Since 1951, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate have strengthened the faith of thousands of retreatants at King’s House Retreat Center in Belleville, Illinois. Recently King’s House relocated to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows to take advantage of the Shrine’s unique ministries to allow people to discover healing and hope in their lives.
“The 70-year-old buildings at our former location needed extensive repairs along with updates to the guest rooms in order to meet the comfort and convenience expectations of today’s retreatants,” said Fr. Salvador Gonzalez, OMI, the current director of King’s House. “Our financial situation simply did not allow us to invest the huge sums of money required to make the repairs and renovations necessary to keep the facility open, and the shortage of Missionary Oblate personnel made it almost impossible to continue at the former location.”
King’s House at the Shrine will continue to offer a variety of retreats and faith development programs. The Shrine’s former guesthouse will now provide the lodging for retreatants. The visitor center will house most of the programs providing to participants during their retreats.
The closing prayer at the Dedication Ceremony held in 1951 is just as relevant today as it was on the opening day of King’s House:
“King’s House is now open. It welcomes all who feel drawn by the grace of God to embrace a life of penance and reparation. In the words of the Psalmists: ‘Oh Lord give victory to the King and hear us in the day we call upon you.’” (Psalm 19:10)