Our Story

The St. Leonard House (the present residence of the Fathers of St. Joseph, right next to the St. Leonard Youth Retreat Center) was built in 1966 to house the members of the Congregation of St. Joseph who had begun their ministry of education at Elyria Catholic High School.For years the St. Leonard House hosted retreats in less than adequate quarters, but people sought the quiet and serene beauty of our property to encounter the divine. In the mid 90's the idea of building a youth friendly retreat facility with overnight accommodations was conceived. After a survey to ascertain the need for a youth retreat center, a successful fundraising campaign was launched. The St. Leonard Youth Retreat Center was built in 1997 and inaugurated on August 30, 1998 by Bishop Anthony Pilla, Ordinary of the Diocese of Cleveland.Today, St. Leonard Youth Retreat Center is the home for the COR Retreat program, as well as Northcoast Spirit TEC, Engaged Encounter, and parish Life Teen retreats. Many area parishes make the St. Leonard Youth Retreat Center the home for their youth group retreats, confirmation retreats, or even parish staff retreats! Schools and colleges prefer the St. Leonard Youth Retreat Center for their retreats (such as Kairos), leadership training programs, or even choir or band camps!