THE CLOISTERS ON THE PLATTE
The following is a condensed version of Billionaire Builds ‘The Cloisters on the Platte’ published on 8/1/2015 by the National Catholic Register and written by Anthony Flott.
Billionaire Joe Ricketts says God and Christianity are under siege. This lifelong Catholic proposes a time-honored Christian strategy in the current battle for faith: a retreat — and a silent retreat at that — in the tradition of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
In 2014, the TD Ameritrade founder spent $13.6 million to purchase 930 acres to build a retreat center in the rolling hills of Nebraska’s Platte River Valley between Omaha and Lincoln. Ricketts subsequently donated the land to a charitable nonprofit, The Cloisters on the Platte Foundation.
The property, anticipated to open in 2018, will feature a chapel and living space for up to 80 retreatants. There will be no set fee — only free-will donations will be accepted.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to make a large amount of money, and more than half of it I’ve given away,” Ricketts said. “More stuff doesn’t make you happy. Being wealthy is very nice, don’t get me wrong, but it has nothing to do with the happiness aspect of my life. It allows me to do things like building this.”
He’s building this place of peace and prayer, he says, at a time when “God is under siege.”
“Somewhere between 70% and 80% of people in the United States consider themselves Christian,” Ricketts said. “The vast majority of us are spiritual and religious, to one extent or another. But the minority — the atheists and the agnostics — are the ones that get all the publicity.” read more...
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