A Place of Peace

In August of last year, Bishop Foys asked me to become the Director of St. Anne Retreat Center. It was an overwhelming request and one that I enthusiastically accepted. I didn’t need to pray about it, it was a gift being given to me. I had been serving as the Director of the Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, a position that I found quite rewarding. However, I wanted to be in my own Diocese working for my Bishop. This was more than I could have hoped for.

What I found when I took over as Director of St. Anne was a very special place. A place that has a presence of the Lord that you just can’t explain to people. There’s almost one hundred years of history here with the Congregation of Divine Providence. Think of all the prayers, the Masses held and the faith of the women who were formerly living and working here. Add to that all of the prayers of the people who had been here on retreats or who had just come here to encounter the Risen Lord. It permeates the walls of the entire facility. Even the dining hall has a special feel.

What I see here is an opportunity to help our brothers and sisters ignite their Catholic faith in new ways. Whether it’s through a retreat, a workshop or just a visit, St. Anne can be a catalyst for helping people come to find the depth and beauty of our faith. I’ve spoken to a number of people who have just walked the grounds and found a sense of peace that they’ve been missing. That’s something I want everyone to experience. Just to come and sit in one of our two beautiful chapels is a way to experience a meaningful encounter with Christ.

One of the great gifts I’ve experienced here is the staff. I’ve never worked with a group of people before who were so singular in their focus. They love being here and the work they put forth demonstrates that love. They don’t see this as just a job but as a ministry, an opportunity to give back for the gift they’ve been given. The only thing I have to do is point them in the direction I want us to go and then get out of their way. It’s a great feeling to know that they care for St. Anne today as much as they did when they started.

I want to personally extend an invitation to everyone in the Diocese to come and visit us at St. Anne. If you have a group and would like to tour the facility, call us and let us know. There’s nothing more enjoyable to me than walking people through the buildings and letting them experience the presence of Christ. There’s also a lot of cool little nooks and crannies throughout the facility. If you would like to just come and visit, please call ahead. You can call me at (859) 441-2003 extension 305 or my Assistant Director Karen Little at extension 325.

This is a great place and we have tremendous plans for the future. What we hope is that those who haven’t been here, will come and spend some time with us. We’re going to be expanding our adult retreat offerings and look to have other opportunities for people to come here. Do yourself a favor, do your faith a favor and come and experience the beauty and spirituality of St. Anne Retreat Center. We know you’ll not be the same person when you leave.