St. Raphaela Center is ...

... a large, beautiful home nestled in a wooded area of Haverford, Pennsylvania. It is a well-maintained spiritual center that offers the following air-conditioned facilities:

Main House

St. Raphaela Center is a Main Line stone mansion, which was formerly a single-family home before being acquired by the Handmaids in 1957. It offers both private and shared overnight accommodations. The maximum capacity, with sharing, is 57 (should we say 55 (no cots) or 59 (with cots and hermitage), or we can accommodate a total of 28 (29 with hermitage) people in private rooms. For those who require first-floor accommodations, there are 4 (5) rooms that can accomodate a total of 6 (8) guests.  The Center is fully air-conditioned.


Our chapel is a featured sacred space for worship, prayer, liturgy, conference presentations, and sacred music concerts. This glass-walled space offers a beautiful panoramic view in every season and can accommodate up to 100 people. All are welcome to visit the chapel at any time. You may join the Handmaids for Morning and Evening Prayer, daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and Mass, which is celebrated on a regular basis. The Chapel is equiped with a built-in projector and screen where presentations or videos appropriate for this sacred space may be shown. 

Sleeping Accommodations

St. Raphaela Center offers 3 floors of bedrooms that include single-, double-, and triple-occupancy accommodations. Rooms are furnished with beds, nightstands, bureaus, rocking chairs, and desks. Bed linens and towels are provided. Each guest should bring his or her own toiletries. There are no telephones, televisions, radios, or alarm clocks provided in the sleeping areas.

WIFI Access

The Center has recently been renovated to ensure strong WIFI access throughout the house, in all meeting spaces as well as in the bedrooms.  

Dining Facilities

Meals are served in our spacious dining room, following a schedule with which guests are provided upon arrival. Meals are typically served "buffet-style," but other options are available. Coffee, tea, cold drinks, and snacks are always readily available, as well. This area seats groups of up to 100 people and offers a panoramic view of the retreat grounds.


The St. Joseph Hermitage, located on the grounds of St. Raphaela Center, is an option for those who desire a “desert” experience during their time on retreat. The hermitage has its own private entrance and has a single-occupancy room with a full bath. There is also a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker for your convenience. Of course, Hermitage guests are welcome to take meals in the main dining room if they desire. Please contact the Center for availability.

Gift Shop/Book Store

Located on the first floor next to the Board Room, our store features a wide selection of items including books, CDs, t-shirts, and greeting cards. You can also find a variety of religious and novelty gifts, along with items that help to promote the Center.

Meeting Spaces
  • The Emmaus Conference Room is located on the first floor in the Main House. Spacious and versatile, it provides an ideal setting for all forms of presentations and activities. Wireless internet access is available, and it is equipped with a wall-mounted flat screen monitor that can accommodate computer (a laptop is available for use), DVD, and VHS displays. The conference room can comfortably seat 50 people. It is perfect for more structured group activities.
  • The Heritage Room is a large living room-like area that can be used as a gathering space for groups or a quiet area for reading or meditation by individuals. It can also be utilized as a break-out area for workshop activities. The room is carpeted, and with a few adjustments, it can be used for Yoga or stretching classes.
  • The Board Room is a more formal area with a large conference table and wireless internet access. This room is adjacent to the Heritage Room and can seat 15 to 20 people as a meeting space. It can also serve as an additional dining area for a more intimate meal.
  • The Sun Porch is a bright, airy room located at the far end of the first floor beyond the large conference room and is available for groups of 15-20 people. It is ideal for one-on-one meetings or informal discussion groups.
  • The St. Raphaela Mary Shrine is a small chapel dedicated to the Handmaids’ foundress. This intimate space can accommodate up to 10 people comfortably and has been used for prayer groups, as well as a gathering area.
  • The Gathering Room is located adjacent to the Shrine. With its comfortable living room-like setting, groups of 15 can be easily be accommodated for presentations and educational programs. Wireless internet, DVD, and VHS are available in this room.
  • The Lower Level Lounge is a large room located on the basement level and can fit 25–30 people as a meeting space or breakout session room. Younger groups often utilize it as a "rec" (or recreation) room to relax between programs.
  • The Gym is also located on the lower level, adjacent to the lounge area. Exercise equipment such as treadmills, steppers, a rowing machine, and weights may be used by our guests at their own discretion.