By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
An afternoon of local food and entertainment on a tree-shaded prairie will be the setting for the fourth annual Spirit of the Prairie Aug. 24 at Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat.
Lisa Martin, communications director for the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, invites people to a “spirit-filled afternoon” from 3-6 p.m. at the Prairie, 2664 145th Ave., Wheatland.
More than 100 people attend the event, which has grown each year. Spirit of the Prairie will feature locally raised and prepared food, wines and beers, local entertainment in the Iowa countryside and a silent auction featuring handmade baskets with local items. Proceeds benefit The Prairie Retreat program fund, which supports spiritual retreats the Sisters offer throughout the year, Martin said. A calendar of events can be found at www.chmiowa.org.
“The food is delectable – home-cooked with ingredients from the Prairie gardens and local farmers. Local wines, beers and soft drinks will be offered. Tours of the 200 acres and the labyrinth will be open for walking with a guide to explain the history and process,” Martin added. “Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat is one of Iowa’s best kept secrets.”
Entertainers at Spirit of the Prairie include Ron May, a native of Moline, Ill., playing tunes on the piano inside the Prairie Heights building. Outside under the tent will be father and son duo, Steve and Sam Price of Iowa City, who will perform traditional folk blues with a taste of Chicago. May and the Prices are friends of the Sisters of Humility, Martin said.
Walking and golf cart tours of the retreat center and grounds will be offered throughout the afternoon, featuring a cosmic walk, labyrinth, pond, timber and gardens. Martin said the cosmic walk features 22 stone markers along two miles of grassy pathways. “The stones tell creation’s 13.7-billion-year history taken from the book of Genesis and expanded with the insights of science.”
The event is possible in part due to major sponsors: TAG, The Advisory Group, Inc. and Doyle & Keenan, P.C., Certified Public Accountants & Consultants.
Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, a ministry of the Sisters of Humility, is located in rural east central Iowa on 200 acres of native grass prairie woodland along the Wapsipinicon River. The Prairie Retreat provides hospitality and service in what its supporters call a space of peace and beauty that promotes respect for all creation in the tradition of the Sisters of Humility.
Driving directions and more information about The Prairie Retreat may be found at www.chmiowa.org.
Optional parking and shuttle service will be available at the Humility of Mary Center, 820 West Central Park Ave., Davenport. The shuttle leaves Davenport at 2 p.m. and returns about 6:30 p.m.
For more information or to make reservations, call (563) 336-8414 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chmiowa.org on the event or Prairie pages. Cost is $40 per person. Reservations are due Aug. 20.