In celebration of its 45th anniversary in retreat center ministry this year, the Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center at Stella Niagara is introducing a new concept in retreats. Niagara Frontier Faith & Heritage Trail Excursions & Adventures will be offer customary sponsored retreats and group hospitality rentals.
A press release noted, “A perfect programming option for church, school, family and community groups plus individuals looking for a meaningful local adventure, the new Niagara Frontier Faith & Heritage Trail faith-journey tours begin at Stella Niagara and feature primarily day tours in comfortable motor coaches to various faith-based sites in and around Western New York. Customized day and overnight retreat tours limited to specific groups are also available upon request.”
This new excursions and adventures faith-based programming is being coordinated and led by local historian and faith musician Peter Green.
Three inaugural tours are scheduled in September-October, and limited to 50 retreatants each trip. Each Saturday tour day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and includes include lunch, coach transportation from Stella Niagara, and admission to all scheduled sites of interest.
On Sept. 14, the first tour, "Niagara Frontier Faith Heritage Trail: Christian Ecumenical Perspective," will explore the history of the Christian community in the region. It will include visits to various sites of interest, and Christian perspectives on how various groups and cultures have impacted communities in Western New York.
The second program, on Sept. 21, is titled, "Niagara Frontier Faith Heritage Trail: Catholic Journey." It will travel to Catholic sites and discover the heritage of various immigrant groups – Irish, Polish, Italian and other predominantly Catholic cultures. Participants will explore historical Catholicism in Western New York, ranging from the first Catholic Mass said at Niagara Falls by Father Hennepin to the grandeur of Our Lady of Victory Basilica, and beyond.
The third tour, on Oct. 12, is a unique wine tour titled "The Master's Vineyard." It will unveil the history of wine from a believer's perspective. Guests will visit five wineries and enjoy samples as they learn of the scriptural references, uses and purpose of wine throughout the ages. The final stop is a "communion," of sorts, that will enable guests to understand the use of wine at the Last Supper.
The Center of Renewal is also accepting advance reservations for its two upcoming onsite weekend retreats (Friday dinner through Sunday lunch) in September and October:
•“Spirituality of Aging” by the Rev. John Rose of Syracuse (Sept. 13-15).
“Men’s Retreat Weekend” by the Rev. John Graden of Embraced by God, Stella Niagara (Nov. 22-24).
The Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center at Stella Niagara is an all-in-one-building retreat house that can provide overnight retreats and conferences for almost 100 individuals with multiple meeting rooms for groups of varying sizes. It boasts 100-plus acres of tranquil, natural beauty located on the lower Niagara River adjacent to the Stella Niagara Preserve of the Western New York Land Conservancy.
Space is limited for all retreats and excursions, and advance reservations are required two weeks prior to each excursion program date. Groups can also contact the Center of Renewal to schedule customized travel dates and retreat events. To register or for more information, call the Center of Renewal at 716-754-7376, ext. 2, or visit its website, www.stellaniagararetreats.org.
Stella Niagara’s Center of Renewal is sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, Holy Name Province. It is located on River Road, two miles north of the Village of Lewiston and Artpark, and 10 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Niagara Scenic Parkway.