Saint Louis University

Manresa Center

Manresa Center is SLU's primary retreat center located just off campus. It features 34 bedrooms with a total of 52 beds, a large common area, theater, chapel and secured parking lot.

Manresa Center Chapel

Rental Rates

  • $75 Reservation Fee required for all bookings
  • Overnight stays include use of entire center (minimum of 15 beds) = $35/bed/night
  • Daily Center Rate = $600 (includes use of all conference rooms, living room, dining room, auditorium, and chapel


Built in the mid 1800s, the McPherson Mansion was one of the largest homes in the "West End." Upon the encouragement of Archbishop Kenrick in 1887, the house was purchased by the Sisters of Visitation and turned into a day school for children. The house was then purchased in 1906 by the Sisters of the Helpers of the Souls and named "Marydale." The sisters made several improvements to the house, including the addition of the extension that now houses the theater and the cafeteria, as well as the adjacent buildings. In the early 1920s, the sisters added the chapel, which they modeled after their mother house in Paris. Marydale soon became an outreach to the African-American community.

Manresa Center Bedroom

In 1965, Marydale was purchased by the Conventual Franciscan Friars. The newly renamed St. Bonaventure Friary served as their center for religious formation. The Franciscans continued community outreach by serving daily lunches to those in need.

Purchased by Saint Louis University in 2000, Manresa Center was named after the town in Spain where St. Ignatius Loyola laid down his sword and began the spiritual journey that led him to establish the Society of Jesus. The facility, available to both University and external groups, now provides a perfect place for day-long conferences or overnight retreats.


Manresa Center provides sleeping accommodations for up to 49 guests. The 34 bedrooms are equipped with dressers, reading lamps, coat racks and, in some instances, desks.

Manresa Center Auditorium

Meeting Spaces

Meeting spaces vary in both size and style. The spacious theater provides theater-style seating for up to 150 people, while three smaller conference rooms seat between 6 and 25. Also, four sitting rooms provide a more casual environment for 4 to 18 people.


With a seating capacity of 60, the chapel is available to all denominations desiring a sanctuary style environment. The chapel is complete with a pipe organ, vessels, vestments, hosts, wine and liturgical books for those wishing to celebrate Mass.

Benefits and Services of Manresa Center

  • Access to copier and fax machine
  • Access to telephones for local calls
  • Basic audio-visual equipment
  • Beautiful courtyard and grounds
  • Dining facilities for 60
  • Event management
  • Experienced professional staff
  • Secure on-site parking
  • Self-service laundry facility
  • Tranquil reflection areas
  • Wireless internet access

Give us a call at 314-977-MEET (6338) or send us an e-mail at to begin planning your next event.

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