CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA

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The Catholic Corner- The Sycamore Tree



Nestled in the Swan Valley is one of the Diocese's most beautiful Catholic Retreat centers. The sycamore tree is inspired by the passage in Luke.

"...so he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him..." Lk 19:4.

Zacchaeus; a tax collector and a crooked one at that, pursued the opportunity to see and listen to Christ. In doing so, Christ invites him into love and fellowship and he is forever changed. In this way; the Sycamore Tree inspires all who make a retreat there to do the same and risk their comfort to encounter Christ. The center is located in the Swan Valley, also called the "Valley of the Hush" as the surrounding lands are a wonderful place for silence and prayer. The center focuses on four words to capture the goal of what the hopes are for all who visit. Solitude, Silence, Surrender, and Servanthood is what makes up this beautiful center.

(Pictured above is the most recent group of seminarians; Bishop Vetter and Fr. Marc Lenneman)


The center offers group retreats and is available for self-led retreats. The center is often used for clergy and lay people and the option to give and sponsor a priest; religious; layperson; or seminarian in a formation or personal retreat is a wonderful gift. Prices are listed online and retreat nights can be purchased for others as a gift The center has a small volunteer staff and has operated for almost 40 years through benefactors, retreatants, and volunteer labor.

The center takes volunteers in groups or individually and is happy to barter a personal retreat for labor exchanges such as cleaning the retreat cabins; laundry; painting projects; wood cutting; snow removal; cooking meals; gardening; general maintenance and so much more.


The center currently needs:

  • Donations toward our underground sprinkler system project

  • Golf cart for quietly transporting supplies to cabins.

  • SUV vehicle for staff use.

If you would like to visit or plan a retreat here contact the center at Phone: 406.754.2429 or go to: https://sycamoretreeretreat.org/contact-us


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