For the past 25 years, the Bethany Retreat House was a place of solitude, prayer and meditation in East Chicago. It has helped thousands of visitors to find relaxation and peace while providing spiritual direction, study groups and a library, which contained helpful resources.

On June 30 of this year, Bethany Retreat House closed its doors. This nonprofit program from the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ had been funded for several years by The Foundations of East Chicago. Although the physical doors closed, Sister Joyce Diltz, Director of the Bethany Retreat House, had announced that several of the activities participants enjoyed such as the dream groups and a women’s book study would continue. At the time, a new location had not yet been found.

Because Sister Joyce recognized how much Bethany meant to those who have visited, she organized several events leading to the closing. An open house with refreshments was held shortly before it closed, allowing visitors to walk the halls one last time or reminisce in the meditation garden.

Also, the bookstore held a clearance sale to sell as may items as possible. Many were able to purchase beloved books to help them continue their spiritual journey and share with others.

Finally, for the final edition of the newsletter, Sister Joyce accepted stories, memories and experiences from those who had been a part of Bethany Retreat House. She said it would serve as a memorial for the loss of the physical house, although the mission would live on through the continuation of ministry.

For previous information posted on the Bethany Retreat House, visit