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March 1, 2008 Vol. 22, No. 1

Morag Burgess

Morag Burgess Leaves Staff

Dear Friends,

Writing this in January I am very conscious of beginning a New Year together. Beginning is a graced time and looking back is a graced time as well. I am so thankful to have had the privilege to have been part of the Dwelling Place ministry for the past four and a half years.

Personal reasons have brought this time to an end. As I resign my position as Retreat Ministry Director and Director of Formation of the Dwelling Place Community, I invite you to join me in remembering the graces that have come through your own connection with the Dwelling Place. We are all aware, however, that one cannot remain in the past. The future is a new day of possibilities of celebrating God's creative power.

My e-mail remains the same as ever if you want to stay in touch - annhannay@yahoo.com


Know that I will carry you all in my heart and in my prayer. You have blessed me in so many ways by your trust and your sharing. Deep peace of the Son of Peace be yours.

Clare's Corner

What can I say as The Dwelling Place ministry continues without Morag? I will miss her as a co-worker, friend, and confidant. I will miss her gentle, sensitive spirit and her gracious sharing of herself and her spiritual gifts.

On the staff she was spiritual director, retreat and program director, grant writer, and librarian. She added her Scotch flair to the cooking and menus. She was a faithful Community member, director of formation and conducted the "Come and See" to welcome potential members and associates. She added her wisdom to all our boards.


We will miss her -- maybe sometime in the future she may return.

Friends Say "We'll Miss You"

A reception was held in Morag's honor January 8. Many friends, associates, and retreatants came to wish her well.

Pictured with some of her Starkville friends are, left to right, Linda Breazeale, (Morag), Diana Bridges, and Pam Sullivan

"I've known Morag was special from the beginning. Generosity saturates every area of her life. It was especially obvious a couple of years ago when she led a weekend retreat on Celtic Spirituality for two (very enthusiastic) participants, one of them being me! Her words of encouragement have kept me moving forward through difficult times and, though I value her greatly as a spiritual director and mentor, I value her most as a friend," reflected Diana Bridges.

Jean Haspeslagh, Community member from Hattiesburg, writes, "I will miss Morag's presence both at The Dwelling Place and as a friend. She was a very powerful prayer companion when in Hattiesburg and a great support. Her insights into God's call were a gift to all."

Of Morag, Elaine Fish, Community member and friend from Hattiesburg wrote:

Jill Woodliff from Yazoo City (left) and Morag

Karen Henry from Columbus (left) and Morag enjoy hors d'oeuvres

"I've known Morag since 'before (The) Dwelling Place' and have seen her as devoted mother, teacher, and friend, and I'll miss her now that she has moved to Texas. I have seen her grow into a wise spiritual director and program leader, and that had been a joy to watch."

"I know that she will share her skills and talents with those she meets in her new situation, and I rejoice that she has the support of Jonathan. Now that her children are young adults, how great that she can have a new, fresh start. See you in the hill country, Morag."

"May God bless you and bring healing to your sore foot!!"

Community Update

On January 27, Mary Crone from Memphis officially became a Companion member of The Dwelling Place Community. We also welcomed Jill Joseph from Byram and Dwanna Marchese from New Orleans as Candidates discerning membership.

Linda Breazeale, Diana Bridges, Sue Millender, and Jill Woodliff renewed their Associate commitment, and Karen Henry became an Associate of The Dwelling Place Community for the first time. We celebrate the generosity of all these women who assist us in our ministry in so many ways.

Mardi Gras Drawdown

Anna House and Jean Wrather

The Mardi Gras Drawdown held February 1st in Lee Home, Columbus was a smashing success. Pictured below is a thumbnail sketch of the joy and events of the evening.

The unique Mardi Gras decorations created by Anna House and her friend, Jean Wrather, enhanced the innate beauty of the antebellum home. "It is as beautifully decorated as I have ever seen it," remarked Heather Rowland, who heads up the rental of the Lee Home with the Columbus Arts Council.

Clara Hicks adds finishing touches

Tom Hannigan (right) and members of the Golden Triangle Guitar Society provided the music.

Delicious hors d'oeuvres, at the invitation of Karen Henry, were provided by many friends.

Bill and Angela Campbell and Susan and Francis Baird joined in the festivities.

Clare holds the box as Mary draws the winner

Friends and staff helped us meet our goal of selling 100 tickets. Prizes of cash, blankets, and Dwelling Place goodies were given away during the evening until the final ticket was drawn.

Anne Blazejak from Des Plaines, Illinois won the $2000 final draw. Anne's win gives evidence of our outreach within the larger community, throughout Mississippi, the neighboring states, and the nation. We thank everyone who bought a ticket or helped in any way to make the evening such a success.

No Show Ball Results

Remember the No-Show-Ball? It was the new twist that Karen Henry and her daughter, Courtney, put on our Annual Appeal during November-December.

