Diocese announces closing of Holy Name Retreat House

By The Compass | January 16, 2014

GREEN BAY – The Diocese of Green Bay announced today that Holy Name Retreat House, located on Chambers Island, Door County, will close.

The sun rises over Chambers Island, home to Holy Name Retreat House. (File photo)
The sun rises over Chambers Island, home to Holy Name Retreat House. (File photo)

The island retreat house has been offering retreats for more than 60 years. Over the years, thousands of retreatants have experienced the peaceful surrounding of this unique prayerful setting. “In the past five years, much study has been done and the diocese has undertaken many initiatives to maintain this location,” said a press release issued by the diocese Jan. 16. “Unfortunately, the attempts to boost the number of retreatants and maintain the property have proven nonsustainable.”

News of the retreat house closing comes on the heels of last month’s closing of Monte Alverno Retreat and Spirituality Center in Appleton, which operated for 80 years under the sponsorship of the Capuchin Franciscans.

According to the press release, the decision to close Holy Name Retreat House was made by Bishop David Ricken “after much consultation and discernment.” The closing was confirmed by the center’s board of directors at their semi-annual meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15. “The diocesan commitment to retreat ministry remains strong,” according to the press release. “The emphasis going forward is to deliver the retreat experience and meet the ever-changing needs of the faithful.”

“As we look toward the new evangelization, we need to reevaluate how we deliver the traditional retreat experience,” said Bishop Ricken. “Over the last few years, we have seen a movement toward more parish-based participation in retreats and we are fortunate that we have many regional, year-round retreat centers that can meet their needs.”

More to come: Look for an expanded story with additional reaction and comments in next week’s Compass. Below is a video about Holy Name Retreat House produced by The Compass in 2011.

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