“Art as Spiritual Therapy” Retreat

The world is in crisis. Many faithful people are struggling with the present challenges and fearful about an uncertain future. They cry out the words of the psalmist, “How long, LORD?”

This retreat will tap into the proven benefits of arts and crafts to help a participant better understand where God’s guiding presence and ultimately find peace amidst chaos and confusion.

For these reasons, the Catholic Conference Center is hosting a special one-night retreat August 21-22.  The retreat leaders will use various art and craft activities to help you reconnect with God and renew your spiritual health and well-being. 

The sessions will be hands-on. With some guidance from expert presenters, they will be geared toward opening yourself up to the creative powers locked within.

You’ll create an inspired piece of art, pottery, and poetry of your own.  More importantly, in this creative process, you’ll leave with a new awareness of God’s presence guiding you and acting in your life.

For more information, or to register, call 828.327.7441 or email info@catholicconference.org

Session 1

Studies have shown that doodling actually helps you pay better attention to things going on around you. Doodling during a lecture or meeting actually helps your mind focus on what is being said. “Prayer Doodling” uses the same concept to help you focus on what God might be saying to you. In a relaxed setting, your prayer doodles will unlock your creativity and lead you to greater inspiration – not to mention allowing you to just have some good, relaxing fun.

Read about our presenters here…

Session 2

We are, in a literal sense, pottery. God physically shaped Adam from the clay of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life. Using clay as a medium, you will spend some time reflecting upon you being God’s handiwork, and how even in these confusing times, God is still molding and shaping you into the image of his beloved. At the end of the workshop, you will have a piece of pottery that will be uniquely your own. The clay will need to be fired, and be available for pick-up two weeks after the event. For an additional $10 shipping fee, we can ship the piece to your home.

Read about our presenters here…

Session 3

In a confusing and challenging time, poetry offers a person a unique way to explore emotions and develop a new perspective. With an emphasis on symbols, metaphor and imagery, poetry unlocks a person’s creative thinking and better hear the voice of God speaking the language of God. Poetry allows a person to develop a new perspective and expand his or her view of God’s presence and activity in the world.

Read about our presenters here…


The discounted price is $150 per person, $275 per couple.  This includes overnight lodging, three full-course meals prepared by our own executive chef, all materials, and fees for our expert presenters… plus access to our beautiful facilities, trails, and outdoor meditation areas. 

Safety and Social Distancing

All retreatants will be safely distanced with a private lodging room, separate workspace, individual dining room table in our spacious, retreat center.  The center has received consecutive 100% sanitation ratings for both the dining area and the lodging rooms. If you would like to know more about our safety protocols, please call 828.327.7441 and ask for our Hospitality Manager, Kris Cordes.

Retreat Schedule

Meet Our Presenters

Ashley Dowdy: Prayer Doodles

Ashley has led many workshops on meditating with art, Zen Doodles, and other group workshops and events. Ashley has recently moved into the area and is employed full-time by the conference center, deploying her many talents and gifts.

Dale and Debra Zimmerman: The Potter’s Hands Workshop

Shortly after moving to the area in 2012, Dale and Debra began their journey into this age-old craft and haven’t looked back. Their art is displayed throughout the Hickory area and at regional pottery and craft shows and Debra teaches classes in their home studio and at local community colleges. They are thrilled to present this workshop using the symbolic medium of clay as it relates to their faith and passion for pottery.

Alden Sproull: The Healing Art of Poetry

Alden, founder of Simply Soul Stirrings, has a rich and diverse background in ministry, leading retreats, and offering spiritual direction across the United States. Primarily involved leading retreats for caregivers and health care workers, he uses a number of techniques like poetry to foster inner healing and spiritual growth. His latest collection of poems, “Walking Along the Edge” to be released this Fall on Amazon.


Registrations are non-refundable, however, the retreat will also abide by the COVID 19 protocols issued by the state of North Carolina. Should the protocols change to where the conference center is unable to host a retreat, all registration fees will be refunded. Registration is limited to state requirements and to maintain appropriate social distancing, so register now to make sure you have a place at this powerful retreat.

For more information, or to register, email info@catholicconference.org or call us at 828.327.7441

Interested in just one or two sessions? Click here to see our commuter options.