Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Nuns open accessible outdoor labyrinth

Here's a piece about the IHM Sisters (Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) in Monroe Michigan who are known for promoting ecology-friendly architecture. Now they've opened an outdoor labyrinth that's wheelchair accessible.

Some of the 200 sisters at the motherhouse in Monroe use wheelchairs or scooters so the labyrinth, done in patterned concrete to match the Art Deco colors of the motherhouse, was built to accommodate them as well as visitors.

The article states:

"Labyrinths are circular walking paths designed so that people can walk slowly in a reflective setting as they pray or meditate. They’ve been a Christian tradition for at least 800 years and were popular in French cathedrals as a symbolic way to make a short pilgrimage, rather than taking a journey to Jerusalem.

Americans began promoting the practice in the 1990s and Michigan’s first outdoor labyrinths were built in a wide range of settings, among them: churches, including Church of Our Saviour in West Bloomfield; hotels, such as the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island; schools, including Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills; and hospitals, such as Sparrow in Lansing."

Via Detroit Free Press

The labyrinth is open now to the public during daylight hours and will be dedicated July 27.


Adoro te Devote said...

Actually, Labyrinths are a New Age practice, and like all New Age stuff, proponents like to pretend there is theological precedent for it.

Speaking as someone who used to be lost in New Agey stuff, I would recommend thta everyone avoid everything reeking of New Age.

Here's a link that explains where the labryinth comes from, the alleged claims of past Catholic practices, and the reference to the original in a European Cathedral: (sorry, don't know how to parse html links into the combox)

Adoro te Devote said...

Here's another one from EWTN that gives a much shorter answer and does a good job of pointing out what the person who might be lead to the labyrinth should use to discern the intention:

Carl said...

I've found labyrinths to be a wonderful way to practice my Catholic faith and add to my prayer life. There are many out here in Michigan.