It’s just so fun to create these sweet spaces for our guests. I hope they love them!”Emily Squyres, Director of Guest Services
If you have walked through Dunrovin Retreat Center in the past few months, you might have smelled the earthy-synthetic of new paint. The glow of a particularly ambient lamp may have caught your eye. Your shoulders may have relaxed at a new feel of spaciousness. This freshness is coming out of two recently renovated rooms, which we hope will provide a new space for you to relax and enjoy your stay. The rooms are The Tower and the Brothers Dining Room.
Just above the main lounge, at the top of the stairs sits The Tower. Several months ago, The Tower’s door would have swung open to an office space that looked like it was claimed by the Sandlot children. Colorful handprints stamped the walls, each handprint was claimed with a name: Limón, Squeegee, Frodo, Mr E., Fyre, Cebú, Phoenix. Medallions of strange rituals, like a red toolbox, Styrofoam pool noodles, walkie talkies, and large sheets of colored paper curled about the room, and a large canister of cheeseballs sat on a small empty space of desk. These were the vestiges and sacred tokens of the DLITE program, whose rituals continue every early summer, initiating high schoolers into a life of servant leadership, true community, and joy. You can read more about Dunrovin’s LEAD program for youth here.
It took a minor miracle to find places for all that stuff [stored in The Tower.]”Mary Meeds, Executive Assistant
Due to the “minor miracle,” the contents of the hideout have been relocated, and in its place sits a new Tower. Just as the original Tower hosted an abundance of opportunities, the new Tower provides a singular space of refuge. The walls are now a muted gray, and the curtains filter sunlight that falls through a now unbarricaded window. Ranch Oak chairs, a trademark of many Lasallian places, sit in a circle around a low table of the same grain. You can imagine a group of leaders gathered around the table, or a few young people who have sat down for some small group sharing. Or two friends looking out at the view of the pond, cups of tea in hand. In another moment, two chairs could be placed side by side to provide a space for spiritual direction, or to encounter God’s tenderness through the sacrament of confession. You can almost hear the words of King Solomon singing: “the Lord is a strong tower, where his people can run for safety.”
The Brothers Dining Room
The Lasallian brothers who founded Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center were the first to carry the God of safety to this place. Who are the brothers? They were, for much of their lives, school administers, principals and teachers; and many of them had PhDs.
Here is one: Brother Gerard.
He is seen here washing dishes.
Here they are again just looking like they do, men on a mission and with a vision.
Through their retirement, these Brothers cared for the guests who came for retreat. Theirs was a principle of hospitality, and they dedicated their days to washing dishes, answering phones, and mowing the lawn. The great giants of De LaSalle chose to spend their sunset days giving themselves in service to whomever came through the door. The Brothers Dining Room acknowledges them with both a solemn nod and a wink. What was once a storage room now holds a dining space, a fridge, computer, printer, phone, cabinets, and a storage shelf for snacks. You are well taken care of by these Brothers. They may no longer be with us but grab a cup of tea and pull up a chair; we are sure that you will feel their welcome in the Brothers Dining Room.
Catherine DeMarais recently joined the Dunrovin staff as a guest host and communications assistant. She enjoys using the poetry of words to create pictures as she speaks to her readers.