Ponchatoula, LA, August 4, 2020 – The Dominican Sisters of Peace have completed the sale of the Rosaryville Spirit Life Center, a retreat and conference center on approximately 1700 acres in Ponchatoula, LA.
“We give thanks to God for all of the graces associated with Rosaryville over these many years. Many adults and children have deepened their relationship with God through their participation in Rosaryville’s many ministries, and we are so happy to have played a part in sharing Christ’s Gospel with others,” said Sr. Pat Twohill, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
“When we began the effort to find a buyer for the property, we wanted to be able to conserve the wetlands for future generations, and to preserve access to and perpetual care of the cemeteries of the Sisters and Friars,” said Sr. Therese Leckert, of the Dominican Sisters of Peace Leadership Team. “I am happy to say that we have met these goals, and that the spirit and mission of Rosaryville – to provide a nurturing environment for spiritual growth and connection to the natural world – will live on.”
The property has been in the hands of consecrated religious since 1890, when it was purchased by the Benedictine Fathers. The Spanish Dominican Friars took over the property in 1911, christening it “Rosaryville,” as suggested by a Dominican Sister in the New Orleans Motherhouse. In 1939 Rosaryville became the novitiate and retirement home of the Dominican Sisters, Congregation of St. Mary (now the Dominican Sisters of Peace).
In keeping with Dominican tradition, Rosaryville’s mission has evolved with the needs of the time and the community. In 1946, because of the rapid growth of vocations in America, Rosaryville included a residential high school, called The Aspiranture, for those girls interested in becoming Dominican Sisters.
In 1969, Camp Kateri, a youth camp, was opened to allow urban children an opportunity to enjoy and learn about the beauty of God’s creation.
Rosaryville Spirit Life Center was established in 1981. This retreat and conference center hosted adults and young people from around the nation, offering spiritual teaching, life coaching, and a welcoming place to grow spiritually, and to come to know God through the greatness and grace of the creatures God has created.
In 2014, Rosaryville became the home for Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Chapel, a historic church built in the 1940s that was relocated to the grounds from Manchac, LA.
The property is also home to two historic cemeteries: the Dominican Friars’ Cemetery and the Dominican Sisters’ Cemetery, as well as a public cemetery established in 2017
Other Sisters serve in New Orleans and Hammond in pastoral, spiritual direction, nursing, educational, and death penalty mitigation ministries.