Knowles Mercy Center to close in July

A 25-acre retreat center near the Platte River west of Omaha founded more than 30 years ago by the Sisters of Mercy will close July 31 because of a lack of resources to run it, the religious order said.

After studying a report from a task force convened in 2015 to study the viability of Knowles Mercy Spirituality Center, the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community concluded the congregation did not have the number of religious sisters or financial resources to support the site.

"It was a very difficult decision for us to withdraw from the retreat ministry at Knowles," said Sister of Mercy Maria Klosowski, a member of the leadership team and liaison to retreat ministries. "We know that there are many retreat centers in the Omaha area and have always felt that Knowles was a special place for people, especially women, who wanted to deepen their relationship with God."

Marisa Gilbert, director of Knowles, will help groups that have booked the center find alternative sites. A ceremony will be held at a later date to recognize the contributions of those who have been involved with the center, Sister Klosowski said.

No decisions have been made about future use of the property, said Sandy Goetzinger, a spokeswoman for the community.

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