June September December Close


March 1, 2003 Vol. 17, No. 1

Members of The Dwelling Place Community and friends

We continue to extend invitations to all interested Christians who:

desire to share in the ministry of The Dwelling Place;

wish to deepen their own spiritual life;

desire to mutually support one another in their shared search.

Contact Clare Van Lent if you are interested in more information, 662-738-5348.

Needs list

As in any home or business, occasionally our needs for small and large items overwhelm us as many of our machines have "bit the dust" because of age and use. If anyone could help us with any of these items, new or used, we would be most grateful. Special thanks to those who have helped this list become shorter.

-Henri Nouwen

Solitude- the Furnace of Transformation

Solitude is the place of the great struggle and the great encounter- the struggle against the compulsions of the false self and the encounter with the loving God who offers himself as the substance of the new self.

We have to fashion our own desert where we can withdraw every day and dwell in the gentle healing presence of God.

Solitude is not simply a means to an end. It is its own end. It is the place where Christ remodels us in his own image and frees us from our compulsions. Solitude is the place of our salvation.

Live-in Volunteer opportunity

Would you like to live in Community for a time? Share in the day to day ministry of The Dwelling Place?

Join us for a week, two weeks, or a month. Phone or write for information about becoming a Dwelling Place volunteer.

Scholarship Fund

We have inaugurated a Scholarship Fund that will provide moneys for assistance to the needy. If you would like to make an offering to this fund, know that it will be used to provide an opportunity for someone who otherwise would be unable to come. Your charity would, in a very real way, be touching many people's lives.

Many thanks to ---

Joe Haftek [center] and Annunciation K C volunteers

And a special thanks to Joe Haftek and the 10 men from Annunciation Knights of Columbus, two of whom are pictured above, that he organized to transplant crepe myrtle for our meditation areas February 1. They worked hard and certainly did not spend their day leaning on their shovels. God bless you all. See you March 8 !!



June 1, 2003 Vol. 17, No. 2

Dear Friends,

As in any living organism, there is always a sense of newness and change. The gazebo and meditation areas that are now complete are not only pleasing to the eye but also are significant aids to prayer and reflection. I, again, thank all who have donated toward their cost and those who have donated their time and efforts to their completion. There are two additional items that I would like to share with you that will take place before the next newsletter. Both look to the future.

Morag Burgess, whom many of you know and who was on our staff as an adjunct staff member for several years, will be joining our staff full time in mid-August. She will become director/administrator of The Dwelling Place, and I will take on the role of development director. We have worked together very well in the past, and I anticipate the challenge with eagerness.

We are also embarking upon another important phase of our development as a prayer center. Those of you who have made retreat here know the state of our dining room/kitchen, office space, and extra bedrooms- the "triple wide trailer" that has served for many years in various capacities for the Trappist monks and us. As you have observed, it is becoming increasingly more fragile. We are confronted with the ever growing need to replace it with more adequate facilities.

After much prayer and deliberation we are beginning a feasibility study directed by Capital Development Services of Eureka, Missouri. With the unstable world situation and the present state of the U S economy, we are coming to you to discern the amount of support for such an ambitious, though acutely needed development.


During this Easter season we live into the promise of the Risen Christ that He would "send us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to teach us everything..." Pray with us as we step forward together in Faith in that promise.


Good News - Bad News

The Good News first: We now have an additional watch dog. His name is Lucky, a border collie-Australian Shepherd mix whom we found on our gravel road one morning. He is beautiful and becoming more healthy each day.

The Bad News: Socks, our long time beagle friend, became ill and went to puppy heaven May 5. Many of you will remember him as a quiet, welcoming presence during your visits. We will miss him. Socks had two months to train in Lucky before he left us.

Spiritual Direction Retreat

Among those who came for retreat was a Spiritual Direction group led by Rev. Ruth Urban from St. Peter by the Lake, Brandon. After a Eucharist by the pond the Son shone through each of them.

Needs list

As in any home or business, occasionally our needs for small and large items overwhelm us as many of our machines have "bit the dust" because of age and use. If anyone could help us with any of these items, new or used, we would be most grateful. Special thanks to those who have helped this list become shorter [we've added new items].

Gazebo and Meditation areas become a reality

Jack Zimmerman and Mary

Our gazebo and pond

The gazebo arrived April 2. Jack Zimmerman and Mary pose beside and in the results of their hard labor preparing the gazebo for comfort and beauty. Come sit in its swing, and survey the beauty of pond and flowers.

