Enthusiasm tempered with patience at diocesan retreat center
Retreats on Hold a Little Longer
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 23, 2021

ROCKFORD—“People are really excited about getting back and having life-changing moments on retreat,” says Kristen Sapoznik, director of Bishop Lane Retreat Center just southwest of Rockford.

However, she adds, “we are in a holding pattern.”

With no income for the pandemic year, “it’s just maintaining a cleaning schedule,” she says, along with any necessary maintenance including for the property. “We are making sure we are ready for when our doors do open,” she adds.

Currently, the center could host groups up to 38 people, with everyone in their own private sleeping space and with restrictions in the dining room, Sapoznik says.

“We’ve been following the best practices from the  (Winnebago County) health department,” she adds.
“I guess our main issue is that most of our groups are 50 people and above.”

There’s also a “fine line” where hosting one group without having additional groups booked over the weeks that follow means the staff would lose their unemployment benefits when their work is not steady, she says.

“If we could have steady groups of people,” Sapoznik says, “then we’d be going somewhere.”

Our calendar is full, she says, and “it’s going to be extremely busy ... when we can actually host people.”

Many 2020 retreats have been rescheduled for 2021 and 2022.

Over the five years that Sapoznik has been in charge at Bishop Lane, “you get to know your groups and the regular rotation,” she says.

“We keep in contact” with them, but the virus “truly does make (planning) difficult ... I am hoping that come May restrictions will be loosened.

“A lot of the groups are optimistically holding their dates, (and) 2022 is looking positively heavy on the calendar.”

Even while practicing patience, Sapoznik points to the recently-changed school distancing of desks from six feet to three in between. She is, she says, “hoping the trend continues ... We are excited for when we open again. (I) can’t wait for people to fill our hallways once more.”

But for at least the next few months, “It’s just a waiting game,” she says.


Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM