For nearly 90 years, Therese's Retreat Center has been providing a peaceful and restful atmosphere for spiritual retreats. Located on the east side of Columbus, Ohio, the center offers 54 rooms, meeting rooms, a chapel and the Way of the Cross. In February, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus announced the closure of St. Peter and Paul Retreat Center in Newark.
This center had been used for retreats since the 1990s and featured a chapel, meeting rooms, 21 rooms, two 55-bed bedrooms and the Way of the Cross. Its 200 acres included wooded trails. In July, the diocese surveyed pastors, principals, youth ministers and directors of religious education to determine how often retreat centers were used. The results showed that revenues were lower than expected despite the high operating and maintenance costs of old buildings.
David Ball, president of the Catholic Laity Retreat League, expressed sadness at the closure of St. Therese's Retreat Center as it could lead to the league's dissolution. The Central Ohio Hospice has also organized an annual summer camp for grieving children at St. Peter and Paul for more than a decade. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus is closing its two retreat centers due to a decrease in their use and concern for the future needs of its parishioners.
I contacted the Catholic Diocese of Columbus to ask about the state of the site and if there are volunteer opportunities. It is possible that each retirement room could house a woman in crisis during a pregnancy or be used as a place of recovery for people with substance abuse problems who need support for a while (it seems that there would be a grant for that).