"It seems strange to say, but what can help modern man find the answers to his own mystery and the mystery of him in whose image he is created, is silence, solitude -- in a word, the desert. Modern man needs these things more than the hermits of old." Catherine Doherty

Monday, October 10, 2011

The event of events at The Mary Theotokos Retreat Center!

October 10th, 2011

As the sun came up over the Mary Theotokos Retreat Center today many preparations were carried out for the memorial service of our founder, Father Stephen von Fauer. 

Over the past week many hands have been working around the clock to ensure that the grounds, the facilities, the food and all preparations for the event would be ready.

Around 7 am, the Bishop Emeritus Basil Losten from the Stamford Eparchy arrived to begin his prayers before the service and shortly after, on this beautiful fall morning, the guests arrived. Friends, neighbors, parishioners, many people who came to honor the memory of a man who dedicated himself to serving God, helping the poor and in building this spiritual refuge where so many could come to find God through Mary his mother. 

A poster board was set up in the retreat center living room by friends to commemorate 
Fr. von Fauer in selected photos. 
A lovely photo album was made by the Father's close friends 
for visitors to enjoy as well.

Final touches and final instructions were made 
as the sun began to rise over the retreat center.

So many hands pitched in preparing refreshments, 

and providing food dishes for all, that the event was certainly well catered, through the generosity and sacrifice of many. All out of love for a Priest, mentor and social activist who dedicated so much of his life to helping others.

As the sun reached 7:30 am, the cars began to arrive,..

Conversations began all over the drive way remembering Father von Fauers' many adventures in building the center as well as the many things he did out of love and compassion that had touched so many lives.

As 8:00 came around we all made our way to the large church for the 
Divine Liturgy memorial service.

Bishop Basil Losten presided over the ceremony and 
retired Priest, Fr. Charles Davignon 
from the Roman diocese of Vermont served assisted in the service. 

After a beautiful service the celebrants headed to the retreat house 
for refreshments and to share their stories, recollections and fond memories 
of a such a giving and loving servant of God.

After many conversations, and fond memories were shared, the sun began to set on the event and we all found our way back to our regular lives after 
wonderful and spiritual time. 

We were all grateful for the legacy that Father von Fauer 
created by building this retreat center. 

A place where so many from all sorts of different walks of life, from all different backgrounds, the searching, the addicted, the afflicted, the lonely and the lost could come and work on God's farm and where in the silence of their heart they could reunite the Lord's voice.

Praise be to the Lord Jesus,

Pax et Bonum

from The Mary Theotokos Retreat Center in Newark Vermont.