It has been more than 15 years since the former St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township was redeveloped as the St. John's Center for Youth and Family, which later became the Retreat Center at St. John's.
Unfortunately, the Retreat Center did not experience the volume of usage that was initially envisioned, and operations were suspended by the archdiocese in November 2009. The hotel, conference center and golf course at St. John's are doing well and generating revenue sufficient for capital and maintenance expenses at the complex including upkeep at the idled Retreat Center.
While the archdiocese has not subsidized general operations at the former seminary since late 2009, archdiocesan support continues for a very active Catholic wedding ministry at St. John's, in addition to regular use of the St. John's chapel for Sunday evening Mass and other occasions.
The archdiocese invested approximately $30 million in renovations and construction to repurpose the former seminary. An additional $25.3 million was allocated to the Retreat Center and for several archdiocesan youth and family ministries operated from the St. John's center including marriage preparation and marriage support programs.
The archdiocese continues to own the land and structures at St. John's except for The Inn at St. John's building, which was built with private funds.
St. John's was redeveloped with good intentions in a better economy. We are now evaluating options to repurpose the former Retreat Center to advance our mission of sharing Christ in and through the Church and to enhance the revenue earning capacity of operations at the complex.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit