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March 1, 2007 Vol. 21, No. 1

"The Dwelling Place is the best kept secret in Mississippi," was the comment of Rev. John Banks of Cleveland, Mississippi as he joined nearly 100 people who gathered in a tent to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of The Dwelling Place.

The site of our 20th Anniversary celebration

It was a freezing cold morning on December 2nd when Associates, Partners, benefactors, and board members gathered from all over Mississippi and the surrounding southern states to join the staff and Community at The Dwelling Place to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the house of prayer and hospitality in Brooksville, Mississippi.

Bishop Joseph Latino, assisted by Fr. Robert Dore from Annunciation, Columbus celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving.

At the offertory procession Associates and retreatants carried symbols representing our history. Photos of the development of the facility from the bull pasture of the Trappist monks tenure as well as plans for future construction were brought forward.

The 4th Degree Knights of the Eugene T. Hicks Assembly formed an honor guard.

The actual anniversary date is January 2nd, when, in 1987, Clare and Maggie arrived from Dubuque, Iowa in response to God's call to Clare. As the weather is even chillier in January, the celebrations took place in December; however the Master Designer who has sustained this ministry for these 20 years obviously thought that some January weather would be appropriate!

Hors d'oeuvres and a delicious dinner were provided by associates and friends.

The procession was led by Clare who carried the white stone which was the symbol confirming that her call in August 1985 was from the Lord.

Tom Hannigan and the music group from St. Joseph, Starkville provided the music.

Other tokens of the monks' legacy were pecans and a chalice and paten. A basket of prayer intentions bore witness to The Dwelling Place's ministry of intercessory prayer and a San Damiano crucifix from Assisi was the reminder of the Franciscan roots of The Dwelling Place.

Clare's white stone

Two plaques were also carried in the procession; one a memorial to Sr. Maggie who died in March 2000; the other was the Decree of Establishment of The Dwelling Place Community as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful signed by Bishop Houck, December 8, 2000.

Clare delivers the after dinner address

"The Dwelling Place is God's idea; God called it into being and has been faithful," Clare remarked during her after dinner reflections. "For the ministry here to continue God needs our faithful, combined efforts. God does not need super apostles- only obedient ones. We need to be attentive to His leading."

Special memories from the first 20 years

Dear Friends-

As we move through the season of Lent, I was very struck by the following reflection which spoke to me of the mystery of the passion and the miracle of resurrection.

Jesus told Peter, "The truth is that before the rooster crows in the morning, you will have denied you knew me three times." (Matthew 26:34)

"Betrayal allows for the coming of reflection and therefore consciousness.... The message of betrayal is always that things are much more than they seem.

Morag's signature

The key to redeeming our betrayals is forgiveness.... When this forgiveness is fully known and experienced in the soul, you can recognize the "betrayer" as the instrument of the Larger Story."

Taken from The Search for the Beloved: Journeys in Sacred Psychology by Jean Houston

Many Thanks to . . .

Grants Received

The Dwelling Place gives heartfelt thanks for the support given by two religious communities. We received $3500 from the Sisters of St. Agnes through an A C T S [Agnesian Caring Through Sharing] Grant. This grant was sponsored by Sr. Anita Henning, C S A .

The Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity also gave us a grant of $2500. This grant was sponsored by Bro. Joe Dudek, S T .

Corpus Christi Parish Sponsors Fund Raiser

"The chicken is wonderful!" 'What a great menu!" "Look at all those desserts!"

Jack Huerkamp and Pres Dawkins as they manned one of the grills. Jack is applying that special sauce to give it a unique flavor.

Cindy Huerkamp slices bread

Meanwhile, Al Wyman, assisted by Luis Rodriguez, is stoking his fire. He also had his own special recipe for that perfect flavor. They were all superb.

Pictured at the servicing line are Jessica Gist, Cindy Kay Huerkamp, and Dwelling Place staff member, Morag Burgess.

These were just a few of the responses by those who enjoyed the grilled chicken dinner fund-raiser that the Corpus Christi parish community sponsored for The Dwelling Place on Sunday, January 28, 2007. They presented The Dwelling Place with $2617 for their efforts!

