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.
God has been a guiding light for me throughout my life.
I was blessed to be raised in a home with parents who were faithful Catholics. My mother would kneel with us by our bunkbeds every night and help us recite “Angel of God my guardian dear . . .” My father worked very hard to make sure my sister, brother and I were able to attend Catholic School, which necessitated additional family expenses for monthly tuition.
My home parish growing up was a Benedictine mission. The monks set a profound example of what a true vocation is. They truly lived the motto of St. Benedict, “Work and Pray.”
The Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary taught me for the twelve years of my formal education. Upon later reflection, these nuns showed me long before the women’s liberation movement how significant women are to Christ’s invitation to follow Him.
Having a brother and sister who have married and have families of their own the constant question to me by them and others was, “Why don’t you become a nun?” My pithy answer was always “If I can’t go in as Mother Superior, I’m not going in at all!” Sadly, that answer showed my lack of courage, lack of humility, and my selfishness. But truthfully, I was not prepared to be a nun. As I enter my 7th decade of living, I know my decision was the correct one.
Consequently, I have spent 25 years as a CCD teacher and 20 years as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. I loved teaching the children about Jesus, and I felt humbled when taking the Body of Christ to the homebound of my parish. In my personal life and in my work career I have always used the exemplary models of my parents, the monks and priests, the nuns who taught me, and the countless good people who have touched my life and have helped me become a closer follower of Christ. I have accepted this as my vocation and hope I am doing Jesus proud.
“These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him” (Mark 5:41).
Spiritual Growth | Vocation >
Mary Anne Kremp