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You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?


Gawd! I would SO love that! First thing I’d do is look for about three acres of wooded land with a nice stream running through it. Then smack in the middle I’d build a retreat house. It would house up to maybe 25 people. The small bedrooms would hold two twin beds, a desk, chair, and a guest chair. There would be a small sink build in next to a closet.

Our Lady 1The building itself would house a large kitchen with attached dining room, a patio just outside where you could wander off into the woods. There would be a fairly big commons room with shelves full of books and a big fireplace. Bath, shower, and toity facilities for men and women, a small visiting room by the front door as well as an office. And there would also be a lovely little chapel.

This would be a place where folks who were just plain worn out emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and all kinds of ally could come and soak up the woodsy countryside, spend time reading, writing, thinking, meditating, hiking, etc. NO TV allowed. No radio. No cell phones, any calls would come into the office.

Our Lady 2The paths outside through the woods would have benches placed along them, and a stone bridge would cross over the little stream.

On weekends from Saturday evening to Sunday noon would be compline. A time when everyone was to be silent. Even at breakfast.

This has been a dream of mine for a long time, to just provide a place for folks to come and heal. Would there be directed stuff? I don’t know. Maybe. But the main thing would be the solitude, the being taken away from all the noise and blinking electronic lights.

Taking care of those folks would be just as healing for me as for them.


The pictures up above are from just such a place. Our Lady of the Mountains Retreat House in Ogden, Utah. For 12 years a group of us met there for a fall retreat. Now it’s sitting unused, and if I had the bloomin’ money I’d be for buying that place. That was exactly my experience there.