MISSION: The mission of Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat is to foster harmony with creation and enrich lives by providing hospitality, programs and experiences for individuals and groups in a sacred place of peace and beauty.

VISION: Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat is a place of warm hospitality where guests will experience:

• Stillness that calls forth God’s whisper.

• Nature’s beauty and peace that evoke reverence for all creation.

• Awareness of interdependence that nurtures inclusive community.

• And be invited to fan into flame the inner spark of their authentic selves. 

To arrange private time at The Prairie, or to book the facilities of The Prairie for a group, contact [email protected] or phone (563) 374-1092.


Perhaps you would like a day to pray, write, read, hike, study nature, walk the labyrinth or simply relax in solitude. Individuals are welcome to spend a day or several days with comfortable and quiet overnight lodging available for reasonable cost.

If you are seeking the companionship of a spiritual director while on your spiritual journey, we invite you to contact our Certified Spiritual Director, Lori Freudenberg.

Additionally, there are a variety of CHM sponsored retreats offered throughout the year. We invite you to look through our calendar of events to see which program calls to you.


Churches find The Prairie useful for staff meetings, clubs, guilds and Bible study groups. Other organizations use The Prairie for personnel orientation, renewal meetings and workshops. Up to 45 people can be accommodated for group events of one day.

Reserve a date and plan your own program or request a presenter from a provided list.


Our Lady of the Prairie has two main Victorian themed buildings, air-conditioned and with private overnight accommodations for 12 persons. The spacious grounds provide room for a number of unique facilities to promote renewal and healing.

  • Victorian House houses Guest Services Attendant.
  • Prairie Heights, with its wraparound porch and wooden rocking chairs, is an all-purpose conference facility with
    • Great Room that will accommodate up to 45 persons for a day-long program or meeting
    • gas fireplace and breakfast nook
    • windows with views of the woods and prairie grasses
    • full kitchen and dining facilities
    • eight private upstairs guest rooms with bath between each two
    • a garden level apartment with full bath
    • garden level meeting room adaptable for a variety of functions
    • garden level chapel
    • 55-inch conference room TV for program presentation and DVD use
    • wireless internet access
  • The Labyrinth is an ancient sacred symbol. While walking the labyrinth, one enters into a mystery of the Circle of Life. Surrounded by nature, this is a place to pray, to heal, and to deepen awareness of life as a sacred journey.
  • The Cosmic Walk is a 2 mile nature trail with 22 stone markers that tell creation's story taken from the book of Genesis and expanded with the insights of science.
  • Way of the Cross invites guests to meditate on the 14 Stations of the Cross under the sky and amidst the trees.
  • The Nature Pond offers a contemplative setting to sit and pray, reflect, sketch, paint, meditate or relax. Nearby is the statue of Mary, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom.
  • The Gazebo is a screened meditation area large enough for several to enjoy – a great outdoor alternative for a group breakout session.
  • Fields of natural prairie grass and the timber of the Iowa countryside provide an ideal setting for walks and private reflection. Guests will also enjoy a variety of birds and wild life, including deer, wild turkey, pheasants, squirrels and rabbits
  • Benches and birdhouses throughout make for a pleasant experience.



At Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, we plan menus with the seasons and try to use products fresh, local, and seasonal when available. We are fortunate to have a garden that produces vegetables for our meals, and a greenhouse that offers fresh greens throughout most of the year. Knowing that meals are major contributors to the overall retreat experience, we ask that you be our guest and enjoy what we create for you. We want you to know that all meals are prepared in the same kitchen, including use of peanuts and flour. The Prairie Retreat does not have an exclusively gluten free or kosher kitchen. Due to our kitchen’s capacity, we have limited possibility of removing allergens from our menu to accommodate individual retreatants. If you have a serious food allergy, please keep this in mind. However, if you have a medical allergy, please make our kitchen aware for any possible accommodations we might be able to make. You might also consider bringing supplemental food on your own; a refrigerator is available for use by guests. You are welcome to contact us if you have specific questions or wish to request a possible accommodation.   

For groups that request, healthy nutritious meals are prepared with local foods and served by the staff. Individuals may also use kitchen facilities to prepare their own meals.


Believing that every person needs opportunities for Stillness in his/her life, fees at The Prairie are designed to be affordable to all. Scholarships are available.


The three levels of the Prairie Heights building are accessible by stairs which feature a lift chair.