Tag archives: La Casa de Maria

La Casa de Maria Making Progress
By Lynda Millner   |   August 5, 2021

It was so inspiring to see La Casa de Maria and the property coming to life because it was one of the most damaged from the 2018 debris flow. It borders San Ysidro Ranch and there were nine buildings destroyed — all the dorms and retreat center facilities. They were servicing 12,000 folks a year […]

‘La Casa de Maria is Coming Back’
By Nick Masuda   |   July 8, 2021

With just three full-time employees left, Cindy Faith Swain couldn’t help but have a little bounce in her step as some three dozen community members entered the gates at La Casa de Maria on June 24. The facility’s director bounced from group to group as guests grabbed a name badge and talked about yesteryear at […]

Reflect. Restore. And Revival is Coming.
By Nick Masuda   |   July 1, 2021

La Casa de Maria has stayed dormant since the Montecito Debris Flow. The organization has chosen to learn more about the land before redeveloping. More than three years later, it has a plan and a potential reopening date. Cindy Faith Swain peeks through a chain-linked fence that was once completely unnecessary, as separation from San Ysidro […]

Six Months Since the Sludge
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 12, 2018

On Monday morning, exactly half a year since the debris flow devastated Montecito and destroyed lives and lifestyles, La Casa de Maria posted an update to its website about the ongoing recovery efforts. The retreat center located just below the San Ysidro Ranch was hard hit by the January 9 mudslide, as nine of its […]

Lemons and Lemonade
By Lynda Millner   |   July 5, 2018

La Casa de Maria retreat center has a special place in our hearts. Don and I were married in their chapel 17 years ago. Many of our wedding photos were taken there both inside and out. It was all nearly destroyed during the January mudslide. They lost nine buildings and are still trying to decide […]

Like for Like Fairest Way to Go
By Montecito Journal   |   May 17, 2018

On Tuesday, May 15, the County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted on an amendment that modifies the current “Like for Like” (LFL) ordinance that allows people who want to rebuild their home the same way it was before, to get an exemption from the County Planning and Development (P&D) permitting process. The Thomas fire/debris flows […]

Next Step: Changing Your Life from the Inside out
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 22, 2018

Bill Wich’s involvement in the ManKind Project and other self-discovery weekends goes back more than 25 years. He went through the entire MKP training, quickly rising to the role of full leader, and helped developed curriculum over the years. Much of what he developed over decades was the basis for The Work, a documentary film […]

Sister Act
By Richard Mineards   |   February 22, 2018

Montecito nun Pauline Krismanich, 88, who has lived at La Casa de Maria for 48 years, is retiring and moving to the Immaculate Heart Community center in Los Angeles. After being displaced by both the Thomas Fire and the mudslides, Pauline saw them as her sign to finally retire. She has been a figure around […]

Singing for the Soul
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 8, 2018

The second Monday of December, at the height of the smoke and ash filling the air from the Thomas Fire, I donned my N95 mask and headed down to Yoga Soup for “The Big Sing”, the final session of the initial inCourage Community Chorus classes led by Britta Gudmunson and Ben Gould. It was quite […]

Enneagram Contemplation Amid the Groves
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 11, 2018

Richard Groves, the co-founder and executive director of the Sacred Art of Living Center, in Bend, Oregon, has been leading workshops and retreats in the Enneagram for nearly 30 years, including up to three times a year at La Casa de Maria in Montecito. An ordained Catholic priest, Groves conducted research for his doctoral thesis […]

Sounding a Sad Note for Santa
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 14, 2017

Noell Grace, Ejé Lynn-Jacobs, and the SpiritSings Band have a Yuletide offer: Come all ye merry souls for a magical evening of Christmas carols, mystical solstice chants, and original spirit songs celebrating peace on Earth and the darkest days returning to light. The long-running SpiritSings turns its attention to the holidays, a special show when […]

Dance Your Way to Self-love and Presence
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 7, 2017

Russian native Yulia Maluta has been teaching tango and other Latin and ballroom dances since even before she first moved to town 20 years ago, when she partnered with David Alvarez at the Santa Barbara Dance Centre, which kicked her professional and competitive dance career into a higher gear. After retiring from competition, Yulia began […]

Classes with a Side of Turkey
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 23, 2017

What better way to start off the Thanksgiving weekend than by centering and grounding yourself before the relatives arrive? Two local yoga centers are offering free classes on Thanksgiving morning, though one of them comes with a give-back catch. YASA Yoga & Wellness Center, 22 W. Mission St., begins the day with a half-hour Thanksgiving […]

A Time of Gratitude
By Lynda Millner   |   November 9, 2017

La Casa de Maria is a special place for many of us. I discovered it walking in Montecito many years ago. Who knew that I would eventually be married in its chapel? These 26 acres spell peace in the best way.  The Chumash were the first residents to tend the spirit and beings of this […]