WEST CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. — For 30 years, Mt. Irenaeus has welcomed all, extending faith and friendship to people in Western New York and across the globe. Now, the Franciscan mountain retreat is broadening its reach by creating an e-newsletter, as well as continuing to offer its traditional programs.
The Mt. Irenaeus community seeks “a common path of deep and joyful conversation, wishing to join with others and Jesus to make ‘all things new,’” according to Daniel Riley, OFM. To continue that conversation outside of the retreat’s scenic grounds, Mt. Irenaeus is introducing a new e-newsletter:Making All Things New.
“Making All Things New is the opportunity to expand the ways we can reach each other, which is more and more the intent of the Mountain community,” Daniel wrote in an article included in the e-newsletter’s first issue. “This e-newsletter is just one more ‘doorway,’ one more opening on the path we are all traveling. It serves as a portal connecting our community members to all of the resources we offer online, which includes podcasts, social media, our website and more. We hope by reaching out to you, you will reach back to us.”
The new e-newsletter is designed “to help connect friends of the Mountain in prayer and spirit more regularly,” according to Shannon Specht, a volunteer who led the team that created the issue. Making All Things New will “feature reflections from friars and others affiliated with the Mountain,” as well as provide information on news and upcoming events and other resources offered by the Mountain.
In addition to the article by Dan, the e-newsletter’s first issue — released July 11 — includes a reflection fromRobert Struzynski, OFM, who lived at Mt. Irenaeus for almost eight years before recently retiring and moving to Butler, N.J. In the article, Robert describes his life at the Mountain and gives thanks for the experiences and people he encountered.
“The privilege of being a part of people’s lives when they come and become a part of the community is precious,” Bob wrote. “Every day community is formed up at the Mountain … I will continue to bring the Mountain into the Valley in New Jersey. I see retirement as another special calling from God. I do not know what that means right now, but God knows and that is enough!”
The new publication will be released monthly. Mt. Irenaeus will also continue to publish its quarterly print newsletter. Those interested in receiving the e-newsletter are invited to sign up by texting MOUNTAIN to 42828 and following the instructions, or by using the form on the Mt. Irenaeus website.
As it continues to make all things new, Mt. Irenaeus is holding its annual “Summer Evenings of Re-creation,” a series featuring presentations, discussions and supper. This year’s program began July 10, with John C. Coughlin, OFM, and other members of the Mt. Irenaeus community leading an evening titled “Receiving the Kingdom of God.”
“Our evenings of recreation are evolving from what they once were,” said Kevin Kriso, OFM. “We find we have been working as teams as opposed to having speakers, and have been gearing the evenings more toward having a Mountain experience as a community, rather than as programs with titles.”
The schedule for the rest of the summer is as follows:
July 17 — “One’s Relationship With God,” led by Dan and team
July 24 — “Healing,” led by Dan and team
July 31 — “Being Sent to Proclaim the Kingdom,” led by John and team
Mt. Irenaeus is hosting two weekends of contemplation: Aug. 2 to 4 and Sept. 27 to 29. Each will offer participants the opportunity to take part in relaxed, open conversations, and informal gatherings around meals, as well as to enjoy solitude.
“For a number of years, we have been ‘on the road’ and ‘in the home’ of alums and others offering contemplative times for personal reflection, growth and transformation,” reads a description that was distributed to multiple HNP parishes. “These simple day-long, sometimes evening retreats have suggested that we also offer weekends for anyone looking for growth, transformation or are in a transitional time in their life and would enjoy our community.”
Further information is available by contacting Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-307-0126.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.