provide an opportunity for guests to register for programs which are originated, designed, and implemented by our staff. Many individuals come as private retreatants seeking quiet and peaceful space in a natural setting for meditative walks, including the outdoor labyrinth. Lindenwood meeting rooms are available for churches, schools, civic organizations and corporations for meetings, conferences, educational workshops and staff development. The meeting rooms offer beautiful views of the grounds, comfortable seating up to 110 and state of the art audio-visual equipment.
Throughout the years, Lindenwood has evolved into a retreat center of choice in Northern Indiana. Come visit us, or call (574) 935-1780 to schedule a tour or your next event. As Lindenwood continues to grow, we invite you to grow with us.