by Joe Bollig
EASTON — You’re not going to get your cellphone confiscated at the door of Christ’s Peace House of Prayer here, but you will get a gentle suggestion from director Vince Eimer that it would be best to set it aside.
“It would be good for them to do without it,” Eimer believes.
Christ’s Peace is a great place to unplug from the world and get in touch with God, and cellphones don’t help.
For 50 years, this place in Leavenworth County has served as the archdiocesan place of prayer and spiritual renewal.
This legacy will be remembered with a 50th anniversary Mass celebrated by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 19 at Christ’s Peace. There will be an open house from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will include a blessing of the chapel, lunch, rosary walk and tour.
“We are here to help people by providing an environment where they can spend time with God and deepen their relationship with him, both through gaining knowledge and spending time with him by getting away from the noise of the world,” said Eimer. “Our great hope is when they do come here, they’ll discover — literally — the peace of Christ.”
The small staff of Eimer and Marie Baranko, director of operations, pray for Archbishop Naumann, priests and religious, and, indeed, all the Catholics of northeast Kansas and those beyond.
This archdiocesan house of prayer is located on 120 acres of land two miles east of Easton and 12 miles west of Leavenworth. Nevertheless, it’s only a short driving time from the major population centers of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
Christ’s Peace has undergone a lot of change since it was founded in 1971 by Father Edward Hays, especially since Eimer took over as director in 2011. Shrines and walking paths have been added, the grounds have been beautified, the chapel was renovated and the accommodations were upgraded.
Many archdiocesan Catholics have visited here for a day, a weekend or even longer as individuals, couples or groups. There are monthly preached retreats offered by Eimer, or silent retreats. Some individuals or groups ask Eimer to plan a retreat for them. Other groups, led by a pastor, already have one planned.
“We have some cabins and courtyard (main building) rooms that can take two people, family members or married couples,” said Eimer. “We have six cabins that can take couples and three courtyard rooms that can take couples, or individuals.
“We also have two hermitages that can take one person, and four guest rooms and an overflow room. Our capacity is 27 if every space is used.”
The cabins and courtyard rooms have their own showers, stoves, refrigerators, air conditioning and heating. The small guest rooms share a bathroom. People can bring their own food if they wish, but Christ’s Peace can provide simple meals.
The expenses of accommodating guests are taken care of by guest donations. A guideline for suggested donations can be found online at the Christ’s Peace’s website.
People can go on vacations or stay at spas to relax and psychologically recharge, but Christ’s Peace offers much more.
“What you’re doing here is spiritually recharging,” said Eimer. “You’re trying to reinvigorate your relationship with God and deepen that relationship, which in turn will make you a more loving and effective person with others. It gives you a chance to reflect on your life and where you’re going, to become the kind of person who will live out the Great Commandment. If you don’t take time off for God, it’s difficult for his grace to work in you.”
Christ’s Peace’s monthly schedule for 2023
• “Consecration to Mary Retreat: Rediscovering Fatima” — May 12, 5:30 p.m. to May 14, 4:30 p.m. Make or renew your Marian consecration on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima with a look at the seven lessons Mary gave at Fatima. The retreat includes Marian conferences, special consecration to Mary ceremony, eucharistic adoration, Mass, confession and time for private prayer. Day guests are welcome.
• St. Isidore Feast Day: Mass and blessing of seeds and soil — May 15, 10 a.m. The day honors St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers. It will begin with Mass, followed by a rosary procession to the St. Isidore Shrine. Bring seeds and soil in a small, decorated basket for blessing. The Mass will be followed by a lunch and fellowship. A freewill offering will be taken up. To attend, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (913) 773-8255 with the number of attendees.
• “St. Elizabeth of the Trinity: Encountering the Divine Indwelling” silent retreat — July 28, 5:30 p.m. to July 30, 4:30 p.m. The Carmelite focused her interior life on the mystery of divine indwelling found in St. Paul’s epistles.
• Christ’s Peace House of Prayer 50th anniversary celebration — Aug. 19, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Archbishop Naumann will celebrate Mass at 9:30 a.m., followed by a blessing of the chapel, lunch, a rosary walk and tours.
• “Rescued through the Triumph of the Cross” — Sept. 15, 5:30 p.m. to Sept. 17, 4:30 p.m. Father John Riccardo’s book “Rescued” will guide the retreat.
• “The Way of the Pilgrim” silent retreat — Oct. 13, 5:30 p.m. to Oct. 15, 4:30 p.m. During this retreat, we will put into practice the ancient tradition of walking while praying the Jesus Prayer.
• “Living Freedom in the Church” — Nov. 10, 5:30 p.m. to Nov. 12, 4:30 p.m. Prepare for the Jubilee Year 2025 by studying the documents of Vatican II, focusing on the four dogmatic constitutions.
• Advent silent retreat — Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m. to Dec. 3, 4:30 p.m. Prepare for Advent as we explore the essence and promise of the Advent season and gain a new understanding of the coming of Christ.
For information, reservations
• Address: 22131 Meagher Rd., Easton, KS 66020
• Call: (913) 773-8255
• Email: email@example.com
• Website: archkck.org/cpp/home
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