Our Buildings

History of The Goat Barn (now the Slab), the Current Meetinghouse, and Margithaus

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Minute of Appreciation for Margit Hirschenhauser
Approved in Meeting for Business March 3, 1986

Margit-youngMore than 25 years ago, Margit Hirschenhauser came to Celo Community and Celo Friends Meeting from the Bruderhof community in New York. During her many years among us, we came to know something of her early life, as a little Jewish girl in Hungary, lovingly taught by Catholic nuns; working with her physician husband on a hospital train during World War I; in Vienna during the Nazi regime where “my life was saved by the Quakers,” living through the blitz in London during World War II; living in three different close communities in this country before coming to Celo.

Margit Hirschenhauser 001Here at Celo, over the years she came to represent the “heart and soul” of our Meeting because of her loving spirit, her spiritual depth and grace, and her faithful attendance to the physical needs of our Meetinghouse. Since she lived for many years in the little house adjacent to the Meeting, she found it natural to give loving care to the Meetinghouse, keeping it clean and adorning it with flowers. She continued in this active life until she was past ninety and then three years ago suffered a stroke which left her physically impaired. Since then, her friends have been able to “return” some of the care which she had given, but the greater part of her care has been borne by her family, mainly in managing and paying for the round-the-clock companionship. As it was becoming apparent that such a level of care could no longer be continued at Celo, we have been seeking this winter for an alternative.

Late in January of 1986, a wonderful decision was made about where Margit would spend her last years. Our letter of inquiry to the Bruderhof about whether they wanted to have Margit back to live with them was answered with a loving enthusiasm; and within two weeks Doug Moody of the Bruderhof was here among us helping to make arrangements for Margit’s return to the Bruderhof.

Adding to the completeness of all this is the fact that Doug Moody is himself a former member of Celo Friends Meeting, from the Meeting’s earliest years.

And so for Margit we are full of joy and gratitude. For her, a great circle has been made complete with her return to the Bruderhof. And we here at Celo–have we not been most fortunate of all? To have had Margit here among us for more than a quarter of her life, caring for us and serving us as an example of concern and commitment–we are indeed the fortunate ones, and we are grateful.