Then there was that slice of fresh bread that was included in each meal. Pictured left is Cindy Huerkamp who organized much of the dinner, as she slices some of her sourdough.

However, some of the bread pictured was baked by Cyndy McGuire. Truly a touch of home--and a touch of class.

All the food and service were made and donated by parishioners. The soft drinks were donated by Kroger in Columbus.

"This was a wonderful experience of the parish working together," commented Pam Dawkins, parish council member. For The Dwelling Place, recognition by the parish of our ministry and our vital part in the life of the parish was a gift equal to the monetary assistance this gave us.

Clare's signature

Learn more about our "In Faith We Build" Campaign



June 1, 2007 Vol. 21, No. 2

Mary Crone is a new Dwelling Place Sojourner.

Clare recovers from a knee injury.

Community Update

Our last newsletter had already gone to the printers when, on February 18th, Elaine Fish and Clara Hicks made permanent commitments as Companion members of The Community.

Mary Crone (see photo) made her promises as a Sojourner in The Dwelling Place Community at our Community gathering.

March 19 was not a 'lucky' day for Clare who broke her kneecap while pumping gas! Anyway, it has slowed her down, but she is healing well and is currently in therapy. The crutches and the wheelchair are gone. Praise God!

On April 22nd The Dwelling Place Community and the Associates gathered for a day of reflection, study, and prayer.

February 2, 2008

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Draw Down and Silent Auction to assist the Ministry of the Dwelling Place.

Watch our website for updates!

Many Thanks to . . .

Sr. Maribeth Wentzlaff (left), Anna Colbert (seated), and students from Mount Marty College.

Death of a Friend

Father Ignatius

Many of you have heard our story of the gift of the property to The Dwelling Place Inc. from the Trappist monks. One of the founders of the monastery in the 1960's was Father Ignatius, who died peacefully in Venezuela on March 25th.

Kathleen Chadwick Moore from Michigan writes: "My brother met the monks through someone on the airbase, and they nurtured and counseled him through a difficult and lonely time."

Paul Ackerman from Mississippi writes: "My wife and I still recall with special fondness those liturgies of his; images of our children playing around him in the abundant pine straw; the cattle in the distance; the gentle wind (Spirit of God) blowing through the pines; the cool breeze of God's Spirit soothing us from the heat of life just like a medicinal remedy. Then the meal taken with the monks following the Liturgy reminded us so vividly of the coming Banquet of eternal life of which Fr. Ignatius now partakes eternally."

Memorials for Fr. Ignatius: Sr. Carmelita Stinn, Nick Dineen, Kathleen Moore.

John Van Lent

On March 2 Clare's brother, John Van Lent, personally met the Risen Christ. He and his wife, Gert, have been loyal supporters of our ministry for many years. In the months before his death, Jack had chosen hospice instead of aggressive treatment when his cancer returned.

February was rich with memories and preparations for his final journey. One of his wishes was that The Dwelling Place would receive any memorials given in his honor. We thank him and will continue to remember in our prayer him, his family, and all those who have generously given memorials.

Memorials for John Van Lent:

