Marygrove closure a sad experience

EDITOR:

It was a sad experience to read that Marygrove will be closed after 71 years of service to the diocese.

I remember how its opening was celebrated and how my sister and I worked there for five years from the spring of eighth grade until the fall after high school graduation. Girls’ retreats were a joyful time to get to meet others across the diocese. Later returning after retirement it was so wonderful to walk through the grove of stations and grotto — and to pray within the labyrinth.

It is one of the few retreat houses left in the country not run by a religious order. It is sad that we have money to run our schools with such tiny class enrollments yet so little for the rest of the church population. Many Catholic schools have become simply private academies for the privileged.

Yet an institution which has served adults so well is now being given up. Gathering at a motel for a retreat is not the same — the atmosphere is never able to rise to the occasion for a truly prayerful and reflective spiritual experience.

I believe that whatever committee or consulting group made this decision feels that it is for the best (best for whom?). However, it feels like an unwelcome surprise to many of us out in the far reaches of the diocese, places often overlooked by larger parishes. In past decades many, if not most, of our religious vocations came from such small communities.

With the current emphasis on evangelization in the diocese why would we destroy one of the most prominent examples of what we have to offer? I do pray that the future may judge this a good move and not just another “retreat”.

Marlene Winter-Johnson

Garden