The Bethany Retreat House in East Chicago has helped thousands of visitors to find peace and relaxation through solitude, prayer, and meditation over the past 25 years. However, as all good things must come to an end, so will the Bethany Retreat House on June 30.


The house has provided several services to the community of East Chicago over the years. While not all of these services will be ending, the house will no longer be available for retreatants to visit. Director Sister Joyce Diltz will continue to provide ministry in the form of spiritual direction, dream groups, peer supervision groups, and women’s study groups, however, the site of these meetings remains undetermined.


Sister Joyce announced the closing of the Bethany Retreat House at the end of March in a letter to all retreatants.


Over the past 25 years, Bethany Retreat House, a nonprofit program of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, has offered a variety of services to East Chicagoans in need, including: retreats, ongoing spiritual direction, journal groups, dream groups, monthly reflection groups, a bookstore and a library.


The retreats are what have set Bethany Retreat House apart from other local offerings. Individuals have had the option to visit and retreat for a couple hours or stay overnight for a couple of days. This promotes the idea of taking time away from the hectic, busy world to self-reflect spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.


The journal groups, dream groups, and various monthly reflection groups allow individuals to benefit from discussing their experiences with others in a safe environment.


The bookstore has been one of the most beloved aspects of the Bethany Retreat House because it has offered retreatants the opportunity to take items home that allow them to continue their reflection once retreat has ended.


Although the Bethany Retreat House will be closing its doors, there will be opportunities for those who have come to love the program to continue to meet with Sister Joyce. For more information, visit


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