Thanks to Bonnita Sherburne and the Adult Education Committee for planning this outing to the Cloisters on the Platte retreat center. Thanks, also, for providing this written review and pictures of the event. Enjoy!
Founded in 2014 by Joe Ricketts, the Ignatius Retreat Center sets on nearly 1000 acres near the Platte River south of Gretna, NE. This beautiful center includes seven guest lodges, each with ten private suites, and chapel with a beautiful courtyard. This also includes the Stations of the Cross that are truly magnificent.
St. Ignatius designed retreats based on the beauty of quiet to bring people closer to God. An Ignatian retreat is modeled on the spiritual exercise of St. Ignatius Loyota who lived from 1491 to 1556. He composed a set of meditations, prayers, and mental exercises to be used by men and women seeking God’s will in their lives. Though he was Roman Catholic, his spiritual exercises are often used by non-catholics.
The Stations of the Cross sit along a very serene 2500 foot walking path. 14 sculpture stations along the way tell the story of Christ’s trial through his burial. The sculptures are breath taking and the audio tour is very well done. This form of devotion originated in the fourth century when Christians were first permitted to worship in the Roman Catholic Empire. The path Christ traveled through the old city after his sentencing toward his crucifixion in known as the Via Delarosa, Latin for Sorrowful Way. In the fifth century, the Church created images of the key moments along a path. Those paintings and sculptures helped Christians who couldn’t travel to the holy land. Although they don’t want you to take pictures, you can go to the web site for more information and pictures of each station of the cross. Each sculpture is bigger than life. The expressions on each of the faces is so very real. The story behind each sculpture is readily apparent. Rocks along the route allow you to take your time, sit and reflect.
A second tour includes the chapel as well as a reproduction of Michael Angelo’s Pieta. The Pieta is on loan through September. If you find yourself with nothing to do, the drive south to the Cloisters on the Platte is definitely worth the trip.