Ministry Spotlight-Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center

March 8, 2023 | Posted in Catholic Sisters Week

In June 2003, a committee of representatives of on-campus ministries, other interested Sisters and the Leadership Team began working with Diane Katz, PhD, a consultant who facilitated the dialogue over the next eight months. The goal was a plan for Villa ministries that meets the needs of those now served, uses all resources effectively and allows for emerging ministries to join as needs become apparent in the future. In other words, it was intended to be a way of planning for the next seven generations.

A recent group of GROW campers

The result was the establishment in 2005 of a new sponsored ministry, Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center (VMESC), which combined the ministries of the Retreat Center, EverGreen, Farm-based Environmental Education, and the Villa Marie Education Center.

Tucked into Begel Hall, the dormitory building of the former Villa Maria High School, VMESC strives to meet its mission to “provide and promote educational and spiritual experiences in a unique setting for people of all ages, faiths, and economic status.”

VMESC offers programs and retreats to foster life-long learning and spiritual growth. Week-long conference retreats, weekend and one-day programs, ongoing series, private group retreats, and camps for young people are just some of the many offerings that utilize the meeting spaces around the Villa Maria campus.

The sacred space of Villa Maria has long nourished the spiritual life of the HM Sisters, and the land provides peace and serenity to all who visit. Its natural beauty invites all to contemplation and reflection, and VMESC shares that beauty and sense of peace with all who attend programs.

A participant at a past Villa Maria-thon

VMESC also hosts the Villa Maria-thon, an annual fundraising 5K/2-mile walk, on the first Saturday in June.

Learn more about VMESC at

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