Nia White

Daily Journal staff report

HOPKINS PARK — The Diocese of Joliet’s Office for Human Dignity recently announced the appointment of Nia White as the director of Jordan River Farm in Hopkins Park.

Jordan River Farm is a newly developed service retreat center and community garden of the Diocese of Joliet. The center will consist of a live-in community who will host retreats for volunteer groups to do service projects.

The community will function under the following cornerstones: prayer, community, service and simplicity. Jordan River Farm will be hosting a number of daylong retreats this summer.

White, originally from the suburbs of Chicago, went to Bloom Trail High School, and then she attended Lewis University in Romeoville. After graduation she joined the Lasalle Manor staff as a retreat leader.

“As I always tell people, I am a missionary at my core,” White said in a news release from the Diocese of Joliet. “I am honored and love to do God’s work. Every day I strive to be a dedicated and improved Catholic. I have had the pleasure to serve in many short- and long-term missions. For the last two years, I have been serving the Blessed Virgin Missionaries of Carmel and Señor Santo Niño Orphanage in the Philippines.”

The center will offer service retreat opportunities to many age groups at different times, including youth groups, college students and adult groups, from the Diocese of Joliet and elsewhere. White said retreats will begin briefly for Earth Day and then officially toward the end of May.

The intentional live-in community consists of those 22 years and older who want to live the cornerstones of the farm and volunteer for a year at a minimum. Live-in volunteers have free room and board and receive a monthly stipend.

They will lead home repair service projects, run a community garden, host retreats and prayer opportunities, teach visitors about charity, social justice, and caring for God’s creation, and serve the local Catholic Community of Sacred Heart Mission.

“I am drawn to Jordan River Farm because of the communal aspect, simple living, sustainability and service passion,” said White in the news release. “I look forward to the many possibilities Jordan River Farm brings to the community it will serve. I hope to see groups that consist of diverse people, ages, and education levels to participate in retreats and activities at the farm.”

White’s position was made possible through a grant from the Wheaton Franciscans. For more information or to schedule a retreat, email White at nwhite@dioceseofjoliet.org.