Blessings of Lent and joy of the Resurrection to all of you. May this be a grace filled time for you.
Just after we sent out the last newsletter, we had a weekend retreat. Nothing unusual about that, except when I looked around the dining room on the Friday evening. Our table fellowship that evening included a couple of friends who are Bible translators, home from West Africa. An Episcopalian priest, Ann Heineman, was sitting next to some Baptist women here for an Advent retreat.
There was a Methodist pastor originally from Boston and her husband, a professor of comparative religion from Jackson. Earlier that day an Italian missionary sister had returned to her ministry in Eutaw, Alabama. It was a wonderful moment of seeing how God uses this Dwelling Place to foster his kingdom.
Our good friend, John Maloney, stepped down as Treasurer of The Dwelling Place, Inc. in December. We are so grateful to him and will miss him. We have all been enriched by his loving friendship, his smile, his sense of humor, his wisdom and kindness, his stories for every occasion, his love of creation -- all the things that make him John.
Besides being treasurer, we treasured John as a man of deep faith, a devoted Dwelling Place Associate and Companion member since 1995, a generous Dwelling Place partner and fundraiser, and a faithful volunteer. John, enjoy your retirement.
This year we had a wonderful crop of pecans- we gathered 450 pounds and still left plenty for the squirrels! And it is not just squirrels who like The Dwelling Place. Prince and Shadow have had pungent encounters with several skunks this winter. We have boosted the sale of tomato juice in order to deodorize the two dogs!
In January, the Forestry Department came and did a controlled burn in our pine forest. Lots of smoke that day and, hopefully, fewer vines this summer.
This winter the roof on San Damiano leaked badly and we had to replace it - very discouraging that it had worn out after so few years. The new roof is guaranteed for 20 years!
Retreat directors meet
Retreats International Mid Gulf States Area retreat directors gathered here in November for their semi-annual meeting. Joining Mary, Clare, and Morag were (back row): Srs. Evelyn Jegen and JoAnn Viviano from Metairie, Louisiana, Rick Hinchee and (front row) Fr. Don Piraro from Lake Charles, Louisiana and Sr. Joan Schaefer from Chatawa, Mississippi.
Annunciation C Y O and their leaders