You all responded so generously. So that you wouldn't have to come to the Ball you gave $14,285. In 2006 you gave $8,220 to our Annual Appeal. It's amazing what price one will pay to stay away from a party!

God's Bounty Shown in a Car!

God's gifts come in many ways.

The Dwelling Place is now the owner of this 2008 Honda C R V thanks to the generosity of Mary Voss from Rockport, Texas, our longtime benefactor who has kept us in 'wheels' since 1987.

Our 2000 Honda Odyssey served us well; however, we have already introduced the C R V to our gravel road and it passed the test.

Reflections on 2007

Recently, as I reflected back on 2007 and put together the annals for last year, I was struck by several contrasting elements. Following the national trend in other retreat houses, we had fewer retreatants in '07; however, on the plus side, we have experienced a tremendous show of support for our ministry from so many people...

all were so willing-- and that is not counting all of you who participated in each of them.


It seems the chicken farm threat has passed; we are so grateful for your concern in that struggle. Your financial support, the food, and commodities you have shared- all these give us the means and encouragement to continue to serve you in the year ahead.



June 1, 2008 Vol. 22, No. 2

Dear Friends,

After the terrible drought of last summer, nature has been amazing in its comeback. The pond is almost full and it is filled with life--much to our joy and surprise. Flowers and fruit trees are more bountiful than ever. The tulip tree (pictured right) and the clematis have never been so beautiful.

I think there must be a lesson in that for all of us. Even in the midst of experiencing our own personal drought, when we think all is dead within us, God can bring forth new life. All our April weekends were cancelled --a real drought for our ministry--but God has given us hope in our summer schedule--see inside. We have some wonderful retreat directors and presenters. Take time, come and experience God's touch.

We have had a colony of bees that have taken up residence in one of our old pines. During last summer's drought, the regal old tree died. Mary has contacted 4 County Electric to cut it down but we don't want to destroy the bees--they're endangered.

Bud Watt

Bud Watt, a bee keeper from Macon, (see photo) is shown as he hangs a box to entice the bees into this alternative hive so the tree can be cut down. We are eager to see how this will work and to also enjoy the honey. We will miss both the majestic tree and the bees.


Now what would St. Francis do?

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. If you have an extremely restrictive diet, you may wish to bring your own food. Notify us for each retreat, please, even if you have told us in the past! Thank you.

Together We Build

The need is becoming more imperative to replace the ever deteriorating administration/dining structure.

Our Dream: A site-built administrative/dining facility --$875,000

must give way to

Reality: a manufactured building--$250,000.

To help us meet our needed goal, we must come to you again with an added request. Help us on this journey by buying a memorial brick for $100.

We need your 100% participation to help us make our revised dream a reality. More information will be coming soon.

Mount Marty Students Pause to Pose

Mount Marty students and the staff.

The students from Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota pose on their last night here after spending a week of service here and in the Noxubee County schools and at Palmer Home. They don't look worse for the wear, do they??

The Dwelling Place Fall Festival
October 4, 2008

Follow the balloons...

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

Valuable raffles
Spaghetti Dinner
Live Music Booths:
Desserts and Baked Goods
Soft Drinks
Used Books
Arts and crafts
Games and booths for the young and young of heart

Mark your calendar- October 4, 2008:
Bring family and friends

Sacred Seasons

Coming this fall !!!

Bunny Cox

If we open our ears, lessons of the seasons echo within our lives, telling us of hope, grace, love, and Sabbath. If we open our eyes we see the earth is saturated with the Sacred. Come Open your heart to the Creator God who reveals Himself in all He has created.

Sacred Seasons is a 4-weekend pilgrimage through the seasons-

Presenter: Bunny Cox



September 1, 2008 Vol. 22, No. 3

Danny Setaro, Clare, and Mary

Dear Friends,

Summer is nearly past and I am again amazed at the generosity of many toward our ministry. God is truly present among His people.

On July 6, Danny Setaro, representing the Fr. John P. Egan Council 6765 of the Knights of Columbus in Starkville, presented Clare and Mary a check for $1765 for the Dwelling Place. They raffled a deluxe gas grill as a fundraiser for our ministry here. We are so grateful for their concern for us.

We also rely on those of you who are Planned Givers who assist us each month with your financial support. Since we rely on your generosity and the donations of our retreatants and friends, we are always called to walk in faith and obedience to God's call. We invite anyone reading this to consider being a Planned Giver and join us in this ministry.


Crochet Class in Honduras

From July 16 to July 24 Mary was on a mission trip to Honduras with Salt and Light Ministries. Joining a group of 75 from throughout Mississippi, she was part of a team who taught women in three villages how to crochet and knit. I think Mary was gift to the group also for her fluency in Spanish! She is behind the camera so is not in this picture.

