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Our History


The Chapel

THE PLACE
Marymount Hermitage was founded by Sister Rebecca Mary Bonnell and Sister Mary Beverly Greger and named by the Most Rev. Sylvester W. Treinen, who invited us to the Diocese of Boise. The name describes the community and the place: dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Church, and surrounded by mountains.

We are committed to praying for the needs of the Church and the world. We trust that, in union with Jesus Christ our Savior, our repentance, reparation, and adoration will bring us and all our brothers and sisters to the joys of eternal life.


HISTORY
Marymount Hermitage was solemnly dedicated by Bishop Treinen at Mass on November 19, 1984. Initially, the complex included five modular buildings: a chapel/library, common house and three hermitages. In July 1987, to celebrate the Marian Year, a bell tower was added to the chapel and the Angelus is rung daily morning, noon and night.

By August, 1988, two additional hermitages had been built to accommodate women discerning our vocation, and for retreatants and guests.

In April 1995, our new chapel, Our Father’s House, was solemnly blessed by the Most Rev. Tod D. Brown, Bishop of Boise. The old chapel was moved and renovated to become the library attached to the common house. The Hermitage property, 100 acres of rolling, high desert, range land, was donated by the Ball family of Mesa, Idaho, in memory of their parents, Bryan and Emma Ball. They and all our generous benefactors are remembered at Mass and in the prayers and sacrifices of the Hermit Sisters.

On May 2, 2011, Sister Rebecca Mary moved to assisted living at a convent in Beaverton, Oregon. Sister M. Beverly continues her eremitical way of life at Marymount Hermitage. On April 11, 2018, the Most Rev. Peter F. Christensen, Bishop of Boise, blessed and dedicated Mercy House: the new, larger library and house of hospitality.


THE LAND
Marymount Hermitage is located in a beautiful, scenic, remote area of Idaho, 125 miles NW of Boise. Our site, at an elevation of 3200 ft. above sea level, is surrounded by mountains and is on a mesa overlooking the river valley 200 ft. below. There are no side-walks and a rough, mile-long rock road from Hwy 95 gives cars access most seasons of the year.

There is ample opportunity for hiking. Wildlife such as mule deer, coyote, rabbits, birds and a few varieties of harmless snakes and lizards inhabit the land. Those with a pioneer spirit will find that the beauty and austerity of this vast land will lift their hearts and minds to God, bringing them into genuine interior silence and exterior solitude.


Interior of Mercy House library

GUESTS
Visitors and retreatants who want to share in our life of prayer, solitude and silence are warmly welcome. For those desiring to withdraw from the world, to seek the Father, to hear the Word, and to be taught by the Holy Spirit, Marymount Hermitage offers five hermitages and the support of liturgical, communal prayer through daily Mass (or communion service in the absence of a priest), Lauds and Vespers. Our Father's House (chapel) is always open for Eucharistic adoration and private prayer.

Informal spiritual sharing with Sister M. Beverly may be requested and arranged upon arrival. Retreats are intended to be essentially solitary, and no spiritual direction sessions or retreat conferences are offered.


Exterior of Mercy House library

RESERVATIONS
Reservations in writing are necessary to use a hermitage at Marymount. All retreatants are asked to complete an application form which can be printed from our website
(www.marymount-hermitage.org), and a non-refundable deposit of $60 must accompany the application.

The fee for an individual is $60 per night plus applicable Idaho taxes. The fee for married couples is $90 per night.

Write or call Sister M. Beverly for questions concerning reservations: marymount@ctcweb.net or Tel. #208.256.4354. Confirmation of your reservation will be emailed to you.


FACILITIES
Each hermitage is secluded, modern, and simply furnished. Please plan to prepare your meals and pro-vide your own food supplies. The hermitages and chapel are not air-conditioned. Besides the chapel, retreatants may use Mercy House which serves as a library, parlor and laundry facility. You are free to check out books for spiritual reading and study while you are here. See the Calendar of Events on the website for scheduled Days of Pilgrimage and summer classes taught by Sister Beverly, which are open and free to the public.

Solitary manual work is available and recommended for longer retreats. There are hiking opportunities and just walking between buildings will provide exercise. The remote location of Marymount Hermitage and the lack of handicap accessibility for most of the buildings require basic good health for any potential retreatant.

Retreatants must be 21 years old or older to apply for a reservation at Marymount. We do not have overnight facilities to accommodate families with children. No smoking in the buildings, please!


CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
Idaho has a dry climate. Suitable clothing will make your stay here more comfortable. Casual, modest clothing is recommended for all seasons: slacks or jeans, warm sweater or jacket, head covering for high winds, and sturdy, comfortable, walking shoes.

March-May: cool to warm, occasional wind and rain storms. Bring rain gear and mud boots or old shoes.

June-August: warm to hot. Plan for occasional cool days or nights. Bring cotton or light-weight clothing, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Shorts are not recommended for your own protection. Ticks are active from spring through the summer months.

September-October: warm to chilly. Plan for temperature extremes.

November-February: cold, though rarely below zero degrees F. Warm, high snow boots are a necessity. Woolens and a heavy coat with a hood are recommended. Plan for mud in November. Some restrictions may apply to vehicles in the winter time.


Hermit Sister Mary Beverly

Other items to bring: Bible, Office book, rosary, usual medical supplies, insect repellent, lotion. Optional items include binoculars, camera and work gloves. Please do not bring a radio, musical instrument or pet.

We discourage the use of any digital device, computer or cell phone, for the sake of real silence both exterior and interior while you are on retreat. For legitimate exceptions to these recommendations, you may discuss your plans or needs with Sister M. Beverly when confirming your retreat. Don’t be afraid “to be alone with the Alone”.


Fr. Rob Cook at Mass

VISITING PRIESTS
Priests are warmly welcome to visit and to offer Mass at Marymount Hermitage. Reservations for private retreats can be made via the website and, while Marymount does not have a resident hermit chaplain, retreats are free to Catholic priests. The canonical protocol for the Diocese of Boise is followed with regard to obtaining faculties for sacramental ministry while here on retreat.


TRANSPORTATION
Marymount Hermitage is located west of Hwy 95 between Council and Cambridge, midway between mile posts #128 and #129, north of Mesa.

Car: Arrive before sunset because there are no street lights in our area and you will have difficulty finding the road in the dark. There is no sign at the highway to indicate the location of Marymount Hermitage.

Plane: Boise, Idaho has the nearest airport, 125 miles away. You may rent a car at the airport or for $300 we will hire a neighbor to provide you with round-trip service from the terminal to the Hermitage. Please have cash available to pay the neighbor upon arrival in Mesa.


COMMUNICATIONS
A monthly newsletter is posted on or before the 15th on our website to explain the spirituality, news and material progress of Marymount Hermitage. The website is quite extensive and you are invited to make a virtual tour of Marymount or purchase the Sisters’ hand-made gift items. Marymount Hermitage is self-sustaining through the work of the Hermit Sisters, retreatants’ fees, and free-will donations.

Your spiritual and material support are greatly appreciated. God bless you!


REQUESTS FOR PRAYERS can be submitted
by phone: 208.256.4354
or by e-mail: marymount@ctcweb.net
or through the website:
www.marymount-hermitage.org
or in person by visiting and praying in the chapel and writing your intention on the prayer card under the altar.

We welcome all, regardless of religious affiliation, who come in peace to pray here.


Chapel and Holy Family House

 

Updated 4/10/2019


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