2020 Conference Venue: Techny Towers 
2/21/2020 – by Annemarie Halfpap

Built in 1899 by a German order of priests, Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center is something to behold. I had the privilege of a guided tour in January 2020 in preparation for the Health Ministries Association (HMA) conference, to be held there September 13-15, 2020*.

On a personal level I spent most of the tour repeating the word “WOW” over and over again. I am a photographer, and graphic designer. I have worked with HMA for 10 years preparing materials like the yearly conference brochure. Since 2015 I have travelled to the conference venues to tour and photograph for our materials. This trip was to be the same. But for me it was a whole different experience.

I love to travel, even more to experience new and different cultures. The interior of Techny Towers was that and more. I knew the Society of the Divine Word included seminarians and priests on campus, and that Mass is held regularly in the Holy Spirit Chapel. What I didn’t know was all the cultural and spiritual treasures collected by traveling missionaries.

Walking through the front door it was what you would typically expect, simple wood doors and a reception area. But as I went through those doors, I found myself in a dark hallway. Going up the stairs I saw another doorway which opened into the Holy Spirit Chapel. What a beauty of architecture, similar to that I have seen in Europe.

Then our guide arrived and took us upstairs. We were ushered into room after room, meeting rooms large and small, guest rooms off hallways decorated with things from the missionary travels, multiple unique dining rooms, quiet spaces, and a building so well kept, respected and treasured.

At the end of the tour I snuck back into the Holy Spirit Chapel. It is such a beautiful place and has a wonderful peace to it. When you turn around you see the glorious organ built by the brothers. In my research I discovered that it was built from parts collected from all over the world, calling it a “Frankenstein organ.”

Due to the cold weather, our tour only included what can be found inside Techny Tower. I am so excited for the people attending the HMA conference in September. To be able to stay at this wonderful place, take the time to absorb all the beauty and history. It is a true retreat. A place to refresh you mind, body, and soul.