Overview: Redemptorist Renewal Center

Sunrise at the Renewal Center S

ituated in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains and the beautiful Sonoran Desert, the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks is a spiritual life and renewal center that provides a unique opportunity for solitude, reflection, prayer and contemplative practice.

Hohokam petroglyphs

Located on 120 acres that border the Saguaro National Park West, it is a site that appeals to the nature lover and gently challenges the more urban personality.

With miles of trails available into the desert, the variety of the desert flora (especially the cacti) and fauna, plus ancient Hohokam Indian rock art (petroglyphs) located on the Renewal Center property (shown at right), this place has an atmosphere that inevitably nudges those who come toward the sacred.


For those who come to it for a precious time aside from their demanding life circumstances, the Renewal Center becomes what is was for the Hohokam who etched their appreciation of life and its meaning on its jagged rock hundreds of years ago: holy ground.

On the wall of the Our Lady of the Desert Church at the Center is a saying that paraphrases Hosea 2:14: "The desert will lead you to your heart where I will speak." For those who come to know this special place in the desert, the paraphrase on the chapel wall accurately depicts their experience here. It is a place that helps people get in touch their inner-self and discover and hear again the Lord speaking to them from within…the most sacred place of all.

The Redemptorist Renewal Center is a place where God may be discovered in action. It is not just a physically beautiful place, but it is a place where a person may listen to the voice of God. It is a place where the Redemptorist community is privileged to serve their brothers and sisters in the Lord. In the inevitable exchange, in each experience of sharing, listening and silence, the healing and nourishing power of the Spirit of God is at work.

Regular Business Hours:

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (MST), Monday through Friday.

Mission Statement:


he mission of the ministerial community at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks is to establish a permanent apostolic presence in southern Arizona that reflects the commitment of the Denver Province of Redemptorists to retreat ministry and contemplative renewal.

This presence and commitment to contemplative renewal is expressed in the life-style and work of the community, both Redemptorists and our associates in ministry. This realization of the inseparable unity of divine and human, which animates the contemplative life, is also expressed through the programs created, hosted, and sponsored by the community, each of which reflect, in the way proper to their purpose, something of the living font of the spirit of St. Alphonsus Liguori, which is the charism of “Plentiful Redemption for all.”

Vision Statement:


aint Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (“Redemptorists”), was a spiritual pioneer of 18th-century Italy. Educated as a lawyer, Alphonsus left his practice to become a priest and to work with the poor. Concerned with the spiritually and economically abandoned, he brought the Christian traditions of prayer and moral theology into the busy streets of his native Naples and into the neglected villages of the countryside, arousing the sentiments of the common people to seek God. Of his many gifts, St. Alphonsus’ understanding that the heart of contemplation is worked out in a person’s daily struggle to forge a life, built on unceasing prayer, moral behavior, and love of neighbor, remains his most enduring legacy.

In this spirit, the Redemptorist Renewal Center envisions a community in the desert in which Alphonsus’ vision of contemplation as the animating force of the daily life of faith is renewed for our times. To foster this vision, we have placed Alphonsus’ combination of spiritual acumen and practical good sense at the center of our ministry.

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