Dominican Retreat Closure
As you may be aware, the retreat house has been facing many significant challenges to its future. Namely, high maintenance needs and increasing operating costs, along with fewer sisters. The demographics of the sisters is perhaps the most significant challenge that has no near term solution. We have been in a period of evaluating our ability to sustain the ministry here and the picture is not a good one.
After careful study and considerable struggle, the Board of Directors of the Dominican Retreat, with the leadership team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, made a decision to close the retreat house. The retreats that are currently scheduled will be held up to August, 2015, when they will end.
This decision comes after a great effort to contain operating costs and increase income over several years. The level of deferred maintenance and the necessary improvements to our facilities, along with the decrease in income and rising cost, have put a great strain on the ministry. More importantly, as is true all over the Church in the United States, the number of Dominican Sisters available for ministry is at a critical point. With so many sisters at retirement age, there are no more sisters available for this ministry into the future. A very sobering fact is that the average age of our sisters is 77 years.
The Dominican Sisters have served the people of the Arlington diocese and the Metro Washington, DC area and beyond for 53 years. We believe that the grace and gifts God has bestowed on the people who made retreat here, continues to bring life and healing far beyond this place and time.
We celebrate the legacy of the Dominican Sisters who have served here over 53 years and are grateful to all the staff, the Dominican Associates, promoters, benefactors, volunteers and friends who made this ministry possible.
Retreats are planned to continue until August, 2015. Please be sure to come and enjoy a retreat experience and the beauty of the house until then. Check our webpages often for updates. Our program schedule is available here.
A page of Frequently Asked Questions about the closure can be found here.