January 1, 2021

Dear Friends of Chestnut Hill Center,

Everyone at Chestnut Hill Center wishes you a Happy New Year!

Despite the difficulties brought on by the challenges from the pandemic, we were able to maintain most of our activities during 2020.  The Edge, the seminar program that prepares high school men to look ahead to meet the challenges of college, professional life and marriage with a mature, Christian spirit, started up again in September, with over fifty young men attending, in person or via the Internet.  We re-launched Horizons and Frontiers, the Father and Son Clubs, in October, under the guidance of Jim Golden, Joe Schirripa, Antonio Martinez and Erick Diaz.  Many of the Evenings of Recollection in the greater Boston area continued to be held, whether in person or on line.

The Arnold Hall Endowment Campaign

I draw your attention now to a major effort to raise funds for Arnold Hall Conference Center, in Pembroke, Massachusetts.  Chestnut Hill Center holds many events there each year.  Recently, the governing Board of Arnold Hall determined the need to establish an endowment for the proper functioning of the conference center.

Arnold Hall has operated continuously since it opened in 1965.  It now holds 75 events per year, and more than 1,600 people come each year.  Arnold Hall features seven buildings, some dating back many years.  Its activities include retreats, workshops for men and women, fatherhood conferences, leadership conferences for women, summer camps and summer semesters for young men and women studying philosophy and theology.  Even in this pandemic year, Arnold Hall continued to offer activities, though some had reduced numbers.

You have probably already received messages from Paul Swope, one of the board members spearheading this effort to build an endowment, and I encourage you to take the time to meet with him via Zoom so that you can learn more and see the excellent promotional video Arnold Hall has just completed.  We understand that you have other commitments, including supporting various apostolic initiatives of Opus Dei in the greater New England area.  We simply ask to do what you can to help.  Thank you for your support.

I end with a few words from the Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, from a homily he gave last month, to prepare us for the coming of the birth of Our Lord: Is it possible to love God whom we do not see?  In reality, “God has become visible in Jesus Christ.”  There we have to put all our effort: in contemplating Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the Gospel, in our own personal prayer.  Because in this way we will also have the strength needed to love others more, and also to imitate Our Lady. 


Joe Billmeier, Director