Pallottine Retreat & Conference Center Is A “Hidden Gem”
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FLORISSANT - Pallottine Retreat & Conference Center is more than just an event venue. With over 83 acres of space at 15270 Old Halls Ferry Road in Florissant, Mo., Executive Director Marillyn Baner said she considers it a “hidden gem.”
“We consider it a hidden gem in North County,” Baner said. “We love being able to give tours, because people always walk through the building and go, ‘Oh my gosh!’ It’s wonderful.”
Pallottine has changed its purpose since it was founded in 1969. Baner said it was constructed by the Pallottine missionary sisters, who built it as a convent, or a “formation home for young sisters to enter religious life.” Today, it serves a different purpose and is “open to all,” she said.
“Today, Pallottine is called the Pallottine Retreat & Conference Center and we host retreats and groups and meetings and all kinds of events on campus using our beautiful 83 acres - every bit of it,” Baner said. “We host meetings, workshops, business strategic planning meetings, youth ministries, all kinds of different things.”
Baner said she’s been with Pallottine for nearly eight years and has seen it grow significantly over the years, including through greater outreach efforts to “get the word out” and “reveal the secret” of the hidden gem known as Pallottine Retreat & Conference Center. While the sisters don’t reside at Pallottine anymore, Baner said they “carry on their legacy and their mission of hospitality.”
“Pallottine is open to all, and that’s something we really embrace,” Baner said. “We are ecumenical and interfaith in ministry, but we’re Catholic in identity, obviously because of the sisters. Our hospitality, which is what our mission is, is to foster all of our guests to be able to reflect with their God, renew their faith - refresh, renew, and reflect.”
She also said the “retreat” aspect of the center allows people to disconnect from their busy lives and electronics and reconnect with themselves.
“We’re looking at our cell phones constantly, we have emails 24/7, texts 24/7 - we have lost that reconnection,” she said. “Pallottine offers what I believe is needed now more than ever, a time to reconnect, to recharge your spirit, time to replenish that inner self and do self-care, which sometimes gets neglected. We lose our balance in life.”
Whether it’s a local business boosting employee morale with a change of scenery or an individual looking for some self-reflection, Pallottine offers the perfect space to retreat and reconnect. To learn more about the programs and facilities at Pallottine Retreat & Conference Center, visit their website at pallottinerenewal.org.
The full interview with Baner is available at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.
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