Nov. 17, 2016 - After the first phase of a comprehensive renovation of the famed oceanfront facility, Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Mass., was officially rededicated on Nov. 12., welcoming friends and retreatants back to the incomparable location that so many have called their spiritual home over the years.
Overseeing the ceremony were Fr. George Witt, SJ, provincial assistant for spirituality ministries, Joanne Fantini, CSJA, director of Eastern Point Retreat House, who welcomed those in attendance and Fr. Randy Sachs, SJ, who offered the re-dedication prayer.
"At the core of everything 'Jesuit' are the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola," said Fr. Witt. "The Exercises lie at the heart of all we do, and while they animate every ministry in which the Society serves, retreat ministry holds a certain pride of place. From the earliest days of the Society to today, Jesuits have set aside places for this very purpose, and Eastern Point Retreat House stands as a shining jewel in this long tradition."
Highlighting the work was the total transformation of the living quarters for Eastern Point retreatants. Over a two-year period, an existing 1960s era living space was transformed into a new three-story resident retreat wing with ocean views, private baths and many other amenities more in tune with contemporary times. In addition to the 38 new retreatant rooms, this phase of work also included a new elevator, updated space for retreat directors and administrative purposes, and numerous utility improvements.
"The new resident retreat wing will afford Eastern Point to continue to provide the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to a more diverse demographic including retreats for the poor, young adults, and Spanish speaking retreatants for years to come," Fantini said. "Upon walking through the new resident wing one cannot help but think of St. Ignatius saying, 'God will not be outdone in generosity.'"
For a full list of directed retreats, weekend retreats and special retreats offered for Holy Week and other occasions, visit www.EasternPoint.org.
Initial planning is already under way for the second and final phase of the renovation, focusing on the original wing of the Retreat House, which was constructed as a summer estate in the 1920s. Fundraising efforts required to support this next phase are expected to begin in 2017. For more information on how you can be involved with this important Jesuit priority, please contact Michael Franco at 617-607-2859 or email mfranco@Jesuits.org.