Jack came from Cookville, Tennessee to help us- and he left a new chain saw as a remembrance of his visit. Thanks, Jack.

Clare, Owen McGuire, and Mary


What do you do during spring break? How about creating cement sidewalks and platforms for the meditation areas at The Dwelling Place! Here Owen McGuire and Mary clear the wheelbarrow of the gray stuff as Clare arranges it in the form. The benches, shrubs, and crepe myrtle are all in place for you to come and pray.

Many thanks to---

Vernard Jones and his clients from The Pines for coming to help with the yard work, then spending time in prayer;

Debbie Landford for assistance in the yard and in the library. She is a wiz on the John Deere, too;

Jean Haspeslagh for house sitting while Mary and I were at a Retreats International meeting. Sheila is especially grateful for her assistance in the library, too;

Neva McConnell for providing food for us for a weekend, and Shirley Butler for being the perfect hostess for a group. Thanks to all who have helped with the food service.

Mary Hannigan and friend on "Spruce Up Day"

"Spruce up" Day

Mary Hannigan and friend were among the many teens and adults from Starkville and Columbus that scrubbed, raked, transplanted, cut, and sawed- and laughed and prayed on March 8 as they came to "Spruce Up". Be assured of our thanks and our prayer. Ya'll are invited back to see the fruits of your labors.



September 1, 2003 Vol. 17, No. 3

Dear Friends,

In a previous newsletter, we announced that a long time friend, Community member, and former staff member, Morag Burgess, would be joining our staff as director. She began work here August 18.

As our ministry has continued to grow, our need for additional staff has become more apparent. We welcome her and greatly anticipate her sharing her gifts with all of us.

It will be a transition for all concerned. For a few months we will co-direct as we both gradually feel comfortable in our new roles. I have utmost trust in her competency as retreat director and her ability to lead.


We are moving toward a Capital Fund Drive for needed development. I have taken on the task of seeing that through. I ask your prayers during the months that lie ahead.

Dear new friends:

Morag Burgess


It felt like coming home! It had been a long hard drive from central Texas but I finally made it to Columbus and now on to The Dwelling Place. Some of you know me already-- I worked as an adjunct staff director here from 1994-2001. Then in April, Clare and the Corporation Board invited me to take the position of director here at The Dwelling Place.

I am a native of Scotland; I have lived in the U S for over 20 years and so am used to driving on the "wrong" side of the road-- but I haven't acquired a taste for iced tea-- yet!

On a more serious note, I have an M A in Biblical Studies from Aberdeen University, Scotland and an M A in Christian Sprituality and certification in retreat direction from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. As well as being at The Dwelling Place, I was also an adjunct staff director at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Mississippi and at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.

It is awesome to be back at The Dwelling Place- truly the ministry of prayer and hospitality here is so powerful. I am both humbled and energized to be part of the great things God does here. Please continue to hold us in your prayer. I am looking forward to meeting you or renewing old friendships.

Dr. Walt Porter gives a brief introduction to the Enneagram in the kitchen/conference room on August 2.

Caring for the Whole Person:
Body, Mind, and Spirit

Over 60 people came to The Dwelling Place for our Wholeness Fair. They checked their cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, bony mass index, degree of osteoporosis as well as being reminded of caring for their body through exercise, good nutrition, and hair and makeup care.

Between hearing about the value of counseling, psychiatric care, alternative healing modes, and spiritual direction and retreats, they walked the Labyrinth and enjoyed healthful goodies. Now what more enriching way could one spend a Saturday?

The day was planned and coordinated by Tracy Turner, John Hawkins, Walt Porter, and Clare. A special thank you to all the presenters and support staff for their efforts. We may need to have a repeat performance in 2004.

Needs list

As in any home or business, occasionally our needs for small and large items overwhelm us as many of our machines have "bit the dust" because of age and use. If anyone could help us with any of these items, new or used, we would be most grateful. Special thanks to those who have helped this list become shorter [we've added new items].

Live-in Volunteer Opportunity

Would you like to live in community for a time? Share in the day to day ministry of The Dwelling Place?

Join us for a week, two weeks, or a month. Contact our offices to learn more about being a Dwelling Place volunteer.

Feasibility Study Concludes

Our part in the feasibility study is concluded. As I write this, we are looking forward to a meeting on Tuesday, August 26 with Dan Messeria from C D S Consultants for a review. We plan to share with you a synthesis of the study, also.
See page 3 of our online newsletter for a summary of the results.

"Hope is the ability to hear
the melody of the future.

