Boonville resident to open guest house for ministry

Maybe it was a calling. After three years on the market and three failed purchase attempts by individuals, Maureen Gray's home at 801 Spring Street would not sale. Gray said it took lots of prayer but she finally knew God wanted her to keep her home and do something much more with it. Gray will open up her home as a donation only guest house for retreats for the faithful on September 17.  It has been named La Verna.
Gray is the Regional Vice-Minister of the Order of Franciscans Secular in the St. Clare region and for years she has opened her home to prison retreat teams, family and friends and even a lady walking across the country to raise funds for Kenya.
Gray owned the home with her daughter and son-in-law who is in the military. They were going to retire in Boonville but plans changed and so Gray was forced to sell.
Gray said one deal got so close the individual was telling her where his Christmas trees were going to be placed.
Grays decision started in fruition from a comment.
"Last fall a group was staying with me while they were doing a retreat. After the morning prayer, someone said it's too bad you have to sell because this would be a great place for retreats. I felt like I was hit with a large pillow. The blow was gentle but it got my attention," Gray said.
Gray persisted in prayer and after a while decided to keep the home and re-finance it solely in her name. Gray said everything else fell right in place.
A friend who had no idea what Gray was doing sent her two Franciscan wall hangings.
Gray prepared her five bedrooms, some of which have two beds in each. She recently remodeled her kitchen as well to better accommodate her guests.
Gray will open her home on the Feast of Stimata of St. Francis.
The guest home will be for people doing religious ministry to come and have time to pray in quiet and for rest. They will be able to stay the night or even the weekend.
"Seldom do these people have time to have quiet time," Gray said.
With Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church only 100 yards away Gray said it provides easy access to daily mass.
"God has blessed with a great old house and I hope it may be a blessing for many others," Gray said.