December 1, 2006 Vol. 20, No. 4 [p. 1]

Our Prayer for You

Clare, Mary, Morag, and Sheila
May the angels' cry of "Peace, Goodwill, and Glory to God" resound in your heart this Christmas.

Toni Maloney

Toni Maloney:
March 14, 1932 - August 21, 2006

On August 21, Antonia C. "Toni" Maloney, a dear friend and former Associate of The Dwelling Place, relocated to heaven.

We cherish happy memories, especially of John and Toni dancing at our Community parties.

Toni is still with us in our hearts, and we know that her prayers are continuing to guard and guide us. Our prayers are with John, her beloved husband, and their six children as they grieve, that they will know the Lord's strength and comfort.

From our heart . .

Please consider our annual appeal prayerfully. We rely on you, our faithful supporters, to help us continue our ministry by closing the operating gap.

For Your schedule . .

Hermitages are often available on weekends when we have groups in Umbria. Give us a call to check on this when you want to get away to be still.

From the Kitchen . . .

When you register for a retreat, please let us know if you have any food allergies or if you are a vegetarian-- even if you have told us in the past, notify us each retreat, please!

Lou de Filippo

Nails, anyone?

One of the first people ever to lend a hand (or do I mean a hammer?) was Lou de Filippo in 1987. Pictured here in October, 2006, Lou is hard at work still, straightening up the bridge.

A Retreatant's Reflection

Richard Babb from Tupelo writes,

The last two years of my life I have been going through what a friend of mine describes as an "emotional hurricane." I have been going through a mid-life divorce. It is something I never thought I would have to endure. And while I have known anguish before, there is little that causes more anguish in a person's life than a bitter divorce.

Some years ago, I read that the most important decision you can make is who you marry. After 25 years and a divorce, I can verify the wisdom of that statement. In all candor, I think we (church and society) do a pretty poor job in helping young people decide on a proper mate. And so when the marriage goes south, what do you do? How do you get through the numbing feelings, the anxiety, and, sometimes, overwhelming worries? And can anything good possibly come out of the experience?

The fact is, I have found that divorce can be a time for spiritual growth. It is my observation and experience that when life hits you like a truck, you can either be embittered by the experience, or you can somehow work toward a spiritual transformation.

Last year while in the throes of a divorce, I made the journey to The Dwelling Place for a divorce recovery workshop. While there was no way to heal the loss of a marriage in two or three days, it was a time to begin the movement toward spiritual transformation, toward healing by facing the past and boldly looking toward the future. That is what the workshop did for me.

I found that I wasn't alone in my feelings and grief and worries. And it wasn't some kind of encounter group exercise from the 60's. It consisted of people who were trying to make sense of a very difficult life experience, who were trying to find their way out to a new place in life.

So if you are going through the emotional hurricane of divorce or know someone who is in the water hanging on for dear life, I would highly recommend sojourning to The Dwelling Place for the Rebuilding workshop. It may help put you on dry land.

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