The name Santiago was given to this land over 250 years ago by St. Junipero Serra, a Franciscan priest from Spain, and his missionary companions. Arriving in this area on July 25, 1769, they celebrated Mass not far from our retreat center in honor of the feast of St. James, or “Santiago,” his name in Spanish.
From here, the Franciscans continued northward to complete the work of forming 21 missions and establishing the Catholic faith in California. It was he who’s motto, Siempre Adelante or Always Forward, became a famous saying among Catholics world-wide.
GETTING CLOSE TO GOD
STAYING CLOSE TO HOME
The Way of St James
We are also reminded of the Camino de Santiago, or “The way of St. James”, one of our Church’s most well-known pilgrimages that leads to the shrine of St. James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. It is believed that here are buried the remains of this saint.
From this heritage, it is not surprising that evangelization was at the heart of Santiago Retreat Center when it began beating nearly 30 years ago. It gained recognition and became a significant Catholic facility without capital campaigns or a development effort. Providence, faith, and a few Catholic philanthropists ensured its continued viability.
ABOUT SANTIAGO RETREAT CENTER
For many, Santiago Retreat Center is a starting point on their Camino or “walk with the Lord.” Like the road to Emmaus, retreatants find their eyes opened and recognize, some for the first time, that Jesus is truly with them. For most, it is a metanoia experience.
We are a 501(c)(3) corporation that exists to serve the Catholic communities of southern California by providing facilities for retreats, marriage encounters, summer and science camps, and special events in a safe and secure and stunningly beautiful 500 acre setting.
Our facility includes a 500 bed capacity within four distinct retreat areas, each with its own chapel, meeting room, recreational space, and dormitories. We have a variety of activity areas including a large swimming pool, sports field, hiking trails, low ropes, game room, picnic areas, and indoor & outdoor meeting spaces.
The current life of the Church in the era of Covid 19 has been radically disrupted. The mission of the Santiago Retreat Center remains the same, but the delivery mechanism has been altered to pivot to the needs of the individual family, the domestic Church. We achieve this through providing full-service programing that addresses the needs of our schools, parishes, and the individual family:
• Youth Boys Formation Weekends (One per month)
• Youth Girls Enrichment Weekends (One per month)
• Catholic Family Campouts (One per month)
• Confirmation Formation Programs
• School facilitated retreats
• Youth summer camp programs
• Missionary Discipleship program
"SANTIAGO RETREAT CENTER GIVES PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY TO STEP OUT OF
THEIR DAILY LIVES AND HAVE AN AUTHENTIC ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS.
WHAT A PRIVILDGE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS KIND OF IMPACT”
ABOUT THE PLAN
Today, 10 years after securing 501(c)3 nonprofit status, we are launching our first-ever advancement plan. This is not a typical campaign as our vision is not set on brick and mortar. We know that retreats change lives. In fact, nothing impacts the spiritual formation and lives of teenagers greater than a well-run Confirmation or Kairos retreat in the right environment. And nothing brings a husband and wife closer to Jesus and each other than a marriage encounter. That is what we do. Our advancement plan will allow us to do more of these retreats and to do them even better.
Most advancement plans are for projects, like buildings, that are designed with a start and finish date. Again, ours is different. It will be dynamic. We already have over 500 acres and solid structures with “good bones.” Some need refurbishing, some need equipment, and others need to be built. Our progress, like our planning will be continuous. With many small projects, we will see improvements continually.
Also different is our ask. Rather than request that you “donate” we invite you to join us on our “pilgrimage” or journey forward. Yes, we do need money to fund the projects and we hope you will take an active role in visiting us, learning how your donation will make a major impact on so many souls in need, and to pray with us.
Santiago Retreat Center’s
Always Forward ADVANCEMENT PLAN
As we move forward, we ask you to join us on our spiritual, and physical journey. It will be timeless pilgrimage but one with critical benchmarks. It is a unique advancement plan we call Siempre Adelante, or Always Forward. we hope you will take an active role by visiting us and learning how your donation will make a major impact on the many souls in need, and to pray with us.