Mt. Calvary Courtyard Cross before the Fire
Photograph by: Karen Holmes
"In that meeting between personal character and vital opportunity,
lived out with fidelity, constancy and creativity over time,
we find our truer selves. We discover our vocation."
- Br. Robert Sevensky OHC, Superior
In the fall of 2008, a powerful firestorm swept up the Santa Barbara mountaintops and claimed my beloved Mt. Calvary Retreat House... The inner courtyard Cross, once embraced by lovingly-maintained gardens and walls that sheltered Order of Holy Cross Brothers and guests, had somehow remained; the Cross stood against the odds. I am grateful for the sanctuary I received from such a sacred place, and for the lessons I gathered during my more than 12 years of visits. I am grateful for the loved ones who made time and said yes to my invitations to share the beauty of Mt. Calvary. Recently, following contemplation and prayers, the Order chose to sell the fire-scarred land and simply hold on to the good history that will forever reside in so many hearts; it is the Brother's dedication and vocation that matter most. I have seen what happens after a fire - if you look carefully through the lens of hope, it is not too long before gentle rains soft as tears blend with days of sunlight and rebirth begins. Things become different, and if you hold on to the truth of your vocation, in many respects things become simply better... they call this healing.