Morag Burgess
Mary Horrell
Mary Hogan
Dan and Jane Beshara
Vern and Patricia Berg
Frances Devor
Ronald and Virginia Krier
Nadine and Thomas Duffy
Marilyn and Kenneth Shockley
Casey and Lavonda Scholten
Madonna Hicks
Ronald and Rose Marie Olsen
Patricia and Donald Moser
Mary and Thomas Draney
Roger and Cecilia Anderson
Jim and Jeanne Cihak
Fred and Mary Goerke
Roger and Mary Kaye Sands
Richard and Florence Hogan
William and Mary Louise Osborne
Katherine Bourgeois
Carrin Devor
Leonard and Rebecca Hasselmann
David McFadden
Judy and Duane Leines
Georgia Hustrulid
Jim and Paula Ball
C.B. and Bea Norgaard
Fred and Ruth Williamsburg
Tony and Carol Renter
Hoi and Paula Nguyen
Barb Carda
Helen Cihak
Anna Colbert
Gertrude Hollenbeck
Denise Appleby
John and Shirley Bontje
Mary and DuWayne Krier
Todd and Julie Shockley
Mt. Marty College- Office of Student Affairs
Ed and Monica Rutten
Mary Krejci
Jerry and Carolyn Fray
Marjorie Knox
Monica Flowers
Bill and Betty Delay
Sheila and Wayne Cihak
Mac and Marilyn McDonald
Jim and Shirley VanderWoude
Margaret Hustrulid
Wayne and Sharon Akland
Mary Hasselmann
Bob and Sally Dolan
Katie Huerkamp
Linda Lawlor
Virginia Hopman
Barb Albers
Thomas and Mona Drake
Leonard and Mildred Hladik
Jean Von Eschen
Clare Van Lent
Gil Scholten, Jr.
W. D. and Loleta Haskins
Larry and Carolyn Watson
John and Glenda Huston
Beverly Cannady
Jean Mertz
Larry and Colleen Weiss
Eileen Van Lent
Shirley Butler
Clara Hicks
Sheila Avery

Other Memorials since March 2006

Mark Barge by Richard and Inez Barge
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Robert Cain, Jr. by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Mrs. Cilia Brown by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Mrs. Jane Wolfe by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Mr. and Mrs. Berke Shackleford by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Mr. and Mrs. George Walker by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Miss Catherine Crocker by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Mr. Wilson Lutz by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Todd Potratz by Patty Potratz
In thanksgiving to God for good friends by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Rita Spyksma by Mary Hasselmann
Leonard Hasselmann by Linda Tarutis
Sr. Maggie Kosse by Alec and Kay Valentine
Robert Winston Tubb by Mr. and Mrs. Hank Jolly
Berry Strait by Sr. Pat Clemens
Sr. Maggie Kosse by Mr. and Mrs. John King
Tommy Parchment by Aero English
Kenny Parchment by Aero English
Billie English by Bruce and Carolyn Pierce
Olivia Jackson by Mary Ann Dee
Al Sikora by Mary Ann Dee
Ann Tait by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Susie Burns by Richard and Carlyle Wolfe
Mary Ann Anderson by Mary Ann Dee
Paul Cowan by Mary Ann Dee
Toni Maloney by Mary Ann Dee
Toni Maloney by Morag Burgess
Toni Maloney by her son.

Gifts in Honor of

RoAnn Powlett by Randy Belton
Mary Horrell by Cliff Harp
Randy Belton by Merlin Ford
Eugenia Summer by Barbara Smith
Clare Van Lent and Morag Burgess by Alec and Kay Valentine
Mack and Kathie Howard's family by Kathie and Mack Howard
May Lipe Mintz by Anna Furr
Sr. Canisia Clemen by Sr. Pat Clemen (Sr. Canisia's 70th Jubilee)
20th Anniversary of DP by George and Kathleen Roman
20th Anniversary of DP by Bishop Houck


We can now accept stocks through an account set up with Financial Concepts in Columbus, Mississippi. If interested, contact The Dwelling Place for more information.


Have you considered a bequest to The Dwelling Place? A few of our donors have remembered our retreat center in their wills. If you are considering this, you can do it very easily by including one of the following legal phrases in your will or trust.

"I give, devise, or bequeath to The Dwelling Place, 2824 Dwelling Place Road, Brooksville, Mississippi 39739 for its general purposes all (or state fraction or percentage) of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real or personal." or

"I give and bequeath the sum of $_______dollars to be used for the general purposes of The Dwelling Place, 2824 Dwelling Place Road., Brooksville, Mississippi 39739."

Monday, September 3, 2007

Follow the balloons...

for a day of
fun and food at
The Dwelling Place,
north of Brooksville,
south of Columbus off Highway 45

Valuable raffles
Spaghetti Dinner
Live Music

Desserts and Baked Goods
Soft Drinks
Used Books
Arts and crafts
Games and booths for the young and young of heart

Monday, September 3, 2007:
11:00-3:00 Bring family and friends

Now, Let's Get Down To Business---

The Dwelling Place Ministry touches many people and reaches out not only to the local area but throughout the state and beyond. In order for us to carry out such a day, we need the involvement of many willing hands.

