My dear Friends of Cormaria,
“Today a light will shine upon us, for the Lord is born for us, and He will be called wondrous God.” (Isaiah 9: 6)
Christmas is a time for remembering and for story-telling. The story of the first Christmas is about all those who were touched by the birth of the Christ Child – Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and Kings – who traveled to the manger following a star.
This Christmas, we begin to anticipate the 70th Anniversary of Cormaria Retreat House. The doors of Cormaria opened Thanksgiving weekend of 1949. It was a retreat for women and, both Mother Frances and Sister Benignus, were there to welcome the women with their dog, Podge.
When we hear the story of Cormaria, it is a story of wonder and of people following their hearts to be at peace and find their God in the manger within their hearts. They were like the shepherds and kings, taking a risk, not really knowing what message God had for them. They, too, received the gifts of joy, wonder and peace as did the shepherds and kings, and they traveled home by a different way.
Over the years, thousands of people have walked through the doors of Cormaria – men, women, teenagers, children – from all walks of life as well as women and men religious, and even a few bishops. Their stories are engraved in the walls of the Chapel; their tears of joy and sorrow, their gratefulness and petitions. They have been the fabric of the story of Cormaria, as are you, who are reading this letter.
This year we are hoping to raise seventy thousand dollars ($70,000) in honor of the 70th anniversary, to keep the dream of Cormaria alive – “to be still and know my God.”
You and your family will have a very special place in all our prayers and will be remembered at a Novena of Masses in Bethlehem.
May Jesus, the Christ Child, bless you and those you love this Christmas season! Merry Christmas from all of us at Cormaria!
Sister Maureen Roe, Director of Retreat House
Sister Ann Marino, Director of Spirituality