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End of an Era: Presentation Center Closing

Mia Hernandez, Reporter

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After several months of non stop homework, tests and stress, many students look forward to a few relaxing days of camaraderie and meditation during retreat at the Presentation Center. Unfortunately, this will no longer be the case as the Presentation Center will be closing on June 30 of this year.  

This spiritual retreat center, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains is run by Presentation Sisters and is affiliated with the Catholic Church, but people of all religions are welcome.

The history of the Presentation Center goes back to about six years before Presentation High School was founded in 1962. The Presentation Sisters residing in San Francisco needed to find a new facility to educate prospective and current sisters and began looking in Santa Cruz.

They acquired what was then known as the Montezuma Mountain School for Boys and it became Presentation College. Following the Second Vatican Council, the sisters moved the school back to San Francisco and the Presentation Center as we know it was born.  

According to a statement from the Board of Directors of Presentation Center, the center has “struggled to maintain fiscal stability while simultaneously honoring its mission to provide a place for affordable opportunities for prayer, respite, and spiritual renewal.”

They have also been running on deficit budgets for the past several years. The Board of Directors also stated that rising cost of operation and lack of sisters to maintain the facility are factors that caused the deficits and thus the closure of the center.

In addition, the center has had little to no revenue in the past three months due to weather complications, road safety, and sinkholes.

Pres has deep connections to the Presentation Center as many students take time to unwind there every semester. According to Claire Hansen, Director of Campus Ministry, eight out of our ten retreats offered are held at the Presentation Center and it has been difficult for Campus Ministry to find new locations for the larger freshman and peer ministry retreats as locations that can handle the size of the groups are scarce.

Members of the Presentation community have definitely felt an emotional loss due to the closing. “It’s the end of a very big era,” says Principal Mary Miller, “It’s like getting evicted from your home.”

Senior Core Team member Raziel Santos agrees that the Pres Center feels like home: “Since retreat sophomore year, [the Presentation Center] is where I became super close to my friends,” she says.”Every time I went there it felt like I was at home.”

Her fellow Core Team members are feeling the same sorrow. “Over the years, I have been on over twelve retreats at the Center and I was so disappointed that the center was closing because it’s a nice place to get away,” says Senior Emma Fontana. “I love to sit by the pond on this tree stump and meditate.”

Hansen says she will miss visiting and catching up with the Sisters, especially Sister Claude.

Through their financial struggle, Pres did all that it could to help keep the center open by continuing to host the majority of our retreats there. Hansen says, “We did a great deal to keep our retreats there over the years and to support their mission and their financial health.”

At this time the future of the retreat center is uncertain as they do not yet have a buyer for the property. It is speculated that it may be purchased by a private company or be developed.

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The School Newspaper of Presentation High School.
End of an Era: Presentation Center Closing