The Camp that Mary Built
Since the purchase of the initial 58 acres in Washington, New Hampshire, to become “Montfort Retreat,” Mary’s blessings have been almost physically manifest through donations of work and materials. A DVD created by Brother Anthony Marie called “The Miracle of Montfort” chronologically displays the building of the facility with pictures from over a two-year period.
Shortly after its commencement, an 85-acre adjacent tract of land was miraculously offered and purchased at a reduced price, placing the three-quarter-mile road of the camp, no longer on the edge of the property, but now in the center. These new acres include a beautiful landscape of hills and streams that lead to Lake Ashuelot where the facility is located.
But that’s not all…Our Lady wasn’t finished yet. Last summer a company logged a piece of land on the other side and offered the somewhat cleared fields to Montfort, bring the present site to a total of 200 acres and protecting it from developers.
Another miraculous manifestation of Mary’s blessings has been the help sent to the camp by way of volunteers. Lt. Colonel Thomas Taylor, retired Air Force, residing on the shores of the lake, has spent hundreds of hours blazing trails at the camp, making shrines, bridges and resting places that would rival any state park. Steve Hassen, Colonel Taylor’s trusty colleague, helped him on all the trails as they carried lumber, chopped brush and trees. “Saint James’ Trek” and “Saint Kateri’s Trail” are among the hiking trails encircling the property, complete with breathtaking landscapes and multiple shrines.
Yes, the camp that Mary built is kept alive by those who love her. This spring new curtains made and donated by Maureen Swink of Washington, DC, were hung in the dining facility. Joe Luca of Long Island, New York, made a new corpus for the chapel crucifix, painted in such a touching and devotional manner. The Huslin Family donated 50 life preservers last year and a new projector, cart and screen this year, a wonderful and long needed item. Pat Battis built a puppet stage and he, Jim Rock and Oliver McMahone made Inkle Looms for the art classes. Charlie Fields of Washington, NH, donated a bell for the dining facility which was mounted by Jim Rock.
Most of the food is donated by local companies, and during camp, families also sent food: 200 ears of corn, jams and homemade breads, just to mention a few. Many more generous donations have shown the support of families who love Montfort and Morning Star Camps.
Enrollment this year doubled at Morning Star Leadership Camp and maxed out in the other two weeks. Montfort Retreats also met their quota of young men campers. Both programs thank the volunteers who staffed it so wonderfully.
Now the last phase of the Retreat facility is in the works with the building of a Priest’s cabin, a Trading Post for registration and a First Aid station. May the Morning Star, Our Blessed Mother, bless all those who made it possible and keep it going!
Please consider helping complete the last phase of the building of Montfort, by contributing to the expense of the new buildings needed for the facility!
Morning Star Goes West
The “Lone Star State” once again welcomed Our Lady, The Morning Star, whose presence was felt during the mini-camp at the Latin Mass community of Mater Dei Parish in Dallas, Texas, on April 12-13, 2013.
Five Sisters, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, flew from Boston to provide the program which started on Friday, April 12, with an array of morning activities for boys and girls and then an afternoon walk/hike for families at the nearby Campion Trail. That evening, a dinner in the Parish Hall gave parents and college students a chance to meet the Sisters and learn about the work of the Slaves of The Immaculate Heart at Saint Benedict Center and True Devotion to Mary.
The second day was a Morning Star day for girls only, with a colorful program of prayer, catechism, singing, dancing, crafts and games. It was a great day of fun and faith mixed together in the spirit of True Devotion, “To Jesus through Mary.” That evening the Sisters joined the parish Youth Group at a talk by Father Wolfe, FSSP, and other activities.
It was a wonderful experience to be with such an enthusiastic Catholic group of young people and their families at Mater Dei Parish!
Morning Star “mobile” has already been invited to a few more parishes across the country for youth group gatherings and mini-camps. We are so happy to have this opportunity to share a little of the fun and spirit of Morning Star, and spread devotion “to Jesus through Mary” across the country! Let us know if your parish is interested.