by Elizabeth Heule
Precious Blood Center Update – December 2015
As we come to the end of 2015 and look to the future we continue to bring to life and expand the vision of our community for the Precious Blood Center.
The Center welcomed many guests who came for gathering of various types. Once again we saw an increase of guests from the prior year. More and more people have found the Center to be a great place for gathering and renewal. Our guests feel welcomed and well cared for. We look forward to welcoming even more in 2016.
In 2015 we also completed a major infrastructure improvement construction project – the connection of our sewer system to the city system. Our campus was constructed with a septic tank system which ultimately drains to lateral fields. These lateral fields had failed or were failing at each end of our campus. The best response was to connect to the city sewer system, in keeping with our commitment to the environment and our promise to the city of Liberty. Construction began in mid-summer with preconstruction work and was completed mid-November with site cleanup. The project consisted of installation of a main line extending to and across South Liberty Parkway to our west, and then a connector line from this main to each building. Little evidence now remains of such a major site construction project. New grass and landscaping is in place and seemingly thriving. A spring adjacent to the lake dock was exposed through this construction process and will become one of the many small garden areas developed around the lake perimeter, for rest, meditation and prayer.
Moving into 2016 we look forward to facility and site upgrades, such as construction of a labyrinth and with great excitement we will be welcoming, Family Promise of the Northland.
Family Promise helps the unemployed and underemployed homeless families in Clay and Platt counties achieve self-sufficiency. Partnering with local agencies families are referred to their program. They then assist the guests to find housing, community assistance and jobs as required. Guests are screened for substance abuse and psychiatric issues prior to acceptance in the program.
We will be a host partner, providing overnight lodging, meals and hospitality for one to four families four times per year. Precious Blood Center will provide the lodging, Annunciation Parish from Kearney, Missouri will provide the volunteer coordinator and the volunteers required to provide the meals and hospitality. Guests will stay for one week, four times per year as we begin this new ministry. To serve those on the margins in this ways is a great fit for Precious Blood Center and has considerable opportunities for expansion. The weeks are scheduled in advance for the year, allowing preparation and coordination time.
Several other gatherings are already on our calendar for the coming year as well. We will host the Midwest Retreat Ministries, Precious Blood Leadership Council, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Retreat, Precious Blood Volunteer retreat, LGBT workshop, men and women’s Cursillos, and local parish staff and faculty reflection/retreat days.
We honor St. Gaspar and our spirituality as we continue with our doors open to all. Please contact me, if you have questions or any comments concerning the Precious Blood Center. We are always open to hear from you.
by Elizabeth Heule