These thoughts were expressed at the ritual held on 29 November to mark the closure of the Centre in its present form and just as importantly, to offer thanks for all that has been enabled in that sacred place.
Regular presenter, Helen Baguley rsm, led the ritual, offering all participants the opportunity to reflect on and share their experience of the Centre. She observed, “We know that we are all of God.”
For so many, it was clear that it had been a place of rest, respite, prayer and contemplation, meeting with those of like mind and appreciating the beauty of God’s creation.
CEO of McAuley Ministries, Denise Fox rsm, outlined the history of the Centre and thanked Director, Anne Ryan rsm, for her stewardship since January 2015. All agreed that Anne had brought warmth and welcome, hospitality, an artistic sensibility and “a touch of class”.
Helen Baguley quoted the Book of Ecclesiastes, whose author wrote, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens….a time to keep, and a time to cast away…” (3:1/6). She said, “This time calls us to the wisdom to enable us to see beyond, with hope.”
Regular visitor to the Centre, Grace Soley, said, “Encountering myself here has been the most wonderful experience.”
While circumstances led the Advisory Board to recommend the Centre be closed, hope remains that there will be a new incarnation for this sanctuary on the lake.
Anne Ryan recalled that not long after her arrival, when asked how it was all going, she replied, “The lake is totally seductive.”
Nothing has changed.