“Here Today and Gone Tomorrow” is the title of an entry in the 1953 House Chronicle for the third week of September. Here’s what Brother Chronicler wrote in 1953:
Keeping track of visitors was becoming a bewildering task. Marathon was becoming a Mecca for many people this fall. Fr. Raymond was the latest arrival. Former novice master and currently a missioner on Guam, he came on Monday evening, September 21, and left on Wednesday, September 23rd. Then, on September 22, Mrs. Doyle and Flanagan from the Archdiocese of Detroit stopped for a short visit, principally with Father Rene and Frater Malcom, though including others as well. They too left on Wednesday the 23. Fr. Aloyisius ended a six weeks’ stay on Tuesday, September 22. His health improved immensely during the weeks he spent here, especially because of the generous amounts of fresh air he got on the river bank while fishing.
There are a number of parallels between 1953 and 2023. Although the names have changed, it still seems as though St. Anthony’s is a Mecca for visitors during the fall. Ten private retreatants have spent a total of 13 nights with us in September so far. That’s in addition to the 120 overnight guests who were part of the four retreat groups and the 15 guests that were part of two day retreat groups that have been here in these first three weeks. Most overnight guests stayed a only night or two – here today and gone tomorrow – but we pray that at least a few experienced some healing while they were with us. The weather was certainly conducive to getting lots of fresh air even if none of them went fishing on the river bank.
Many guests come and go throughout the year at St. Anthony’s – here today and gone tomorrow. The reasons they are drawn here are many and varied, but the comparison to Mecca is fair. This, too, is holy ground. The simplicity and silence are conducive to prayer. The grounds provide an opportunity to reconnect with creation and Creator. Many tell us they find peace and healing here. These are some of the common reasons people say they are drawn back to this holy ground time after time.
For all the guests who come to St. Anthony’s, even if they are here today and gone tomorrow, for the gift of their presence, and for all the gifts they find here, we say Deo Gratias!