WEST CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. — Mt. Ireneaus kicked off its year-long 25th anniversary celebration on June 24, with the opening of its annual Summer Evenings of Re-Creation series, featuring two of the Mountain retreat’s founding friars.
Director Daniel Riley, OFM, guardian of Holy Peace Friary at Mt. Ireneaus, and Daniel Hurley, OFM, also of Holy Peace Friary, who initiated the summertime retreats, are excited to be part of the 25th anniversary. They say that the summer series focuses on the first notions of the Mountain’s life and ministry.
The summer series, they said, will set the tone for the anniversary, that will include a special overnight retreat in October, including a concert, outdoor Mass and guest educator. The celebration will end next summer with “another big event,” according to a June 19 announcement from nearby St. Bonaventure University.
Other events throughout the year “will celebrate what we’re doing to take our mission out to others,” said Dan Riley.
The Summer Evenings Re-Creation series will establish the theme of the anniversary celebration, said Kevin Kriso, OFM, series coordinator, focusing on the need to begin anew again. “It’s a phrase St. Francis used near the end of his life,” he added. “It’s a reminder that in spiritual terms, it’s always today that we need to begin again to go back to those things that have always been important but that we sometimes forget are important.”
Each of the summer sessions will revolve around a theme fundamental to the Mt. Irenaeus mission, but will take a course determined, in large part, by the participants, said Kevin.
The events open with Mass at 4:45 p.m., followed by a dish-to-pass supper at 6 p.m. Reflection in the chapel takes place from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
The schedule includes:
• June 24 — “Overview of Mt. Ireneaus and its Mission,” presented by Dan Riley, Dan Hurley, and Larry and Bonnie Orsini
• July 8 — “Silence and Solitude,” presented by Robert Struzynski, OFM, and Vic Vena
• July 15 — “Simplicity,” presented by Dan Riley, Joseph Kotula, OFM, and others
• July 22 — “Service,” presented by Kevin Kriso and Bridget Walsh
• July 29 — “Hospitality of the Heart,” presented by Louis McCormick, OFM, and others
• Aug. 5 — “Community and Nature as Healing Places,” presented by Joe, Vena, and others.
Other Mountain News
On Tuesday afternoons throughout the summer, the Mountain welcomes volunteers to help with gardening projects. To participate, contact Joseph at 585-973-2470. Guests are welcome to stay for dinner and Eucharist at 7:45 p.m.
A weekend retreat, sponsored by the Franciscan Sojourners community, is scheduled for July 17 to 19. Reservations can be made by contacting Louis.
The 2009 Annual Mountain Auction is scheduled for November 7 with Mass at 5 p.m. Gifts and services are needed, as are monetary donations. For more information, contact Margaret Bryner at 716-373-0807, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about these events may be found in the summer 2009 issue of the Mt. Irenaeus newsletter, available both on paper and online. The cover of the publication proclaims “Celebrate 25 years of Mountain Life and Ministry” and is shown “behind” the photo above.