Our History

All who seek God and wish to grow in their spiritual life are invited to come and share

Serving the community for more than 60 years.

Christ the King Retreat Center opened in 1952 after purchasing the house and property built by Joseph Lethert in 1921. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate conducted the first retreat on the premises on September 24-26, 1952, after the dedication ceremony conducted by Auxiliary Bishop James Byrne of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul. In 1966, the name of the Archdiocese was expanded to include Minneapolis.

An atmosphere of peace and solitude.

Christ the King Retreat Center is located in Buffalo, MN which is located 42 miles northeast of Minneapolis in Wright County. We are located on a bluff overlooking Buffalo Lake which was named after the buffalo fish.

With its tree-covered grounds and beautiful bluff walks, this area provides an atmosphere of peace and solitude, and a sacred place for meditation, reflection and quiet time.

History-Timeline of Christ the King Retreat Center

Joseph Lethert, founder of the prestigious St. Paul Accounting Firm, begins construction of the Lethert Family home on the property.
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate complete negotiations for the purchase of the house and property for eventual use as a Retreat Center to be known as King’s House.
September 24 — Auxiliary Bishop James Byrne of Archdiocese of Saint Paul dedicates King’s House of Retreats. In 1966, the Archdiocese expanded their name to include Minneapolis.
September 24-26 — First Retreat (Men) conducted by Fr. Alphonse Simon, OMI. Fr. Boniface L. Wittenbrink, OMI, is director of the Retreat Center.
Construction is begun on the “cottages” (St. Joseph Hall), rooms for retreatants. Two units are constructed, with 16 rooms per unit. The cottages were razed in 1996 for the construction of DeMazenod Hall, Joseph Hall guest rooms and the Oblate residence.
Benedictine Sisters arrive from St. Joseph, Minnesota. The Sisters manage the kitchen at the retreat center. They are housed in a small cottage at the entrance way of King’s House. A small chapel is added to the cottage. This cottage and chapel were razed as part of one of the many construction projects.
Construction begins on the Main Chapel and Garden Court.
August 15 — First Mass offered in the new Chapel, dedicated to Christ the King.
May 11 — Solemn Consecration of the Main Altar of the Chapel.
Construction of Mary Hall begins, providing 31 rooms for retreatants. All rooms have views of Buffalo Lake. The Blue Room, Dining Rooms and kitchen facilities were built as part of this project.
September 17 — First retreat held in the Blue Room, occupancy of the sleeping rooms in Mary Hall; first meals prepared in the new kitchen and served in the Main Dining room overlooking Buffalo Lake.
Main Chapel redesigned.
Planning begins for replacement of the cottages, larger conference room (DeMazenod Hall), new entrance and reception area, Oblate Residence and King’s House offices
April 6 — Ground-breaking ceremony, held indoors due to a snowstorm, marks the beginning of the renovation project, includes remodeling and upgrading of Lethert House to provide restrooms, offices, gift shop/bookstore. Retreat Office which was the original Lethert Dining Room is repurposed as a small meeting room.
August 16—Archbishop Harry Flynn blesses the completed Joseph Hall sleeping rooms, DeMazenod Hall conference room, Oblate Residence, and renovated Lethert House.
March 21 — Christ the King Icon-triptych is received and installed with a blessing ceremony.
September 22 — Archbishop Harry Flynn celebrates a Mass of Thanksgiving on the 50th Anniversary of Christ the King Retreat Center.
August—The Bell Collection in the Garden Court arrives with Fr. Lon Konold, OMI. Fr. Lon graciously donated his collection of 525 bells to Christ the King Retreat Center upon his retirement in August 2023.
May 5 — Installation of The Pieta statue and prayer benches overlooking Buffalo Lake in the north Oblate garden and outdoor Crucifix.
August 21 — Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Christ the King Retreat Center.