In a letter dated 29 May 2020, the Provincial of the former Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus announced his decision to close the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, effective August 2021. You may read the Provincial’s letter, accompanying FAQs, and Br. Derby’s letter of response here.
While we are sorrowful at the decision, we are focused on the remaining time of ministry here in Wernersville. The Jesuit Center will continue to offer retreats and other programs for spiritual renewal, and to host groups, through August 2021. You can see our 2020-2021 program calendar here.
Most of us recall the old hymn, “The Lord of the Dance.” It affirms the God of the “Divine Dance”: the God who dances the world into being and, who in Jesus’ coming, enables us to dance once again in harmony with God, with one another and with the entirety of creation. Jesus’ Easter dance is not there to taunt us in our misery, but rather to encourage us to look deeply and to see greater possibility for ourselves and for our world.
Yet, even in the presence of this light-footed Jesus, I mostly feel my clumsiness. I started by saying that I am not a dancer. Maybe I just have not tried hard enough to lose myself in life’s deeper rhythms… its ups and downs and dips and turns. Most of my timid steps in trying to live in greater harmony with everyone and everything just leave me feeling that I am mostly stepping on the feet of those I most love and seek to serve.
It is easy to get discouraged, give up and become a wallflower in the universal dance to which we have been invited. In these days in which we are being side-lined in so many ways, it is easy to forget that we are made, like Jesus, for the consoling movement of the dance. We have seen Christ’s Easter dance and have heard his words, “Dance, then, wherever you may be…” We are impelled to reveal with him the deep-down joy of God’s victory, even when we still feel awkward, isolated and hesitant, and many of those around us do not fully comprehend where we are coming from. Like Jesus, we can only say, “Don’t hold me back. My joy is too great.”
The Lord of the Dance continued
Fr. Frank Kaminski, SJ
As Certain as the Dawn | April 29, 2020
The Lord of the Dance