King’s House in Belleville names deacon new director

The King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center in Belleville is announcing its new director, Deacon Douglas Boyer.

As the King’s House celebrates its 65th anniversary and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate celebrate their 200th anniversary, they look to the future with excitement and energy, much the way their new director does.

Deacon Boyer retired from Solvay Fluorides as a laboratory manager after 27 years and switched into full-time ministry mode. Not only is he the new director at King’s House but he has also been appointed part-time chancellor of the Diocese of Belleville.

Deacon Boyer discussed his new position with King’s House with two former directors: Brother Pat McGee and Father Jim Brobst, both Oblates, who have known and worked with the deacon and his wife, Geri, at the King’s House for a number of years.
“Part of our charism,” Father Brobst said, “is to work well with the laity and the broader church.”

Brother Pat said the King’s House formed an advisory board a few years ago to assist with ministry and programming.

The Boyers have been involved with the advisory board and participated as preachers at some of the retreats offered at the King’s House, and the deacon looks forward to becoming more active at the retreat center.

The Oblates want to maintain their close relationship with the Diocese of of Belleville, in part because the retreat center was originally built and opened at the behest of then-Bishop Henry Althoff. “The laity were very much a part of this endeavor at the beginning,” Brother Pat said.

Deacon Boyer said the transition to director was “perfect. I’ve been preaching for three years at the King’s House.” Since Deacon Boyer will take over the daily business of running the King’s House in addition to continuing his ministry at the retreat center, “the Oblates here will focus on their ministry,” Brother Pat said.

Father Salvador “Chava” Gonzalez is joining Father Mark Dean and the ministerial team at the King’s House, Brother Pat said.

One of the areas Deacon Boyer wants to emphasize is outreach to younger people to help them “realize the importance of stepping back from all the noise and connections to listen to God” in a quiet and peaceful setting.

A win-win situation for everyone, Deacon Boyer looks forward to his new role enthusiastically. “I’m really excited,” he said. I’ve loved this place since the first time I came here.”

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