About the Spirit Center

"Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart... ~Rule of Benedict

A tradition of welcoming people of ALL beliefs…

Spirit Center is a ministry of the Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, located in Cottonwood, Idaho. This community is guided by the values of Healing Hospitality, Grateful Simplicity and Creative Peacemaking.

Spirit Center has 22 double-occupancy rooms with private baths. The three levels of the building each feature a lounge with a kitchenette, which can be used for small gatherings. Combined with the two conference rooms, groups of up to 120 people can be accommodated. With an eye toward environmental responsibility, Spirit Center utilizes partial solar power, as well as geothermal heating and cooling.

In addition to in-person retreats, Spirit Center also offers Diffusions: Wisdom from the Center, which are various online  programs sharing Benedictine spirituality and other topics with participants around the globe.


“Thank you for your generous hospitality. In a world of distrust and fear you all really are the light of compassion. Thank you for receiving me with such incredible patience and kindness.”

Spirit Center Retreatant

“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for the scholarship to be here at the Monastery. Just one day in this energy has been very healing for me. This place is so beautiful.”

Spirit Center Retreatant

How can you expect to live the 1500-year-old Rule of Benedict while on retreat at Spirit Center?

A retreat at Spirit Center is an opportunity to live life according to the Rule of Benedict alongside the monastic community. Benedict undertook the grand goal of designing a way of life that would bring out the best in people and keep them focused together on the Divine. The results, as history has shown in Benedictine monasteries through time, are communities that have shared the Kingdom of God in myriad ways including healing and educating, creating justice, inspiring the arts, and preserving culture.

Benedict’s Rule is structured and practical in ways that encourage encounters with the mystery and grace of God. From an intentional prayer schedule to his (mostly relevant) advice to not go to bed while still wearing a knife (RB 22), his counsel is both visionary and realistic.


Mission statement for spirit center

Spirit Center draws upon the core values of the Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude — Healing Hospitality, Grateful Simplicity and Creative Peacemaking — in its role as a center for the exploration and promotion of the arts, spirituality, history, and social justice. We offer contemplative space for learning, renewal and crucial conversation as we partner with others for a better world.

coming to the spirit center?

Please plan to arrive at Spirit Center between 1:30 and 4:00 pm due to our prayer services and meal schedules. If this is not possible, please call 208-962-2000 so we can make special arrangements. Also, if you are delayed (or ahead of schedule), please call us so someone will be here to greet you.

When you turn right onto the Monastery grounds, The Welcome Center and Historical Museum at St. Gertrude will be on your left as you start up the driveway. Spirit Center will be on your left as you continue up the pavement. When you arrive please pull up to the Spirit Center door and unload your luggage. We will then direct you to one of our parking lots or to our handicapped parking spaces.

while you are here

Visit the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude showcasing the history of north central Idaho and the Monastery.

Explore our forested grounds and learn about our call to care for the land. If you would like to meet our forester, Sister Carol Ann Wassmuth, visit the Care of the Land page.

Explore the Gift Shop at the Welcome Center, offering homemade jam, hand-crafted herbal soaps, salve and lip balm, books, music, souvenirs, one-of-a-kind items and more.


Thanks to the generosity of our friends and donors, we have scholarship funds available. You may also consider joining in our Spirituality Ministry by donating more than the suggested amount. If you are interested in a retreat scholarship, please call the Spirituality Ministry Team at 208-962-2000.

gift certificates

Give the gift of a retreat! Call 208-962-2000 to make arrangements.

more information

Call 208-962-2000 or email spirit-center@stgertrudes.org.