Faith is the courage to
dance to it today"

We say "THANK YOU" to all who participated in any way. We thank you for being interviewed, for attending the various meetings, and/or filling out the surveys. We want to thank especially all those who made phone calls for us inviting you to the meeting and/or interview.

While we as a staff were in the midst of organizing and implementing the study, our ministry continued in full force. During July, 80 people came to this little place for retreat. Tongue in cheek we said, "Juana, our housekeeper, is still with us. Bobby, our yard man, is still with us, but WE are hanging on by a thread!! (and tempted to look for a new job!).

I personally want to acknowledge Dr. Jean Haspeslagh for her input at the meetings and for the countless hours Sheila and Mary, our staff, put into the process.

We eagerly anticipate the findings. Our need for a more adequate facility is undeniable. Our vision for being of service to the larger community is also always before us. This Dwelling Place was created by and is sustained by God's grace. This ministry is the Lord's; we are His willing workers. We are so grateful for your participation in this ministry in the past and desire to walk with you as we move into the future.


(l to r) Martha Williams, Sr. Angela Linn, Director, Sr. Marie Barth, Sr. Mamerta Alphonce, Marie Kelley, Sheri Gorman, Sr. Dorothy Ousler, and Jennifer Thompkins.

Pax Christi Franciscans

Pax Christi Franciscans pose for a photo during their recent retreat here in July. Fr. Greg Plata, O F M , directed the 4 day retreat.

Beauty Beyond Compare

Participants in the Spirituality in Beauty retreat in early July [photo at the right] pose before some of their artwork. The retreat proved to be such a significant experience for everyone that a repeat performance will be offered next summer. Don't miss it!!

Many Thanks to ---

" ... Only the Shadow Knows"

In the middle of July, Juana Rodriguez, our housekeeper, found a black female puppy on the side of the road in a box. She brought this approximately 6 week lab-mix to work and-- you must know the rest.

She had mange and worms but-- St. Francis would be proud of us-- we nursed her back to health. You guessed it-- we named her Shadow. She shadows us and Prince without pause.

Prince was her protector from the moment he saw her and is so patient with her-- except when she nips at his heels! She is a joy to everyone.

The Dwelling Place
Capital Fundaraising Campaign
Synopsis of Planning Study Final Report
Submitted by C D S Consultants, L L C
[Excerpts from the report recommendations]

In light of the study results, C D S offers the following recommendations for the Dwelling Place to consider:

 I. Initiate a capital campaign of more limited scope than originally proposed.

II. The Dwelling Place should consider the following goals for the campaign:



December 1, 2003 Vol. 17, No. 4


Dear Friends,

Advent so often is a time when we become addicted to hurry. This advent let us try to notice what the Greeks called kairos- those moments when we let go of time and become totally absorbed in what we are doing. We usually describe such a peak experience as one when time stood still. Fr. Thomas Keating said "It only takes a minute for God to enrich you." This advent let us all be open to this wonderful possibility. We don't want to be moving so fast that we miss the moment.

This fall we have been enriched by faith-filled men and women of many different denominations- Methodist pastors, the ministers of Springhill District B, the Episcopal Canterbury Fellowship, friends from First Methodist Church in Columbus and Episcopal women from Good Shepherd in Columbus, and St. John's, Aberdeen. We rejoice that this is truly an ecumenical place!

Fran Lavell and helper from St. Joe's.

Thank you to ---

Annual Appeal

Thank you for your generous support. As we send this to the printer, you have given us $6560. Because we have gone back to the drawing board with the plans for the dining room/administration building, it is absolutely necessary that we re-wire the Main Trailer and the annex that serves as our kitchen dining room. Please, can you prayerfully consider a contribution towards this urgent need?

The Dwelling Place Community and friends met and celebrated Francis Day in October. The inflatable animals were prizes from our party.

Francis Day Friends

At our Community weekend, we spent a great deal of energy in prayer and discernment over the results of the Feasibility Study. Your support for the ministry here was overwhelming and touched us profoundly.

As we pondered the results of the study, the Lord's leading became clear. The focus of The Dwelling Place is to remain small- to concentrate on the personalized ministry.

This means that we do not need a much larger kitchen/dining room- we do need a new one, however, as the Main Trailer is showing its age. We are back to the drawing board with plans but with a much clearer vision of what we are called to do in terms of the future.

We hate to say this but ...

due to our rising costs, it is necessary for us to raise our fees. Beginning January 1, 2004, the fee for a day of retreat, meals, and an overnight will be $65 or $130 per weekend. If only Friday night, the rate will be $70.