Extra yarn, anyone? Mary is putting out a plea for yarn that anyone might have left over from projects, completed or abandoned. Help this mission project. Just bring them to the Dwelling Place next time you come.

I had surgery on my right knee on July 17 to repair a torn meniscus. To help me out and take care of the grounds while Mary was away, Dwanna Marchese, a Dwelling Place Community candidate from New Orleans, offered her assistance. What a gift! Prince, Shadow, Cally, and Co, the shrubs --and me, too, were all grateful.

Old Friends Return to Volunteer

Clare, Mary, Sr. Janet Kreber, O S F , and Sr. Alice Shaefer, O S F .

When Dwanna left, Sr. Janet Kreber, O S F , long time friend and summer volunteer, and Sr. Alice Schaefer, O S F , former staff member at the Dwelling Place, offered their services from July 21 to August 2. Pictured above with Mary and me are Janet and Alice finishing a peach freezing task. Apples, peaches, and figs were especially bountiful while they were here; pears and tomatoes followed soon after. The pecans look great, too.

In the midst of all this summer activity, I want to remind you the hermitages are available any day. They are often available on weekends though there may be a retreat in Umbria. Give us a call to check on this when you want to get away to be still. See you at the Festival. Bring a friend.

Capital Campaign- Phase II
Buy a Brick!

So how are we coming on our Phase II?

Our goal from the bricks is $120,000.

The amount donated thus far: $8,106, approximately 7% of the total. A LONG way to go!

Fall Festival   October 4   11:00 - 3:00

Spaghetti Dinner

Live Music



Children's Games and Train Rides for Children

-- Valuable Raffles --

Hind quarter of Beef- donated by Doe River Ranch

Hind quarter of Beef- donated by Doe River Ranch

Overnight in Amzi Love- donated by Sid and Brenda Caradine

Wine and Cheese Basket- donated by Karen Henry

Weekend retreat at DP- donated by The Dwelling Place

4-piece Olive Wood Nativity Set from the Holy Lands- donated by The Dwelling Place

Cut, Style, and Manicure- donated by Jenny Mahoney Beauty Salon

Bring family and friends for a day of

fun and food at The Dwelling Place,

north of Brooksville

south of Columbus off Highway 45

No Pets, Please

Our First 10 Years on the Internet

Clare's original e-mail marked the official startup. (LT)

From: Clare Van Lent
To: Lee Terrio
Subject: Congratulations!!
Date: Thursday, August 20, 1998 7:03 PM
You did it. We are up and running. I am amazed at all the detail and connections you have done. It is great!
There is some of the information that is not quite correct but we can handle that as we go along. I just am so pleased and more than slightly amazed. How do you feel about it?

The Dwelling Place website was launched on August 20, 1998. That was an exciting day for all of us as we saw our first [albeit, crude] web page appear on our computers. For both archival and nostalgia purposes, we thought you might enjoy a brief [we promise, a very brief] look at the first ten years of The Dwelling Place's virtual existence. Many thanks, Elaine Fish, for getting us started.

Version 1

Version 1

Version 1- enlarged view
Our first site used a simple brown/red grid on a plain white background. The logo was taken from a newsletter scan and colorized [pixel by pixel] with Windows 95 software. "Next" and "Previous" links were all we had for navigation; a menu was added later.

The homepage listed several affiliate webrings [we continue membership with "A Time to Heal"], and, while it was free, we sported a foreign language translator for non-English speaking visitors.

The on-line newsletter proved to be a challenge. Our very first attempt was a scanned ' p d f ' file that, as we learned later, took forever to display over "slowsky" phone lines- home D S L service didn't exist back then. Clare also wanted color photos for the web.

So, for the first few years, we totally re-typed each newsletter in a web format [that solved the speed problem], and Sheila sent photos by "snail mail" to Hattiesburg for color scanning. Computer upgrades in Brooksville eventually allowed us to complete the entire process by e-mail in a matter of hours rather than days.

Version 2

Version 2

Version 2- enlarged view

The next two versions of the website evolved over several years in an attempt to give the pages an updated look. Version 2 incorporated bold navigation buttons that were popular at the turn of the millineum.

The background was changed to blue per Clare's suggestion. To fill the screen, a redesigned header split the logo into a graphics block at the left and text at the right.

We kept our hit counter in version 2 as well as our pop-up windows for information items such as retreat summaries. A "Suggest us" feature worked well for years, but was eventually scrapped when spammers used a security flaw in the software to flood the web with unauthorized emails. Who knew?

Version 3

Version 3 debuted in roughly 2005 and marked our transition to a style-based layout that improves accessibility and usability for all visitors to the site. Display discrepancies between Windows and Apple computers were eventually resolved- whew! A blog was added in 2006 per recommendations from the advisory board.