How do you see yourself as part of the team that makes this event memorable and fun for all?

In our recent planning session these are some of the areas that are needed to make this a success. We have divided them into: (1) pre-event planning and (2) assistance on the day of the event.

Labor Day Festival
Monday, September 3, 2007

If you are willing to assist in the celebration, contact us by phone or e-mail by Friday, June 22.

Our next planning session will be held on Tuesday, June 26 at The Dwelling Place at 1:00 p.m.



August 20, 2007 Vol. 21, No. 3

Mary measures rainfall.

Dear Friends,

Praise God for the gift of the rain! The drought and then the rains have been for me an icon of the spiritual journey.

When the earth of my soul cries out for water, for refreshment and nourishment, it is then that I question whether there is really any inner growth happening. So much dryness within me that I wonder if the green of goodness will ever appear above the ground.

The Dwelling Place pond.

Yet amid all that dry earth, there is a quiet stirring, a movement that encourages me to believe that the abundance of your goodness is strewn all through my heart. And I trust you, God, in whose image and likeness I am made, to come along bringing life to the seed of my soul, bringing waters to wake my dead.

Mary [see photo] holds the rain gauge, celebrating the gift of 7.6 inches in July, after less than 1 inch for each of the two previous months.

As you can see in the second photo, our pond is still desperately low as the thirsty ground drinks all the rain, not allowing any runoff to refill the pond. Remember, the bridge used to be OVER the water!

Morag's signature

May you all know that you are in our hearts and in our daily prayer, that your lives will always experience the hope of new growth and the blessing of God's refreshing rain.

Donation Increase

Beginning September 1, 2007 the donation requested for a weekend retreat will remain $150 unless we have additional costs in order to pay a presenter's stipend and travel.

For an overnight only on the weekend: the suggested donation will be $80 as the overnight stay precludes another retreatant until we can do the cleaning again on Monday! The actual cost is double that; donations must cover the remainder.

Draw Down and Silent Auction

Saturday, February 2nd!

Mark your calendars for Mardi Gras Fun!!

Round and About

People often ask us this question "When you don't have people on retreat, what do you DO all the time? Don't you get bored?"

There is ALWAYS something to do -- often totally unexpected - and boredom is NEVER one of the problems we face!

Here is a list of the some of the projects that we have accomplished in the last three months (besides retreats!):

And, please,...
remind us as you schedule your retreat, if you have any food allergies or are a vegetarian. Even if you have been here several times, we don't always remember these things!

F. Y. I.

A provision in the Pension Protection Act, effective through 2007, allows charitable gifts to be made from a traditional I R A or Roth-I R A by donors who are age 70 1/2 or older at the time of the transfer. The donations count toward satisfying minimum distribution requirements and are tax-free.

The contribution must be transferred directly to a qualified public charity such as The Dwelling Place and cannot exceed $100,000 in a tax year.

For more information about contributing from an I R A or Roth-I R A contact your Financial Planner.

How You Can Help Us ---

The mission of The Dwelling Place is to provide an environment that is conducive to silence, solitude, and prayer. This enables retreatants to experience movement toward a deeper awareness of self, creation, and the Holy.

We so appreciate the support that you give us in so many ways through your own creativity and the movement of the Holy Spirit as you can see below as we say -


Sr. Janet Kreber (left) and Clare.

Clare's Corner

The National Catholic Reporter on April 27th carried a very sobering article about retreat centers in the United States and Canada. The article states, "Catholic retreat house directors around the country report shrinking numbers at their facilities as a result of Americans' busy lives and new competition from Catholic parishes offering their own brand of spiritual sustenance."

"The sands of the retreat market are shifting," said Anne Luther, executive director of Retreats International. She noted that there is a trend to smaller bed-and-breakfast retreat centers. (That's us, folks!) "Much of this growth comes from the Protestant denominations as they move more toward spirituality and Catholics show a greater interest in scripture."

