Where Love Begins
Organized by: Mary Ann Heerschap
The cows are mooing, the horses neighing, the pigs oinking - Hooray for donations!
August 23, 2016
“Take what you need and leave the rest” – Pope Francis. Like the early monastics who sought solace from worldly pleasures by retreating to the countryside, the School of Our Lady, Queen of Peace and Reconciliation, a full-time, year-round school for adolescents in grades 6-12, has set off down a similar path. There is no Catholic school within 5 counties in Virginia and West Virgina is only 15 miles away and by law can only take 5 students in a private home. The need is overwhelming! Building is a necessity on this private working family farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. The architectural drawings have been kindly donated and materials list completed; only funds are lacking for this worthy project. A total of $150,000 is needed, but that amount is rather daunting. What is really needed to begin? About $15,000 for the concrete foundation, as quoted by Habitat for Humanity, is the School’s initial request. There is a plan to construct the rest “one piece at a time” as God so provides. Based on the materials list, the local Habitat for Humanity and building materials outlets will be scoured for needed items to minimize costs. The open floor plan can eventually serve the community as a chapel and retreat center. Set in the cathedral of God’s natural goodness, it has a picturesque view of the Alleghany mountains. The farm harvests berries, orchard fruits and garden vegetables and maintains an assortment of animals on 9.5 acres. the School heeds Pope Francis’ prophetic call “to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family.” We seek to earn what we can through farmer’s market sales of products grown and manufactured by students. Revenues help defray student tuition while students learn entrepreneurship skills. The mission of an education is a process that develops a sense of what is good, beautiful and true. It enriches and enables growth and cannot be neutral. Americans are starving for something they know not: the Love of God. Today others need to know the transformational peace continued in the monastic tradition of 1400 years. There is an inward whisper implanted in each person to put God ahead of the false gods – “Truth, according to the Christian faith, is God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. Therefore, truth is a relationship.” – Pope Francis. Our educational system must faithfully paint a picture of this. “It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa Thank you for your gift, your love. Mary Ann