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Bishop Treinen

Nazareth Retreat Center began as a vision, a dream and came to fruition through prayer, hard work, commitment and enthusiasm.

In November of 1977, Bishop Sylvester Treinen, D. D. announced the Diocese was ready to respond to the requests for a retreat center and they began construction in April, 1978.

The initial facility was constructed on 15 acres of land in the city limits of Boise generously donated by Jim and Mary Ballantyne. The original facility consisted of the lodge with a meeting room, dining room, chapel and living quarters for the Director.

There were 4 cottages with 8 rooms each. In 1999 Bishop Tod Brown approved the renovation and expansion of the lodge to include a larger chapel, additional meeting rooms, a kitchen with a dining room large enough to comfortably seat 100, and two additional cottages were constructed to accommodate twin beds.

There are many trees, walking paths, a pond, and abundant wildlife on the property which creates a peaceful, serene, prayerful atmosphere.

Bishop Tod Brown
Bishop Michael Driscoll
Bishop Michael Driscoll blessed and dedicated the renovation and Holy Family Chapel on June 13, 1999.
“Nazareth’s story is about God working among his people. And it is about his people. People from many segments of the community, church and civic, have come to Nazareth to be ministered to by talented leaders,” said Fr John Donoghue, the first Director of the Retreat Center, in a report written in 1985.

Father John Donoghue

He also said, “Those who have experienced Nazareth have been very impressed. Most sense here the presence of God, of peace. It is a holy place. The spiritual leadership, preaching, teaching, counseling, directing and hospitality have been what our limited human and temporal resources could supply.

But the great experience here is of God, His Word, His grace, His love, His Sacraments. He has been and is intensely active at Nazareth. His peace is here. When people leave here so often the ‘breath of God’ is on their faces.”


  • Fr John Donoghue served as the Founding Director from November 1977-June 1986
  • Deacon Gerald and Jean McKenzie from July 1986-Sept 1987
  • Laurel Rickert served as Director from December 1987 – July 1991
  • Fr Gerald Dye served as Chaplain from June 1986-November 1990.
  • Sr Grayce Ross, SNJM was Executive Director from August 1993-June 2006.
  • Fred and Marjorie DiLorenzo began serving as Directors in September 2006.


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