Every year, just as the reds, yellows, oranges and browns begin to stream down our trees, retreatants begin to stream through our doors. September marks the beginning of fall and our busiest three months. Retreat and program participants as well as hosted groups seem to prefer to visit St. Anthony’s in the fall months more than any other time of the year.
Last weekend, the fall season kicked off with 97 participants in the Catholic Diocese of LaCrosse’s deacon formation program and Lay Formation Institute joining us for the weekend. They were quickly followed on Monday by 25 members of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac clergy for a two day retreat.
This coming weekend, our sponsored retreats begin. Nine of the next eleven weekends have at least one of our own retreats or workshops scheduled. (There is still room in each retreat, so check out the variety of retreats we have to offer on our website and plan to join us. Better yet, invite a friend to join you.) Often, one or more hosted groups will be here at the same time as our sponsored programs, making for many busy weekends between now and Thanksgiving. That also means many busy weeks as we reset after each group and prepare for the next group.
We are blessed that the numbers are trending in the right direction after three very tough years. Hopefully that’s just the beginning. But that’s a lot of work for six full-time staff members and a handful of part-time staffers. We depend on volunteers to fill the gaps, from helping in Housekeeping or the kitchen to hosting all these groups to maintaining the building and grounds to working in the office. We have a core group of regular volunteers and a couple of new folks willing to help out, but there is always room for more. Call Jackie K. at 715-443-2236 if you are interested in joining us.
For the beginning of fall and a busy retreat season, and for all the helpers that make it possible for us to serve our guests well, we say Deo Gratias!