How Do We Say Goodbye?

The Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA is closing its doors next month. For those of us who have been formed and sustained by this holy place, the closure is cause for weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Can there also be peace, gratitude and acceptance?

Many thanks to the Wernersville staff for graciously sharing my reflection on their website.

Photo of a rocking chair at sunrise.
My favorite chair in my favorite spot at my favorite time of day: the east cloister walk at sunrise.

6 thoughts on “How Do We Say Goodbye?

  1. Elena Suarez says:

    Beautiful reflection, Christine. I have never been to this particular center, but I feel the same about the sacred ground in the retreat centers where I have had my special encounters with the Lord. I could feel your sadness and gratitude.



  2. valorie214 says:

    Dear Christine,

    Thank you for your beautiful reflection which has touched my heart. I’m sitting in my first floor room here at Wernersville. And when I arrived on Monday evening it seemed I wasn’t alone in my desire to come one last time and to say goodbye to this special place.

    I met you here on retreat too, and recently did a Saturday reflection with you by zoom at Cranaleith. I hadn’t thought of bringing dirt home but I do have many memories including (you might be surprised), the train whistle and the wheels making their clacking sound on the rails especially at night. My grandfather was a train engineer for the C&O railroad and has always been my loving image of God. So for me, the sounds of the train has been a reminder that God is near.

    I can’t imagine what will become of this building and land, nor do I know where I will retreat hereafter (even St. Marys in Cape May has closed) but I hope our paths will cross again.

    Blessings, Valorie

    On Thu, Jul 15, 2021, 9:12 AM Christine Marie Eberle wrote:

    > Christine Eberle posted: ” The Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in > Wernersville, PA is closing its doors next month. For those of us who have > been formed and sustained by this holy place, the closure is cause for > weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Can there also be” >


  3. readchristine says:

    HI, Christine,

    This was beautiful. I am sorry that a place you love is closing, but this is a wonderful tribute to all it has provided to you and the many others who walked their grounds.

    I suppose there is all kinds of grieving for many different things. This might be good for book # 3.

    Take care, Mary

    Mary R. Reilly

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  4. says:

    This is beautiful.  I will go pull out my journals of a first and last retreat I had there in 2013 – reminded how this should live on in me.Thank you.Josie Moretto


  5. lford123 says:

    Thank you for this beautiful reflection, Christine. I too am one of the many who have been privileged to know and love Wernersville. I was introduced to it by my friend and Chestnut Hill College colleague Jack Carboy S.J. When Jack was transferred from CHC to be on the staff of Wernersville, he invited me in his very low key to come up for a weekend and just rest and read ( we shared a mutual love of books). He, of course, knew that a lot more would happen for me there. I returned many times after that. It was there that I fell in love with the practice of silence which sustains me to this day. I also first learned about the Enneagram there. And yes I had so many favorite spots…many the same as yours. By the age of 71, I have had to let go and say goodbye to so many people and places. They all are a part of me still. I say goodbye to Wernersville with sadness that it will no longer be available for a new generation. But also with deep gratitude for all that it was for me and so many others. I will be praying for all of you who will be there in these final days. If you think of it, say a prayer for me up there in the choir loft (which I also liked to visit in the evenings) Peace and love, Laura

    Sent from my iPhone



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