Though this is a very brief synopsis of the article, it is borne out in our experience. We have experienced a decline in attendance but we have always had many Protestant retreatants and our little hermitage (bed-and-breakfast) setting is serving us and our retreatants well.

We are continually encouraged by remembering our initial foundation. I received a call of the Lord to come to this spot and develop The Dwelling Place. God has always been faithful. It is God's ministry here. God has also called our staff here. We try only to be faithful, give totally of ourselves, always seeking God's will in each situation.

As this newsletter exemplifies we have much support from our many friends and benefactors. We are profoundly grateful as you have joined us in this call. But it is always a walk in faith to live entirely on donations.

Clare's signature

A special thank you is due to the Knights of Columbus from St. Joes in Starkville for the fund raising project they undertook on our behalf. July 1 they presented us with a cheque for $2,050 - the proceeds from raffling off a gas grill to support the ministry of The Dwelling Place. The winner was a long time friend and supporter, Gary McFadyen.


Consider bringing your prayer group, R C I A team, or a group of faith-filled friends to experience the peace and renewal that so many individuals experience here.

Bring your own director or know that a staff director is available. Tailor the time to fit your need for silence, sharing, prayer, and input.

Check our web site for options available. Contact Morag Burgess, retreat ministry director, for information.

Follow the balloons...

Monday, September 3, 2007

for a day of fun and food at
The Dwelling Place,
north of Brooksville,
south of Columbus off Highway 45
[Click here for driving directions]
Valuable raffles
Spaghetti Dinner
Live Music

Desserts and Baked Goods
Soft Drinks
Used Books
Arts and crafts
Games and booths for the young and young of heart

Monday, September 3, 2007:
11:00-3:00 Bring family and friends

Labor Day Festival
Monday, September 3, 2007


Drawings held at The Dwelling Place on September 3rd. Ticket holders do NOT have to be present to win.

Tickets [contact our offices to purchase yours]



December 1, 2007 Vol. 21, No. 4

Dear Friends,

A few years ago, Dolly (Pepper) Tucker sent us a Christmas card with this paraphrase of the Magnificat. This Christmas and in the coming year may you all know the wonder of what God is bringing to birth in your lives.

Clare, Sheila, Morag, and Mary


Our souls magnify the holiness
which dwells inside.
Our spirits rejoice in the presence of The Holy One,
Because we have been touched and called.

Yes, from this day forward all generations
will call us blessed.
For great things have been done through us
and by those who went before us.

Holy is our name
and we have shown mercy and strength
from age to age.

We have gathered our courage and stead- fastness
and walked to heal the broken hearted
with tenderness and care.

We have called forth truth
and created a new shape for living what
we believe to be just.

Yes, we have been hungry
and have filled each other with good things.

Yes, indeed by our giving and our faithfulness,
by our passion and our courage.
all generations from this day forth
will be Blessed.

Looking for the perfect gift?

We have pecans, jams, mugs, Dwelling Place caps and T-Shirts for sale.

Or what about a Dwelling Place gift certificate - available in any amount?

Another idea? What about giving a ticket to our Mardi Gras draw down?
[See details on page two of our on-line newsletter]

Call 662-738-5348 or contact us online.

Good Friends -

Thank you to the Knights of Columbus from Annunciation, Columbus and St. Joseph's, Starkville for all their efforts in helping to maintain the beauty of the grounds. This photo was taken August 25 after a tree-cutting day.

For your schedule - - -

Hermitages are often available on weekends when we have groups in Umbria. Give us a call to check on this when you want to get away to be still.

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, please!

From our heart - - -

Your invitation to the NO SHOW BALL has been sent. I hope you enjoy the quiet evening as much as we. Associate Karen Henry and daughter, Courtney, created the idea and the verse. Thanks to both for the joy they brought everyone.

Please consider our annual appeal prayerfully. We rely on you, our faithful supporters, to help us continue our ministry by closing the operating gap.

