News from the Retreat Center


Mr. Steve Keller, Director of Facilities

Stephen Keller maintenance manager director facilities st joseph retreat sjrcc conference center Catholic Purdue woodworking Tipton CiceroSteve Keller’s skills and experience have helped transform St. Joseph Retreat and Conference Center from the former Sisters of St. Joseph motherhouse to the spiritual epicenter it is today.  He joined diocesan staff as the first maintenance manager of the retreat center and evolved into the Director of Facilities.

A proud Purdue graduate, Steve brought more than 30 years of work experience with him from Delphi Electronics and Safety in Kokomo. Steve is married with 3 children and 5 grandchildren, enjoys woodworking and residential period restoration, and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

A parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Cicero, he serves his Catholic community as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a cantor, and a mission trip leader.


Mr. Samir Azer, Operations and Hospitality Director

Samir Azer hospitality director saint joseph retreat tiptonSamir has worked in the hospitality management industry for more than 21 years; he joined our team in June 2017.

His plans for St. Joseph Retreat and Conference Center include establishing a patron-centered environment conducive to delivering unsurpassed customer service, which he refers to as “hospitality from the heart.”  His goal is to establish an environment that allows souls to be moved in a life-changing manner.  It is Samir’s hope that all who come to St. Joseph will leave feeling fully alive in their faith, ready to evangelize and spread the Good News of the Gospels.

Samir is a Catholic from Egypt and the father of three children.  He speaks three languages (English, French and Arabic), likes music, and plays soccer.  He is looking forward to the official opening of the retreat center and contributing to the experience of its visitors.


Fr. David Huemmer, Spiritual Director/Chaplain

spiritual director chaplain