Areas of deepest apostolic need are not always visible to the naked eye. Spiritual needs can sometimes be difficult to realize for a missionary disciple. For Sister Marie Hesed, that need has been identified and remedied by a vision for the future in the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa.
Before she joined SOLT, Sister Marie Hesed belonged to the Missionaries of Charity. Her work among the poorest of the poor led her to cultivate a shared garden where learning and working became intertwined with the practicality of providing food for the hungry. Of course, lessons about God’s abundant banquet of everlasting love complemented the work that was sustaining them physically. Sister Hesed’s little gardening project, and the inspiration that grew from it, provided a foundation for a big idea that was yet to bear fruit.
Sister Hesed has described the call that led to her entrance into SOLT in 2003 as a “call within a call.” Her commitment to this call brought her to Iowa where 31 acres of donated land brought the vision into clearer focus. Domus Trinitatis, or “Home of the Trinity” was envisioned with a strategic plan that would gain momentum in the following years.
Since 2012, local volunteers, inspired by Sister Hesed’s dream, have worked to fundraise, donate, pray, and support the efforts of SOLT through their dedication to this project. Because of their countless hours of work and admirable organization, the first phase of the building project, the convent, began this past spring.
The following excerpts are taken from the Domus Trinitatis website:
“Domus Trinitatis will be a place where missionaries can come between assignments to be renewed and learn about sustainable agriculture to take back on their missions, but it will also be a place for Priests, Sisters, couples, single people and families to come to spend time in creation, learn, and be renewed. Domus Trinitatis is unique because there will be no charge for retreats, thereby allowing anyone to attend. Just as from the start, we will sustain Domus Trinitatis by donations, cottage industries, God’s will, and the support of those who faithfully believe in giving everyone a place to find renewal.”
“There will eventually be hermitages (small houses for people attend a retreat to stay in), a stand-alone Chapel, a home for a SOLT Priest to live on site, a Rosary walk, coffee shop, orchards, gardens, greenhouses, a pond, barns, and more.”
With gratitude, we offer our prayers of thanksgiving for the efforts of the people of Iowa. Their spirit of service and sacrifice is humbling to witness. It is a call for all of us to respond to God’s work in our lives with generosity and joy. May God abundantly bless the efforts of all involved in the Domus Trinitatis project.