Villa Maria retreat center closing

| February 5, 2016 | 1 Comment
Villa Maria

Villa Maria, an ecumenical retreat center, was established in 1970 on a 124-acre property that was once home to a boarding school the Ursuline Sisters established in 1891. Courtesy Villa Maria

The Ursuline Sisters announced Feb. 2 that Villa Maria Retreat and Conference Center in Frontenac will close June 30. Sister Rita Ann Bregenhorn, Ursuline provincial leader, attributed the closure to finances.

“Like many retreat centers in the U.S., Villa Maria has been struggling financially, despite valiant efforts by the staff and board,” she said in a press release. “The Ursuline leadership has come to the difficult decision that we must close Villa Maria in order to remain good stewards of our resources.”

The ecumenical retreat center was established in 1970 on a 124-acre property that was once home to a boarding school the sisters established in 1891. The school, Villa Maria Academy, was the outgrowth of a girls school the sisters established in nearby Lake City in 1880, three years after their arrival to the area. Villa Maria Academy closed in 1969 following a fire caused by lightning.

“Villa Maria has always been known as a place where God is center and the world is welcome,” Sister Rita Ann said in the statement. “We cherish our many years in this community and look forward to maintaining our relationship with the many wonderful people we’ve come to know as students, coworkers and volunteers serving alongside us, and all who have supported our ministry here in ways too numerous to describe.”

The sisters plan to list the property for sale.

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Category: Local News

  • That was a nice place for a retreat. I remember Sister Albus