March 13, 2020
I’ve had the privilege and opportunity this past year of serving my beloved Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center in a volunteer capacity. I call it “my beloved” because over the years, it has become a place of immense spiritual growth and comfort as I try to live the life our Lord has given to me. I am proud of the retreat center: its staff, its programs, its impact on the world around us. I know many of you feel the same way about OLB – your time spent here has impacted your life in a way that has changed for the good forever and you have seen the impact in others’ lives as well. Our Lord has used the center and staff to impact thousands of individuals and marriages over almost 30 years. There is so much to be grateful for…
Candidly, we need your help. In this time of health concerns and quarantines, we are compelled to cancel all of our programs through the end of March and close the center to the public entirely for the next two weeks – this significantly impacts the center. Our programs help us to defray some of the costs of keeping the doors open. Donations are what fill the gap. Our hidden costs impact the livelihood of our three salaried staff who run the operations and programs, and our hourly workers who make our meals, clean and maintain the facilities, and maintain our financial records. I estimate our monthly losses to be upward of $40,000.
It’s Lent and a time for sacrificial giving. Would you consider in your almsgiving a donation to OLB? Any amount will help us over the hump, and a monthly recurring offering to stabilize our finances would be especially helpful. In whatever amount, however, you can make the difference in the retreat center’s making it through this temporary downturn.
We have taken this measure not out of fear but out of an abundance of caution and an act of charity to our OLB family, our patrons, and our surrounding community. Thank you in advance for your prayer and giving!
P.S. If the retreat center is not where you feel called to give, please consider giving to other non-profits or small businesses that are also feeling the squeeze of quarantines and shut-downs. The Lord seems to be showing us how much we need each other, and perhaps he will use this crisis to draw communities together in mutual support.