In January over Martin Luther King Weekend, I attended the Mid Regional EGA retreat at Villa Maria in New Castle with some of my French Knot Stitcher friends: SHirley, Deb, and Janis. I even met a new stitcher, Mary Van Tyne and many more. This conference center was a Catholic girl boarding school closed in the 90s.
This retreat turned out to be one of the best retreats I've attended for two reasons: no hassle and peace filled. The no hassle part was that the rooms were old dorm rooms
and the meals were prepared by the conference center and scheduled on a regular basis, and we stitched in a conference room. The stitchers worked on a puzzle (when they got bored with stitching), needlepoint, cross stitcher and quilting)
The peace filled part was that the Sisters of Humility of Mary lived here. Their mission statement truly inspired me as well
The retired nuns rode around in their scooters (almost knocked over Deb), they visited with us while we were stitching and invited us to participate in their Sunday Mass. I was so moved by their renovated chapel.
It was a chapel built in the round so there was a sense of community. The altar was made of some type of wood that was beautiful and was in the center of the seats. In the front of the chapel was a punched fiber wall piece that was designed and completed by a nun who had a masters in fine arts. It was beautiful. If you look deep into this pic, you can see the punched rug piece in the background.
The most amazing part of the chapel was the running water wall they had in the back of the chapel. It runs all the time and the sound of running water is in itself peaceful.
The statue of Mary was in the back of the Chapel
as was the tabernacle
Both were appropriately placed.
We had so much fun that we decided to move our French Knot stitchers February retreat to Villa Maria. That retreat was held on February 16th through 19th. The stitchers that attended were: Deb, Janis, Shirley, Ginny, Donna (new friend), Judy, Brenda, Nancy, Patty, Linda, Denise and me.