As the year is coming to a close, we are closing in on completing Assisi Center, our administration building. In September, Gilbert Eaves, with Mary's help, put the lattice work around the deck and porches. Besides giving it a finished look, it should keep unwanted critters at bay. Now some shrubs will complete the landscaping along with the bricks you have donated.
During this last quarter, compared to the previous one, we have seen a four-fold increase in the number of people coming for retreat. God continues to bless all who come as we offer hospitallity and spiritual resources. We are grateful that God is expanding the influence to an ever widening area: Philadelphia, Saint Louis, points in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and throughout Mississippi.
You are remembered in our Christmas novena from December 17-24. Blessings on you and yours.
Many retreat houses throughout the nation have closed in recent years, mainly for financial reasons. Because God has called this Dwelling Place into being, we do not want to suffer the same fate. We believe we offer a spiritual ministry here that is not found within a radius of 150 miles.
The donations we request for retreats cover only half the total cost. Since we are not funded by an outside source we rely on generous donors and fundraisers to fill the gap. Grant writing, our Annual Appeal, our Partners who give monthly donations and our Drawdown, Boston butt sale, and Oktober Fest are the means used. We are so grateful to all who assist us in any of these undertakings.
In these fragile economic times, we are all called to trust in God and experience that hundredfold that is ours in giving to others. May the blessings of the Christ Child be yours now and throughout the year.
Standing (l to r): Sr. Mary Lou Reisch, Sr. Phyllis Manternach, Sr. Carol Freking. Seated: Sr. Liz Donahue from Okolona who accompanied them, and Sr. Mary Lou Bigler.
"I thought we were going to see just another retreat building which would take about an hour, but this is so much more!" remarked Sr. Mary Lou Bigler when four Dubuque Franciscan Sisters visited the Dwelling Place as part of their Mississippi Immersion experience on October 23rd.
... are often available during the week and on weekends when we have groups in Umbria. Give us a call to check on the availability of a hermitage when you want to get away to be still.
Boston Butt Sale-- For Labor Day and four M S U football games, we sold 180 butts which netted $1,725.42. We want to thank the committee and everyone who sold them and delivered them for us. And a special THANK YOU to all of you who bought one. Do it again? The jury is out.
From the Kitchen - - -
When you register for a retreat, please let us know if you have any food allergies or if you are a vegetarian-- even if you have told us in the past, notify us each retreat.
We want to thank everyone who contributed to our DANCING UNDER THE STARS Annual Appeal. We thank especially Karen Henry and her daughter, Courtney Workmon, for the creation of the idea. As this goes to press $7,000 has been donated. This appeal helps us continue our ministry by closing the operating gap.
Many thanks to all who have donated their time and services in so many ways. Many have helped us with mailings and with the yard work. Many have served on committees and helped us plan and dream. Some of you have donated materials for the people in Honduras- ready for when Mary goes next summer.