Posted by DAVID HAYFORD on May 11, 2018
We were guests at the beautiful Jesuit Retreat House, on the shore of Lake WInnebago.
Sue Panek introduced our speaker and host, DCN John Ingala. Sue mentioned she met John when she first moved to town, when he was doing marketing at Mercy Hospital. I met him prior to that when I was guest at a Kiwanis meeting. John was speaker, and doing PR for the Wisconsin Flyers basketball team in the Continental Basketball Association.
John confirmed the early history of the property, as told by John Vette (see above). I also used the website for some information. 
I misspelled the names of the two brothers above - it is Fahrney. The estate was named "Fahrnwald" or "Fahrney's Woods." As John had mentioned, the brothers' fortune came from "an old country doctor's remedy that was said to cure a wide assortment of ailments."
In 1944 the property was rented to a foundation which established a school for handicapped children. The school was unsuccessful. 
In 1951 the property was sold to the Jesuits for $65,000. It became the Jesuit Novitiate in 1952. It was converted to a retreat house in 1961, with the initial men's retreat in February. The first women's retreat was held in 1968.
John described the construction process to get from the original spartan Novitiate dormitory to the beautiful structure today.
He mentioned that from September through May, 3 day silent retreats are help every weekend. In June and July, five or eight day silent retreats are offered.
John invited members to tour the buildings, and walk the grounds.
Dcn John Ingala