In the Dominican and Franciscan traditions we choose to live simply, to create beauty, to respect Earth and all beings and to share the learned wisdom as co-creators with the Divine for a sustainable future. We are called to be a courageous and prophetic voice in today’s world, contributing to the transformation of human consciousness.
We hold a deep respect for all life and accept the responsibility to care for Earth and to foster freedom and well-being in ourselves as well as in others.
Recognizing the sacredness of Earth and the fragility of its eco-systems, we commit ourselves to the healing of our planet and we encourage others to have a deeper understanding of the inter-connectedness and vulnerability of Earth and all life forms.
Springbank's history began 230 years ago as a part of a 5000 acre land grant by the King of England to John Burgess, who developed it into a rice and cotton plantation. The gracious house built in 1782 saw a succession of owners over the years in which the events of history forced the South to move from placid rural life to political strife and the catastrophe of war with its subsequent aftermath of poverty.
In the early 20th century, the land's beauty and abundant wildlife attracted sportsmen, including businessman Mr. Howard Hadden, a quail hunter. After frequent trips to the area, he fell in love with Springbank and purchased it in 1930 as a wedding gift for his wife Agnes. Under their stewardship, the natural beauty of the plantation was enhanced with water gardens and new plantings of shrubs, trees, and a wide variety of birds.
Sadly, the beautiful home burned in 1947. But, it was quickly rebuilt following the original plan and today graces the long, magnolia-lined drive from the front gate. After Mr. Hadden's death, Agnes donated the property in 1955 to the Catholic Dominican Order of Men who developed retreat facilities, including a new chapel.
In the 1960s Springbank became known as a center for social outreach programs in literacy, health and education run by the Dominicans and volunteers from city centers. A reorganization of the Order caused the closing of the center in 1979. In 1986 it was deeded over in trust to an Ecumenical Board of Directors with the stipulation that it be used exclusively as a Retreat Center.
Springbank Christian Center - Dominican Retreat House, also known as simply "Springbank Retreat", has been staffed and supported by the Adrian Dominican Sisters continuously for over 21 years. Strongly rooted in its Catholic foundation, aided by its Ecumenical Board of Directors, the Center extends its Christian hand to people of all faiths.
And so it remains today, a unique place of healing and renewal.
Photo by Steve Nesbitt, Florida
We honor the Whooping Crane (Grus americana), the tallest North American
bird and is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound and call. There is an estimate of only 400+ left in the wild. Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is involved in a large-scale project to restore Whooping Cranes to their former range in the southeastern United States. Records show Whooping Cranes in Florida during the 1930's.
Director of Springbank, Trina McCormick OP, kneels next to Shanti. Shanti was sighted by Trina on a busy roadside near her mother dog who was hit by a car. After many days of tirelessly visiting her with food and comforting words, she was "won over" from the roadside ditch where she resided. Shanti is now a very happy member of the Springbank family.
"Not to hurt our humble brethren [the animals] is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough.
We have a higher mission: to be of service to them whenever they require it."
St Francis of Assisi