Needs list

Opening to God by Thomas Green
Sabbath Bread by Georgene Wilson
Listing to the Music of the Spirit by David Lonsdale

Three out-of-print books
missing from the library


Friends of The Dwelling Place make donations IN HONOR OF a friend at the time of an anniversary, birthday, or special occasion or IN MEMORY of a deceased family member or friend. We invite you to mark an occasion or to remember your loved ones in this way.

We remember your loved ones in community prayer, Masses, and good works of The Dwelling Place. This list includes those received from November 14, 2001 through November 12, 2003.


Mr. and Mrs. L. N. Brown by Larry Brown
Parents and Deceased Siblings by Tom Abel
Alice Bartik by Joan Bartik
Ann Minor by Carol Taff and family
Ben Disharoon by Susan Disharoon
Amos Shechtmen by Marie Sheldon
Clarena and Robert Cain by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Eva Jane Wolfe by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Celia Brown by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Pauline Shackelford by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Sara and George Walker by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Miss Catherine Crocker by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Martha Brown by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Joy Gibson by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Mrs. Nancy Guest by Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Wolfe
Mrs. Sadie Smith-Vaniz by Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Wolfe
Miss Susan Herrington by Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Wolfe
Mr. Jimmy Rimmer by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Dr. B.U. Flynn by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wolfe
Julian Hagerman by Mary Ann Dee
John King by Mary Ann Dee
Joy Lyons parents by Mary Ann Dee
John Lee by Mary Ann Dee
Jan Huerkamp by Mary Ann Dee
Jed Trapp by Mary Ann Dee
Bob Johnston by Mary Ann Dee
John Hagerman by Angela Dee
Francis and Valeria Voss by Mary Voss
Mark Barge by Inez Barge
Mary Doby Hollomon by Rev. Nancy Hollomon Peede
Rev. Robert Pugh by Rwth Ashton
William Hustrulid by Tammara Van Lent
Marian Feller by Marilynn Jacobs
Paul Jacobs by Marilynn Jacobs
Eva Duncan by John and Toni Maloney
Alice M. Lenz by John and Toni Maloney
Karen Ann Summers by John and Toni Maloney
Eva Duncan by John and Toni Maloney
Alice M. Lenz by John and Toni Maloney
Karen Ann Summers by John and Toni Maloney
Mrs. Ascherin by Jack and Gert Van Lent
Angie Hofer by Jack and Gert Van Lent
Angie Hofer by Julie and Todd Shockley
Ken Berkemier by Ron and Virginia Krier
Mrs. Simon by Ron and Virginia Krier
Mrs. Simon by Jack and Gert Van Lent
Joan White by Sr. Marcie Gisch
Jennie Neuroth by Sr. Marcie Gisch
Jennie Neuroth by Paul Gisch
Mary Bolin by Dick and Jenny Mahoney
Mr. Davis by Dick and Jenny Mahoney
Margaret Ann Ford by Dick and Jenny Mahoney
Loved ones of Mike & Cindy Reese by Dick and Jenny Mahoney
Mack Mashburne by Dick and Jenny Mahoney
Mr. W. O. Garrard by Dick and Jenny Mahoney
Sr.Maggie Kosse by Jane Thomas
Sr. Maggie Kosse by Dr. Ann Homer Cook
Diane Howard by Dot McIntyre
Diane Howard bu Mr. and Mrs. Richard Lenderman, Jr.
Diane Howard by Mr. and Mrs. James Frazer, III
Diane Howard by Mack Howard
Diana Howard by Diane Howard Fisketjon
Eugene Hicks by Nancy Bartowick
Eugene Hicks by Phyllis Beamer Wallace
Eugene Hicks by Sr. Marcie Gisch
Eugene Hicks by Frank and Esther Troskey
Eugene Hicks by Laura and Mike Heilman
Phillip Pepper by Richard Spong
Phillip Pepper by Sr. Marcie Gisch
Sr. Marian Jochum --gift given to The Dwelling Place posthumously
Socks by Delores Horrell


Carleigh Scates by Loys Bedell
John and Julie Dee by Angela Dee
Lynn Amen by Elaine Trenor
Fr. Alfred Mead by Dr. L. Hollis Melton
Eugenia Summer by Mary Evelyn Stringer
Eugenia Summer by Barbara Smith
Mary McCoy by Katherine Gieseler
Sr. M J Fogarty by Ray and Clista Haley
Bessie Harmon by Judy Robinson
Clara Hicks by Laura and Mike Heilman
Graham Hamlin by Marie Kelley
Gus Belhumeur by Delores Hollis