September 1, 1998 Vol. 12, No. 3 [p. 1]

Dear Friends,

As our summer schedule came to a close with the final retreat in August we are looking forward to the cool down of September and the varied rhythms of the fall retreats. The temperatures will cool down, but we anticipate our schedule to 'heat up'!

One issue that is still on our back burner is San Damiano House, the new staff residence. Maggie and I are still dreaming about our new home. As this goes to press, it is being built. We had hoped that it would become a reality in August but now we anticipate September. We thank those who have given toward our building fund thus far, and we welcome any other donations.

Sr. Janet Kreber, O S F , and Sr. Mary E. Engler, O S F , both from Iowa, joined us for two weeks in July. Since Mary Horrell spent much of her summer vacation caring for her father in his final illness, Janet filled in and was a special gift to us. Thank you so much, Janet.

And if you, our reader, want a wonderful retreat, plan to sign up next year for the Darkness to Light retreat that Mary and I gave using the enneagram and graphoanalysis as helps in our spiritual journey. It is a "must do."


Sheila Avery has joined our staff as secretary replacing Angela Frauendienst. Sheila is from New Hope [a suburb of Columbus!] and is mother of three teenagers! We thank Angela, and we welcome Sheila's cheery smile and willing spirit in learning this many faceted job.

Yes, believe it or not, this is the domain name for our new web site! Come, visit us here and learn more about us, our history, our hermitages, our offerings and register for one of our programs.

Besides our current schedule, we are always eager to get the word out about our hermitages. They fill a very important need for the Spirit-led desire for solitude.

We are so grateful to Elaine Fish who spearheaded efforts in that direction and Lee Terrio who has it up and running! We are hoping that this will be an avenue for greater outreach.


The Dwelling Place has requested and received a $5000 grant from the Catholic Foundation of Jackson. The moneys will go toward the repair of our telephone and sewer systems and repair of the main trailer.

The 'Rock and Reed' sewer system is not functioning well, the phone lines to the hermitages need to be relaid, and the floor in one of our bedrooms is held together by the carpet.

We are grateful for the support from the Catholic Foundation. We say, "Thank you, Bishop Houck and George Roman, executive director, and all of the board members for assisting us in keeping up our property-- thus making our ministry possible here in east central MS."

Sr. Janet Kreber (left) and Sr. Maggie

Preparing Peaches to Please the Palate!

Sr. Janet Kreber assists Sr. Maggie as they prepare some of Brooksville peaches for freezing and for jam in July. Each peach was very precious this year; a killing frost severely limited the crop. Now the Dwelling Place pears are ripe. These are also fewer but we thank God for those we have. Stop by for peach and plum jam and for some pear marmalade! Sorry, there will be no pecans this year. Our trees were no match for the weather or the bugs.

Round 'n About

In between our week-long directed retreats this summer, August 18-19, we welcomed the leadership team of the Catholic Student Association from Mississippi State. Oh, that all the Church had such faith and such commitment for Christ! Come again! Your spirit is catching!


Ray Troyer, a local carpenter, began laying the foundation the last week of August. Stay tuned. Our next newsletter will have some photos of the real thing!

"San Damiano"

In keeping with the Franciscan orientation of this Dwelling Place, each building has been named after people or places significant to that tradition. With that in mind it is fitting that the building that houses The Community would follow that pattern and will be named San Damiano.

San Damiano is the name of the famous church and convent in Assisi, Italy. In the 12th century, it was the home of St. Clare's first community of Poor Ladies. Clare was the first woman to pattern her commitment to Christ after that of Francis of Assisi.

R C I A team meeting

St. Joseph's R C I A Team Meet

Now this is serious business!

Meeting here August 21-22, Frances Hairston [second from right] and team members plan their year of preparation for those interested in becoming Catholics of St. Joseph in Starkville. God's blessings on your efforts!

Phillip Pepper and Mary Horrell

No, Phillip Pepper and Mary Horrell are not just cutting down any tree [see photo]. This little maple has been loved, nurtured, fertilized, and pruned for 9 years. It is now making the supreme sacrifice of its life by giving up its growing space to the foundation of San Damiano.

When we are out of touch with our deepest center, our heart, we cannot see the events of life from a spiritual perspective. On the physical level we may have 20-20 vision but on the spiritual level we are visually impaired. The path to spiritual sight is to stir the embers of our hearts. This is the strategy of Jesus.

from Gospel Light by John Shea

Our Living Room Retreat participants gathered for a barbecue and faith sharing here August 27. We were fed-- body and spirit! What a feast!

If any group would be interested in a Living Room Retreat during the coming months, let me know. I would be most happy to give an explanation to your group.

Corpus Christi Church in Macon is sponsoring a chicken dinner September 27 from 12-1:00 pm as a benefit for our new building. Come! Have a delicious dinner and help The Dwelling Place.

Staff Members suffer loss

We grieve with Mary Horrell at the death of her father, Paul. We and your students welcome you home to Mississippi, Mary.

We also grieve with Morag Burgess, her husband, Cliff, and their children as they put their lives together after a fire destroyed their Hattiesburg home in mid-August. We will forward any donations you may wish to send them in their need.

Hog Farms come to Noxubee County

As more hog farms are coming into northeast MS, this summer Noxubee County supervisors took a stronger stand in legislation concerning the proliferation of hog farms in our county. They increased the buffer zone around public gathering places [which includes churches] to 1.5 miles.

As one of our neighbors said to the supervisors at a meeting dealing with the issue, "Most churches hold services on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. At The Dwelling Place all seventeen acres are a Church and it is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." Now that is a friend-- and he understands what we are about! Praise God for our good Southern neighbors!