Dominican Retreat Closure FAQs
Why is the retreat house closing?
The sisters and staff of the retreat house have been working very hard to stem the tide of rising operating expenses and needed capital improvements and maintenance, but the fact is, we cannot close the gap between income and expense. Our buildings are aging and our income is decreasing. More importantly, we do not have enough sisters available who can join the staff. Keep in mind that the average age of our sisters is 77 years old.
What will happen to the retreats?
We will continue to hold retreats until August, 2015, be sure to check the schedule and we welcome everyone who wants to come to make a retreat until then. The house will close by December of 2015.
Why hasn’t the diocese helped to keep the house open?
The retreat house is a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, so the diocese has never been involved in financially supporting our work, even though we enjoy a good relationship with Bishop Paul Loverde. He is disappointed that we are closing, but it is not the role of the diocese to support our ministry.
What about the property, what are you going to do with it?
The Board of Directors is formulating some plans around the future of property.
What will happen to the sisters?
The sister will continue to minister here until the house closes and will be making plans at some point later in the future.
Who made the decision to close?
The Board of Directors of the retreat house with the leadership team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
Can we help to raise money to keep the house going?
Thank you, that is a very generous offer, but even if we raised needed money, we would not have the sister staff available to keep the house going well into the future. The sisters on the staff are the heart of the ministry, money, though very important, is not the main issue.
Is this decision reversible?
Regrettably, it is not.
Is this unusual?
No, as a matter of fact, the Dominican Sisters of Peace are experiencing the same strain and changes that other congregations of Catholic Sisters are experiencing in having few members. Keep in mind the entire Church is seeing fewer attendees at Mass in the parishes. Many schools and parishes are closing across the country and this is part of a wider trend.