  For Your Information  

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 presents a new and unique giving opportunity. The law allows individuals aged 70 or older to make donations to qualified organizations like The Dwelling Place using funds transferred directly from their I R A s . You will not have to pay taxes on the amount transferred up to $100,000 on or before December 31, 2007.

Here is how the new law works. Jenna, age 73, has accumulated $150,000 in her I R A . She wants to make a gift of $10,000 to The Dwelling Place this year. She can transfer $10,000 to us from her I R A on or before December 31, 2007.

She avoids paying income taxes on the $10,000. However, she will not be able to use the gift as a charitable deduction - it is a wash. The Pension Protection Act provides her the opportunity to make a gift without tax complications.

What a Great Day!

Monday, September 3rd was the first Dwelling Place Fall Festival - and what a celebration it was! The weather was perfect - in the midst of the summer heat (and Labor Day is still summer in Mississippi!).

Wink Wright from Columbus (left) and John Maloney were our bingo callers. The games were fun for everyone.

The day started overcast and a little damp! We were all really touched by the energy and generosity of all of you who helped to make this event such a success.

The books, the bakery, the arts and crafts booths were overwhelming. There were just so many good things for the mind, the stomach and also that gave witness to the beauty that so many of you can create.

Labor Day Raffle.

After listening to gospel music while enjoying the delicious spaghetti dinner and a trip to the booths, they are ready to get down to bingo business!

The raffle provided a surprise. The daughter of one of the musicians drew the winning tickets in reverse order. Jim and Janet Huerkamp were the fourth place winners of a weekend retreat at The Dwelling Place; the next ticket drawn was Ray and Kathy West's - their prize was a gift certificate to Brickerton Day Spa. Second place winner was Anna House whose treat was an overnight at Amzi-Love Bed and Breakfast, a dinner at Harvey's restaurant and a wine basket.

And the winner is... me ???

The picture at the left shows the first place winner, a big surprise for Clare. As she was handed the winning ticket, she recognized the phone number - and then looked at the name. It said Clare Van Lent!!!! She was so surprised!!

The prize was a side of beef donated by Joe and Joy Reznicek of Cow Creek Ranch in Aliceville. Needless to say, she donated it all to The Dwelling Place! Thank you, Joe and Joy!!

There is no way to express our gratitude to all of you who sold tickets, cooked spaghetti, shared your gift of music, baked, served, lent tents and a flatbed trailer and cleaned up! God bless you!


What: Dwelling Place Drawdown
Where: Lee Home, Columbus, MS
When: February 1, 2008 Time: 7-10 PM
Ticket price: $100 (ticket admits 2 people)
Prizes: Grand Prize $2,000 and Additional Prizes.

It seems a little out of season to be preparing for Mardi Gras when we are just beginning the Advent season but since the next newsletter does not go to press until March 1, we are including the invitation now.

For those of you who live at a distance and will have no one approach you for a ticket, we would be glad to do the transaction for you through a phone call to us directly. Several people may share the price of a ticket--and share the winnings--if your name is drawn.

If you aren't familiar with a "draw down," it is like a raffle in reverse. The first ticket drawn will receive $100, then every 10th ticket drawn will receive a prize until there is only one ticket left. That is the winner of the $2000!

The drawing is done in the context of a great party. Come if you can! The food and music will be great, too!


The Dream Continues...

In Faith We Build

Learn more about our long-term plans for The Dwelling Place.

The Dwelling Place... from Santa's Perspective

In the process of running a Web search on a totally unrelated matter, we stumbled across Google's satellite imaging feature. On a whim, we ran a query for The Dwelling Place and found the photograph shown below [the labels are ours].

A satellite view of our property

A satellite view of The Dwelling Place

The healthy water level of the pond [lower left] suggests that the photo was taken at least earlier this year prior to our current drought. The pond waters have receded considerably in the second half of 2007 to the point that our bridge [at the upper left of the pond in the photo] now crosses dry land.

The technology that made this photograph possible is amazing. We now have a sense of how Santa sees us as he makes his yearly rounds.

Happy Holidays!!!