Kick off the holidays with ‘First Monday at Manna’ November feast

October 28, 2013 by

web-thanksgiving-picThe holiday season is beginning a little early at Manna House of Prayer, with a traditional Thanksgiving feast planned for the next “First Monday at Manna” fund-raising dinner.

The holiday dinner will be Monday, Nov. 4, with seatings at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. Guests are invited to arrive 15 minutes early for appetizers and hot cider or wine.

Reservations for the dinner at Manna House, 323 E. Fifth St., are needed by Oct. 31, by calling 785-243-4428 or emailing retreatcenter@mannahouse.org.

The dinner menu will feature turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy and all the fixings of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, topped off with pumpkin pie for dessert.

Donations are welcome, with all proceeds going to the numerous Manna House ministries, including Helping Hands, a program that provides emergency assistance for people throughout Cloud County and operates a small food pantry.

The “First Mondays at Manna” dinners are part of the center’s 35th anniversary celebration, and will continue throughout 2013.

The final dinner of the year will be a Christmas feast complete with musicians playing and singing Christmas carols. That event will be Monday, Dec. 2, with seatings at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. Early reservations are welcomed.

The red brick building that is today Manna House was built in 1884 as the first Motherhouse of the newly arrived Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. The building at Fifth and Olive streets served as the convent and a boarding school, but it soon became apparent that a bigger building was needed to house Nazareth Convent and Academy.

So in 1903, the Nazareth Motherhouse opened at the corner of 13th and Washington streets, and the sisters converted their old home into St. Joseph Hospital.

An addition was built in 1915, and the significantly bigger facility remained a hospital until 1951, when the sisters built what is now Cloud County Health Center.

The sisters converted the building into a nursing home and it served as St. Anne’s Home for the Aged until 1977, when the new Mount Joseph Village was built on the west edge of Concordia.

Meanwhile, three Sisters of St. Joseph had opened Manna House of Prayer in Clyde and were reaching out to the community there.

By April 1978 the sisters in Clyde moved their program to the newly renovated brick building in Concordia, and it was dedicated as Manna House of Prayer.

Its mission, then and today, is to be a place were people of all faiths come for personal and communal prayer, on-going education, quiet time and counseling. Sisters who live there also provide youth ministry, facilitation services, spiritual direction and counseling.

In 2013 Manna House is home to seven Sisters of St. Joseph, several volunteers and two Cloud County Community College students, and has a staff of four laypeople. Throughout the year there are workshops on everything from “seasonal spirituality” and the ancient art of bobbin lacemaking to “meditation and movement” and the meaning and mystery of the rosary.

To learn more about Manna House, its ministries and upcoming events, go to mannahouse.org.

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