“A House Built On Rock” Endures 50 Years – Immaculata Retreat House
Article and Photos Provided by OMSI Belleville
|Immaculata Retreat House|
As the 50th anniversary of Immaculata Retreat House approached, Bro. Richard Cote, O.M.I. began sifting through an abundance of historical memorabilia. He found hundreds of photos, mementos and other items related to the retreat house located in Willimantic, Connecticut.
Brother Richard, the author of “Immaculata: A House Built on Rock,” discovered Immaculata could be summed up simply as “a house built by the people for the people.”
Located on 53 acres overlooking the scenic Willimantic River Valley, Immaculata offers programs for people of all backgrounds. There are retreats for youth and parish groups, men and women, sisters, seminarians and deacons. There are also retreats for married and engaged couples as well as persons recovering from various addictions.
In recent years Father Gonzalez has developed new programs to help young people meet Christ in a deeper way. He noted that the founder of the Missionary Oblates, St. Eugene De Mazenod, worked tirelessly for youth, and that tradition continues today at Immaculata.
|The Wall behind the Altar|
“Through our Confirmation programs and youth retreats, we bring youngsters to a personal encounter with Christ,” said Fr. Gonzalez. “We help them discover their call to live life to the fullest, and we encourage them to share with each other and their families the many gifts they have received through the sacraments.”
Multicultural events take place at Immaculata throughout the year in addition to retreats for people of numerous ethnic groups including Haitian, Hispanic, Brazilian and people of Polish heritage.
In 2006 the Immaculata facility underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade. There are 73 rooms each with private bath, individual heating/cooling controls and wireless internet access. The three presentation rooms, chapel and dining hall have also been modernized.
While Immaculata has a new look, its core mission remains the same – to provide retreatants a place where they can build a deeper relationship with God.
|The Retreat House’s beautiful grounds|
“Immaculata Retreat House is more than a house built on rock—more than a place where programs are offered,” said Bro. Richard. “It is a spirit, a desire to share the Word with those who come; a desire to search for the Word with those who come, with the prayerful intercession of our patroness, Mary Immaculate.”
To learn more about programs offered at Immaculata Retreat House visit: www.immaculataretreat.org.