General Information

"All guests are to be received as Christ.”

(Rule of Benedict 53:1)

Our Benedictine charism overflows into the ministry of hospitality, supported by a deep desire to share with others the peace of Christ. In 1976, this desire found expression in the establishment of a retreat ministry on the grounds of Sacred Heart Monastery. For over forty years, the ministry of the Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center in Cullman, Alabama has grown steadily as men and women, old and young, Protestant and Catholic, find their way to Sacred Heart. Some guests arrive seeking solitude for personal spiritual renewal. Others gather for community faith sharing. Some choose to attend one-day programs and luncheon meetings. Still others participate in overnight events of varying length. Annually, the Retreat Center welcomes and serves over 2,000 retreatants and guests.

As a ministry sponsored by the monastic community, the Sisters remain actively involved in the day-to-day activities that give the Retreat Center its own unique character. Currently, Sister Elisabeth Meadows, OSB, serves as the Director of the Retreat Center. Sister Marian Davis, OSB, serves as Assistant Director.  They are supported by Sister Tonette Sperando, OSB, Prioress, and an Advisory Board made up of Sisters, clergy, and laity. The Retreat Center Team assists the Director as a collaborative group to discuss, propose, and evaluate the various programs offered by the Retreat Center. Other Sisters are involved as spiritual directors, retreat leaders, and assisting with Retreat Center functions such as program registration and meal service.  Community members also eagerly assist guests who join the Sisters for the Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist in the monastery chapel. Most importantly, the Sisters hold all of our guests and their intentions in prayer during their time with us.



Retreat Center Staff


Sister Elisabeth Meadows, OSB



Sister Elisabeth Meadows, OSB



                                                   Sister Marian Davis, OSB

                                                                Assistant Director







Cheryl Dye, Head of Housekeeping and Food Service


Stephanie Cupp, Office Manager


Cheryl Dye

Head of Housekeeping and Food Service



                                                              Stephanie Cupp

                                                                 Office Manager







Quick facts

Located one hour north of Birmingham in the Northern Lakes area of Alabama, approximately three miles east of Interstate 65  -  click for printable driving directions (pdf)

  • Situated on over 200 acres of land owned by the Benedictine Sisters containting landscaped areas, pasture, and woodland.
  • For group retreats, two new guest houses and one older house containing a total of 66 beds in 35 rooms. 
  • For private retreatants, Subiaco, our area designated for private retreat guests, offers a total of five bedrooms with private bath, a common living room and kitchenette
  • Three meeting rooms with capacities ranging from 10 to 100.
  • A spacious dining room which will accommodate up to 108 individuals.  A separate alcove provides a dedicated dining area for those on private retreat.
  • Access to the monastic chapel for liturgy with the Sisters and for private prayer during the day.
  • Benedictine Sisters on staff are available for orientation to our liturgical prayer and our monastic way of life.
  • Group tours of the monastic chapel and public areas of the monastery can be arranged.
  • Member of the Association of Benedictine Retreat Centers.


Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center
Cullman, Alabama

(256) 734-8302