Former South Dakota monastery hosts Mardi Gras - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Former South Dakota monastery hosts Mardi Gras

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Despite snow covered roads, people still made it out to the Mardi Gras party at the Abbey of the Hills Inn and Retreat Center. The building is under new ownership, and the six Catholic couples that bought the monastery hosted the event to help fund their new investment.

"Tonight is a great opportunity to show people the place, and to show them that we can host big events," said Co-owner Val Rausch. "We're cooking all this out of our own kitchen, so we have the facilities," he added.

The sold out event offered live music, appetizers, drinks, a meal, a silent auction and information about future events that will be held at the Abbey.

"We know we want to keep this place Holy. We know we want to keep it a place similar to what the monks had done with the retreat center," said Co-owner Michala Heller.

The monks left the monastery in May 2012 because there just weren't enough of them anymore. The building was built by the monks over 60 years ago, and everything in the building is original, besides maybe a couple pictures on the wall.

Heller says people have been very supportive so far. The owners hope to get their calendar scheduled full with retreats and events. To check out upcoming events, or to schedule a retreat of your own, check out their website http://www.abbeyofthehills.com.

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