The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus has announced that the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth at Wernersville will close in August 2021.
The decision was not the result of struggles from the coronavirus pandemic, the Province said, but rather because of the ongoing financial commitment needed to maintain the large buildings and grounds.
Although the center has seen strong numbers in retreatants over the last few years, annual subsidies from the Province are now in the ballpark of $500,000 to keep the property operational, plus much-needed repairs to the ninety-year old buildings.
“I’m grateful for the dedicated ministry of the priests, brothers, lay staff and volunteers of the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth over these past 50 years in the Diocese of Allentown,” said Bishop Alfred Schlert, reacting to the news.
“I thank them for their long pastoral presence, and their generous sacramental assistance to the parishes of Berks County. I am gratified that the Jesuit cemetery there, the burial place of Father Walter Ciszek, will continue in operation,” Bishop Schlert said.
When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, regular programming will continue at the center through August 15, 2021. Please visit their website at www.jesuitcenter.org for information.