The summer brings a change in rhythm to the ministry here. During the fall, spring, and winter, the main activity is on the weekends. During the summer the pace changes as more people are able to come to weeklong retreats. There are some wonderful opportunities on the schedule to experience God's love this summer. The Directed Retreats are always a good way to notice the Lord's presence in all things. The other retreats, Spirituality in Beauty and Darkness to Light, offer very different but none the less powerful avenues to further our connection with God.
It has been really gratifying to have so many retreatants this spring. Thank you all for coming. And in between the retreatants we have had meetings with Bill Rosamund, our architect, and Dan Messerla, our consultant for our capital campaign.
These 17 acres are looking so beautiful. Mary and Clare have got such an eye for landscaping that the whole place is looking gorgeous. Come and stop by. Even if you cannot make retreat right now, we would be enriched by your fellowship. I make a good cup of hot tea and, thanks to the tea-maker and Mary's instructions, the iced-tea seems to be drinkable!
We have hired Lawrence Bush as our new yardman to assist Mary. Juana Rodriguez, our housekeeper, has returned to work after being ill for about two months. We are so blessed to have them share in our ministry.
Stuart Mays from West Chester, Pennsylvania, volunteered here April 20-26. He prayed with us, worked with us, laughed, and enjoyed Prince and Shadow with us.
April 3-4- Marty, Jerry, and John Barich, friends of Sr. Maggie's from her Chicago days, came to visit. It was so nice to meet them - we had all heard so much about them from Maggie. We shared memories of her and now look forward to sharing a new friendship with them.
[left, standing] Morag and Sheila [seated] Bishop Latino and Clare
February 23rd: We (Clare, Mary, and Morag) went to Jackson to introduce ourselves and The Dwelling Place ministry to Bishop Latino, the new bishop of the Jackson diocese. We look forward to a fruitful relationship with him as we had with Bishop Houck.
On April 22 we attended the Catholic Foundation Dinner. The Bishop heads up the Foundation which has supported us generously in the past. We apply for grants from it yearly for the needs of our ministry.
Our friends from Mount Marty
March 7-11 brought 11 young people from Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota along with their campus minister, Sr. Meribeth Wentzlaff, to The Dwelling Place.
"This week has touched my heart; I have found out that I have something to give" was Renae Bruggeman's comment about the week. They volunteered here and helped two of our elderly neighbours in the mornings.
In the afternoons some volunteered in two classrooms in Noxubee County elementary schools, while others helped with recreation at Palmer Home and Mark Mitchell Shelter in Columbus. When they were leaving Peggy Venteicher wrote about the experience, "I can't wait to come back."
Nick Hall [left] and Jack Zimmerman
We appreciate all of you who plundered your own bookshelves in order to replace our out of print books that were missing from the library. The library is an important part of our ministry here, which is used consistently and thoroughly. We do have some really good new books that are being catalogued this week.