by Elizabeth Heule, Director of Precious Blood Center
The Spirit was sparking our imaginations as we heard about new possibilities for our Precious Blood Center Campus at our 37th Assembly. With the presentation of the Center update much enthusiasm came from those able to visualize the potential and possibilities.
In the December 2013 issue of The New Wine Press, Fr. Joe Nassal, C.PP.S. wrote of the possibility of constructing a new building at Precious Blood Center Liberty. The idea comes from proposals by the Center Task Force in 2011 and in response to the XX General Assembly Vision Statement. At the Assembly in 2011, we decided to move forward with plans to open our doors to the general public, offering a safe and sacred place for reconciliation and renewal. We have steadily worked toward this transformation over the course of the past couple years, with these goals set by the Task Force.
- Provide a place for individuals and groups seeking healing and renewal
- To serve those on the margins as a place of refuge
- Provide adequate accommodations for Residents, active and retired
- Provide adequate space for Administrative Offices
Our experiences in the past year have shown us these challenges:
- Difficulty in seeing the Center both as a Mission site and a home for community members. It has not been possible to serve the needs of both effectively: blurred boundaries between public and private spaces present issues both for visiting groups and residents.
- The inability to accommodate large groups. We have turned groups away we would like to serve because there is not enough space or facilities for them.
The desire for more space led to envisioning a new building on campus. To this end, we imagined what a new building might look like and estimated costs. The question of how we can best serve the community at large and our own Precious Blood community in residence, active and retired, led to the commissioning of a needs assessment, which should be done in July 2014. The needs assessment will gauge the potential interest from the local parishes and Catholic institutions, other religious establishments, and the community at large for using a facility we might build.
Following the presentation, many approached me who would be willing to be part of the possibilities an expanded facility would create. There are many Incorporated Members and Companions who can lead classes, workshops, days of reflection and retreats, as well as spiritual companionship. We continue to invite ideas and comments and encourage those interested in participating to come forward.
Exploration of building and program options will continue as we move forward. We will share the results of the needs assessment and other ideas for the development of the Center with the Districts and Companion groups as they come, and Leadership will present concrete proposals to the Province when they are ready.
Our Precious Blood charism calls us to provide safe and sacred spaces such as Renewal Centers, and I have felt great passion and conviction from the Community about this. As we respond to the Vision Statement of the XX General Assembly, we continue to be prophetic witness for the renewal of the Church and the transformation of the world.