Our Beloved Benefactors: Herbert and Kathryn Lange
All the entities of this grand estate, the Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal, Elijah House, Melchizedek Village, Tabor Lodge for Priests, and the River Ridge Nature Preserve are the result of a generous gift from the Lange family to the Church of the Transfiguration in West Milton, Ohio.
Church of the Transfiguration, West Milton, Ohio
Transfiguration Parish is a Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and is responsible for the preservation and the fulfillment of the will of Mrs. Kathryn Lange. The Church of the Transfiguration, under the pastorship of Fr. John MacQuarrie, is probably the only parish in the country which has been given the responsibility of running a retreat center and caring for priests in their retirement.
In her last will and testament, Kathryn Lange expressed her desire that her estate be used to provide housing for retired priests of the Catholic Church, that the more than 160 acres of prairies and woods be preserved in their natural state, and that her home be used as a retreat center that people might enjoy the beauty and peace of this place.
Transfiguration Parish has fulfilled Kathryn’s wishes by providing living facilities for retired priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, referred to as the Melchizedek Village for Priests. Through Kathryn’s generosity the Church of the Transfiguration has been able to build five duplexes which can house ten priests for independent living.
In addition to Kathryn’s request of providing for retired priests, the parish also has built Tabor Lodge for Priests. This spacious building consists of six separate rooms furnished for overnight stay, a large living area overlooking the woods, and chapel for the use all priests seeking time of renewal and refreshment.
Kathryn also hoped that her place of residence become a “house of prayer” that all people could enjoy the tranquility of this place. Now her attractive home has been restored to provide a wonderful setting for groups seeking times of retreat, the Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal.
Elijah House is the latest of the renovations on the grounds. This unique building once served as the guest house for friends and relatives, it’s now a quiet place of prayer for anyone looking for some time alone with God in the beauty of the estate.
The natural beauty of the River Ridge Nature Preserve makes up the remainder of the property, approximately 150 acres of wooded trails and prairies along the Stillwater River. In colloboration with the Miami County Conservation District, all the woods and prairies have been preserved, native grasses and plants have been planted, and indigenous Ohio wildlife is returning to the grounds. It’s not uncommon to see deer, wild turkey, hawks, and other unique birds on the grounds.