Labyrinth finds renewed life at city church

BY MIKE PATRICK
WATERBURY REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

A contemplative labyrinth installed seven years ago at St. John’s Church on the Green was rededicated Sunday, October 1, after a major overhaul led by a parishioner and carried out by people in recovery.

The Rev. Michael Carroll said the labyrinth was originally established in the churchyard in 2010, but had become overgrown over the years.

Parishioner Robert Baranoski led a team of volunteers from Renaissance West, a recovery center, “who have made St. John’s their spiritual home during their treatment,” Carroll said.

Labyrinths as a meditative device date back to the ancient Near East. One is meant, Carroll said, to walk it slowly, contemplating each step in and out.

“It’s a quieting, reflective, walking meditation where you simply become aware of your breathing, that life is dynamic,” he said. “It’s not a maze. A maze is set up so you get lost. This is set up in a pattern where you will arrive at a self-awareness. It brings you to a center.”

Non-denominational, the labyrinth is free to use by anyone of any or no religious affiliation, Carroll said, adding he and other church members will be visiting offices and homes in the downtown area, inviting people to use it.