Version 3-current

Version 3 in 2008- enlarged view

Version 3

Version 3 original- enlarged view

In 2008, the site includes a larger text header with a more traditional font per Clare's request and a darker blue/green background for improved contrast. The counter and pop-ups are gone, but we kept rounded corners on the main pages- a nice touch that seems to hold up in the today's "Web 2.0" world.

Our goal in 1998 was simply to get on the web. That was easy compared to subsequent attempts at creating a visually distinctive internet presence for The Dwelling Place ministry. Ten years later, maybe we finally got it right. :)



December 1, 2008 Vol. 22, No. 4

Site preparation begins

The trees come down

Dear Friends,

Yes, that's our forest, the before and after of clearing a site for a new building and the thinning of the forest. A new administration building should be up and running by Christmas.

The donations received through our Capital Campaign never matched the amount needed for our administration/dining needs, so for the past 18 months we have been seeking alternatives to a site-built structure.

To erect a manufactured structure was not our original plan. But after much prayerful consideration, we made that decision.

After months of searching with several companies, we have found, through Wheel Estate of Columbus, New River Homes that custom builds manufactured structures. With the down-turn in the market our building fund, like everyone's investments, took a major hit.

200 trees are cleared

The stumps must go, too

Our ever increasing need to replace the old trailer would not allow us to wait til the market rebuilds itself. However, with the funds still available we could erect one section. Since our most urgent need is to replace the triple-wide trailer, we made the decision to erect the administration building.

When clearing the building site southeast of Umbria Guest House, the logger suggested we thin the forest at the same time. So instead of clearing (and selling) 20 trees needed for the building, we will be selling over 200! The trees in the forest are 21 years old--ripe for the harvest.

Our present dining room/kitchen will continue to be our retreatant dining facility until at such time we are able to replace it. When the old trailer is moved, a new wall will be added to create it as a free standing building.

We are so grateful to all of you who have believed in our ministry and responded to our building fund requests. We trust in God's continued sustaining love as we move through this, our latest development.

On the subject of God's provident love, it seems like this is a time of healing and new development for me personally. On July 1st, I [Clare] had surgery for a torn meniscus in my right knee, which is healing well; on November 5th I had surgery for a ruptured disc which had encapsulated the sciatic nerve to my right leg. That also is healing very well.

Truly God is in the total event through His healing love shown through the care of doctors, friends, staff, and especially Mary who is always there for me. As the pharmacist said, "With this tune-up you'll be ready for another 50,000 miles!"

As you prepare for the birth of Christ during this Advent season, may He come to life in the depth of your being.

Mary, Sheila, Clare

Extra yarn, anyone?

Mary is putting out a plea for yarn that anyone might have left over from projects, completed or abandoned. Help her Honduran mission project. Just bring them to the Dwelling Place next time you come.

Dwelling Place Angels 2009: NO-SHOW games?

Have you bought your season tickets to the Dwelling Place Angels 2009 NO-SHOW games?

The weekend games have no half-time show! Associate Karen Henry and daughter, Courtney Workmon, created the annual appeal cards for us. 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.

Fall Festival a Success

St. Francis smiled down on our Fall Festival on his feast day this year. The day was most gorgeous; the food was great, and it was all topped off by the wonderful, cheerful spirit among the volunteers and those in charge of the booths.

Flea market browsers

Everything went off without a hitch. Mary had worked so hard getting bingo prizes from restaurants and businesses in the area, and it really paid off. John did his usual capable job calling the numbers! Tom Hannigan brought the sound system, and we enjoyed the various groups' musical offerings.

The food was great and the books and 'treasures' were many. The only thing lacking was a big crowd! We are just sorry that so many missed the party! We had a rather slim crowd, but the finances came out the same! We had more donations and fewer expenses! Praise God.

Cindy Huerkamp (left) and Cyndy McGuire

Cindy Huerkamp and Cyndy McGuire were eager to sell all the sweet goods. Thanks to all who baked cakes, breads, and cookies.

The Dwelling Place Express

A real hit of the day for the children were the train rides on a special train created by Mr. Schrock who was also the main engineer. The train was made up of brightly painted and carved out drums on wheels led by the garden tractor engine--which really puffed smoke!

At the end of the day, after all the food was served and Bingo was played, Paul and Eileen Ackerman's grand-daughter reaches in to pull out the names of the raffle winners! John Maloney and Sue Millender were the lucky recipients of beef quarters!!

Now next year?? How does an OctoberFest sound? I'm sure there are some closet Germans in the area! And who doesn't like brats and good German music?

Stay tuned for more information about the Dwelling Place GermanFest.

Looking for the perfect gift?

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

We also have art prints by Sr. Marie Barth and handmade Christmas ornaments from the Holy Land.

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?

Call 662-738-5348 or contact us on-line.

Mardi Gras
February 6, 2009

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.

You will see the ticket information on the front page of our printed newsletter; however, 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's 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!