I had been to Jordanville once before, at the time on my way to Cooperstown to the Baseball Hall of Fame, at the completion of a thirty day retreat at Auriesville, NY in 1991. An old Russian monk had entertained my friend and I on that day with a number of humorous stories. This time with the family in tow, under threatening skies--the visit lived up to Michael's name for such places "monascary." No one was particularly friendly and it seemed a rather slow day with nothing much going on. The bookstore was filled with Russian tomes and I couldn't find any images similar to the one that I had purchased those many years ago--that still graces my room here.
Next we stopped at Mercato Pizza Restaurant in Canajoharie, NY for a nice lunch. Canajoharie was the home of Beech-Nut gum and other products.
A short drive down the road and another short visit to the Shrine of the North American Jesuit Martyrs (where I lived for one month: April of 1991). It is very sad that this has fallen into such disrepair, unlike its sister shrine in Canada. Who to blame? The diocese of Albany? The Jesuits? Us?
UPDATE: The Director of the Shrine takes issue with my apraisal (based on my visit on July 27th 2007--in contrast to time spent there at the retreat house in 1991), but Father sheds some good news that is in the comments, but should also be place here:
I am sad that you spread bad words about the Shrine of the Martyrs at Auriesville. It is true that the old Retreat house is owned by other people now (Buddhists mainly; they are NOT new age and would be very surprised to hear that term used!)The present repairs and renovations being done at and On the Shrine are amazing. A new Votary is being built. The newly expanded gift shop has been given many accolades; and we have many events at the Shrine now, many more than before. I don't know where you got your info! The Jesuits of the NY Province are very much concerned about the Shrine and we don't intend to let it "fall into disrepair etc." Not at all!!
Fr. P. Murray, S.J. -Director.
The Jesuit retreat house where I spent a month is now largely boarded up and home apparently to some New Age group (this was based on a sign posted at the area, which Amy tried to get a photograph of but it was raining pretty hard while we were parked in front of it, (perhaps she can comment on what she remembers the sign's contents).
More to come...