Theft at Cormaria Retreat in Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor Village police are investigating the theft last week of two teak memorial lawn benches from the property of the Cormaria Retreat House on Bay Street. The retreat is run by nuns from the order of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.

Sister Ann Marino, director of the retreat, just wants the benches, which are large enough to seat three, returned. “They were donated by family members,” she said on Tuesday, adding that she is researching to learn the names of those whose families memorialized them with the benches. The retreat is offering a reward for the benches’ return. 

“This is the first time this has ever happened. I would just like to get them back,” Sister Ann said. “One was located right by the beach down our back driveway.” The other was elsewhere on the property, which has a number of different gardens. She last saw the two engraved memorial benches when she walked the grounds around April 30, she said. The next time she took that walk, they were gone. 

The property is 18 acres, set on the waterfront. The large house was built by Frank Havens in 1905, and retains its original Tiffany windows, according to Cormaria’s website. The benches were used by up to 70 residents, male and female, of all faiths, who stay at the retreat at any one time. The retreat is described on the website as a place for those in need who “simply seek spiritual refreshment and quiet contemplation with their God to be renewed in body, mind, and soul.”

The benches could be used by residents during prayer and meditation. Now they are gone.