Small Community in the Ruther Valley

 

In 1949 the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix were on a “house-hunting” search in the Cincinnati 1Dayton, Ohio looking for a house that would be suitable for retreat ministry.  Not finding anything satisfactory in Dayton the Sisters were invited to consider going to Cincinnati, Ohio.  At the same time they had received an invitation from the Bishop of Saginaw, Michigan to come to that diocese to open a retreat center.  Cincinnati won out and the Sisters were officially welcomed into the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in December 1949.  By the spring of 1950 a small group of Sisters had moved into a house on Clifton Avenue within the parish boundaries of the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  

Cincinnati 2

                                                  

By 1951 the Sisters had moved to the Ruther Avenue property (in the Ruther Valley as it was known) after purchasing property which had some small houses on the premises.  Eventually, through the generosity of many benefactors and friends the Sisters were able to build a new retreat center and in 1962 they added to a new convent and chapel.

 

                                 

The years in Cincinnati were very rich and full with responses being made to varied Cincinnati 3groups of people and through delicate concern shown to individual persons.  Group retreats, directed retreats, days of recollection, religious education, the making of altar breads, adult religious education classes, a meeting place for apostolic study and action groups, opportunities for adult and for spiritual programs, and support for lay persons and groups engaged in various ministries were some of the activities that touched the lives of the people of the archdiocese.  In addition the ministry of prayer and adoration with and for the people of Cincinnati were a strong part of the Sisters’ lives. During the years in Cincinnati, the Sisters also housed a small health care unit for their own elderly and infirmed Sisters.  The novitiate for the United States province of SMR was located, for a period of time, on the property.

Cincinnati 4

Due to declining SMR membership and increased costs, the Sisters in 1980 made the decision to close their retreat house and convent.  At the closing celebration the Sisters thanked the hundreds of people who made Mary Reparatrix what it had been: those who were involved in the “brick and mortar” and those who built it and sustained it through financial and moral support.  The Church of Cincinnati will always be remembered with affection and gratitude and prayers and the Sisters will be stronger religious women for having shared this experience of collaborative ministry.

 

              

 

                                                                                      

 

                                                                                         Ann Kasparek