…There’s a patch of land 21 miles from Cody and not far from Yellowstone National Park known as Irma Lake. It’s got great views of the trout-filled South Fork of the Shoshone River Valley and the Absaroka Mountains, and is in the best elk hunting region in the state… [included is] A 15,000-square-foot lodge, plus a five-bedroom cabin, is on a portion of the 500 acres; a perfect set-up for the monastery, convent and retreat house the monks envision for the property.
In September 2007, [the monks] made an offer on the $8.9 million property, but their financing fell through. Then, this past May…a holding company representing Mr. Gates snapped up the property, just as the monks had secured new financing.
I’ve yet to get a response to my e-mail to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but I have since learned Mrs. Gates was schooled by the Ursulines, a Catholic religious order for women. Her husband was brought up a Congregationalist, but his most recent remarks on religion indicate he’s an agnostic.
So it seems the ball is in her court as to donating the land or selling it to the Carmelites, who’ve been in the 98,000-square-mile Diocese of Cheyenne ever since its former bishop, David L. Ricken, brought them there in 2002.
The Carmelites, who occupy the state’s only Catholic monastery, are looking at other pieces of land but nothing has suited their needs as well as Irma Lake.
“We just have to trust the Lord is working through all this,” said Brother Simon Mary… “It’s still a blessing that in 2009 so many Catholic men are seeking the cloistered life.”
Nice to see the monks emphasizing the positive. I hope something can be worked out. In a recent newsletter, the monks sketched out their plans for the land, and it was pretty magnificent. I loved the idea of a new Carmel being built for women as well, and a retreat house…oh, the world needs more and more retreat houses! Can I get an amen?
I’m going to pray for the monks, and I hope you will too. And of course, I’ll have to go make some Decaf Hazelnut right now, because all this has put the yen on!
I can’t believe I have to wait until Advent to get some more Jingle Bell Java! I am so spoiled!