By Tim Harfmann
The Bishop Molloy Retreat House in Jamaica Estates, Queens, is run by the Passionate priests.
It’s been open for nearly 100 years, but that’s changing — not enough people are going to the oasis for prayer and reflection.
“If we have 70, that’s a very good size group for us,” explained Father John Lee, the retreat house’s director.
According to Fr. Lee, come June the once-flourishing center is closing down to get ready for a comeback.
Bishop Molloy Retreat House is going to be refreshed and renovated to present a brighter face to Catholics.
The programs are all going to be updated with a special focus on a new generation of believers.
“I don’t think it’s a mystery that maintaining these large institutions has become increasingly challenging,” said Father Jim O’Shea, Provincial of the Eastern Province of Passionists.
“We see closures happening all over the place…despite the excellent work, you’re still dealing with a church that’s extraordinarily different than the church that founded this place many, many years ago.”
“But the renovations won’t only be happening inside the retreat house,” he added. “Changes will be made outdoors as well. Solar panels will be installed in the parking lot you see behind me to help save God’s green earth and cut down on costs.”
“And that will produce a significant amount of clean energy that will help to fulfill the mission that Pope Francis has asked us to do, but also it’s our moral responsibility as leaders,” he said.
“I think we really are latching onto something that has high potential,” said Fr. Lee.
The retreat house plans on being back in business within a year.