Why I Established The Cloisters on The Platte
BY JOE RICKETTS
“I am crazy busy.” “My schedule has been nuts lately.” “I’m slammed.” “I’m underwater.” “I have a hellish travel schedule coming up.”
These are some of the responses I hear when I ask friends and colleagues a simple question: “how are you?” And the responses aren’t surprising to me, for in my own life, I also feel life’s intense demands, struggling sometimes to find balance among work, family, and faith.
But in the late 1990s, I attended a weekend Jesuit retreat house called Demontreville at Lake Elmo, Minnesota. My experience at Demontreville was an eye-opener for me; one that helped me to focus more clearly on family, morality, and honesty. So for years, it’s been my dream to bring what I experienced at Demontreville to more people, permitting them to reflect on their lives and relationship with God. The Cloisters on the Platte is the realization of that dream.
The purpose of The Cloisters on the Platte is to help men and women know, love, and serve God in this world. But to truly know, love, and serve God, you must first know yourself, and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) provide a framework for doing this.
The Spiritual Exercises sprung from Ignatius Loyola’s personal experience as a man seeking to grow in union with God and to discern God’s will. He kept a journal as he gained spiritual insight, adding to the notes as he discovered what worked. Ignatius eventually gathered these prayers, meditations, reflections, and directions into a carefully designed framework of a retreat, which he called “spiritual exercises.”
Set among the natural beauty surrounding the Platte River in Nebraska, The Cloisters on the Platte will host weekend retreats where attendees may peacefully reflect in silence on their lives and relationship with God. The retreats will be based on the Spiritual Exercises developed by St. Ignatius Loyola, but will be open to people of all faiths who seek to deepen their relationship with God. The retreat site will provide an ideal opportunity for people to enhance their personal spiritual lives; a peaceful sanctuary that lives in harmony with the surrounding natural beauty.
It will take several years to develop the permanent retreat site for The Cloisters on the Platte. In the meantime, we will sponsor retreats at other sites, building a community of people while we build the physical retreat.
On this blog, you will find information about upcoming retreats along with updates about the construction of the permanent retreat center. You can also email your name to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive our periodic updates.
Welcome to The Cloisters on The Platte.