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Long term guests at the Abbey will be richly blessed

The hope of this venture is that these long term guests will be richly blessed during their time with us and return to their families, communities and workplaces renewed and refreshed to continue to bring forth the Kingdom of God.

CONTENTS FEATURED Long term guests at the Abbey will be richly blessed . . . . . . . p2 Hartzer Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p2

AFTER MUCH thought, discussion and prayer over a long period of time, on the eve the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple on 2nd February, we celebrated a new chapter in our long history when we welcomed four long term guests to our community. This new venture has been discerned by our Chapter in response to an expressed desire by a number of our Oblates and friends to seek God more deeply in their lives by following the Rule of St Benedict in a monastic setting. The four women we welcomed and blessed at the beginning of Vespers that evening are Pat, Felicity, Patricia and Jemma. Some have come for a period of three months and others have committed to longer stays. During their time with us, they live in one of the Cottages in our Retreat Centre and join us in choir for the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist, as well as being assigned to a work area during the day. They also receive formation on the Rule of St Benedict and Monastic Practices, have a spiritual director

JAMBEROO ABBEY and participate in the Cottage Retreat Days. The hope of this venture is that these long term guests will be richly blessed during their time with us and return to their families, communities and workplaces renewed and refreshed to continue to bring forth the Kingdom of God. We ask you to join us in praying for these four brave women and praying for us as we endeavour to respond to our God and the needs of the times. In the short ceremony of blessing and commitment, Abbess Mary called each participant by name and invited her to stand in the middle of the choir. There, they formally committed themselves to the journey ahead and signed their agreement with the community. Four sisters who are walking with Pat, Felicity, Patricia and Jemma, then came and stood by them for the blessing. Abbess Mary stretched her hands over them and prayed:

“Pat, Felicity, Patricia and Jemma, we pray that you will be blessed with a listening heart, attentive to the voice of the Lord calling to you in the Liturgy of the Hours, in Lectio Divina, in your work and in the events of every day. May you be blessed with a spirit of discipleship in this school of the Lord’s service. May you be blessed with a spirit of patience when called to share in the sufferings of Christ. May you be blessed with an open heart as you embrace the many charisms of the Benedictine life. May each of you, be blessed warmly and deeply as you journey ‘with the Gospel for your guide’. Amen” Following this, the community and all present stretched forth their hands over the women as we sang our traditional Blessing Song for them. They were then invited to take their places in the choir of the Abbey of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple... such a perfect feast day to celebrate this new green shoot of life in our community’s history!

Hartzer Park Conference & Retreat Centre

Set on 16 acres of lush countryside, Hartzer Park provides a peaceful and tranquil space where guests can explore the deeper meaning and purpose to their lives in a beautiful and inspiring environment. The Byzantine and Romanesque Chapel which comfortably seats 160 is the spiritual heart of Hartzer Park.

Startled by silence – Marilyn Rodrigues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p3 Retreat inspires leaders – Carol Zimmermann. . . . . . . . . . . . . . p4. Marian Valley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p4 St Mary’s Towers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p5 Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p6 Benedict XVI Retreat Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p7 Vocation Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p8-9 St Joseph’s Centre for Reflective Living. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p10 Peter Canisius House. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p11 Winbourne. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p12 Things to know before going on retreat – Marilyn Rodrigues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p13 The Billowview - Edmund Rice Retreat and Conference. . . . p13 St Benedict’s Monastery, Arcadia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p13 St Clement’s Retreat & Conference Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . p14 Benedicitine Abbey, Jamberoo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p15



Hartzer Park is a ministry of the Australian Province of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. It was named after Marie Louise Hartzer, who was the first Superior General of the Congregation. Hartzer Park exists for personal, small and large groups, parish groups, staff spirituality days, school retreats, workshops and conferences. There are a number of multi-purpose meeting rooms and all are equipped with audio visual equipment. Hartzer Park offers a variety of accommodation, including single, double, twin and studio rooms. Full catering or self catering is available.

The Chapel

Enquiries: E: | Ph. 02 48613223


Startled by silence MARILYN RODRIGUES

I went on my first real retreat when I was 18 years old. It was a weekend silent retreat at the Mt Carmel Retreat Centre at Varroville, 50kms south west of Sydney.


had found a brochure advertising it at the back of a church. Drama over a teenage romance (surely a most intense kind) had driven me to pray and search for answers I couldn’t find elsewhere. Here was a kind of answer – to get away, not for too long or too far, and reasonably cheaply. It was pragmatism, not piety, which brought me to that first retreat. But the quirkiness of having to keep silence for two days at a monastery definitely appealed to me. One of the friars collected me at the community’s closest train station. It was startling to see a tall, bearded, monk in a dark brown habit waving me over from where he’d parked the car. I don’t know what I had expected but it felt as though I spent the next 48 hours in another world. It was completely strange to be without distractions or interruptions. The first thing that struck me when I went to my little room was how loud the silence was. It pressed itself against my ears. There was only a Bible in the room, which I had no taste for then. Smartphones didn’t exist so I had no internet. I had a shower and went to bed early. The next day it was awkward sharing meals in the dining room with the other retreatants, with only hymns from a CD smoothing the clink of cutlery. My room was still too painfully quiet so that Saturday I spent mostly outdoors, wandering around the paddocks at the back of the property. I watched the clouds’ reflections cross-

ing the dam on which a pair of swans glided. The quiet and space began to loosen the tension I’d brought with me. That night I made sure I had something to read from the bookshelves available for retreatants. In the hour-long conferences, I listened to that same friar who had got me from the station talk about the scriptures. I wasn’t impressed so much by what he said as by the way that he said it. I had never seen a person who so obviously, passionately, loved the Word of God. It had never occurred to me that it was even a possibility. By Sunday lunchtime, not only had I felt a weight of anxiety and exhaustion lifted, I had been given a hoped-for, but very unexpected, way forward. It was a way of inner silence and solitude in the arms of the Church. If not for that, I might not have really heard the way the friars sang the Salve Regina at the end of night prayer; noticed the way time slowed down and opened; I would never have found the Divine Office to accompany my days, or perhaps, my way to my future husband. That weekend was an extraordinary grace which affected the whole course of my life. It’s only because I have encountered moments of awareness of God’s presence on retreats, as these have unfolded and deepened over years, that I have been able to find his traces everywhere in everyday life. For upcoming Mt Carmel Retreat Centre retreats, see the website



mt carmel

“There is no place on earth where God is more present than in the human heart. This heart truly is God’s abode, the temple of silence… The Father waits for his children in their own hearts.” - Cardinal Robert Sarah, The Power of Silence: Against the dictatorship of noise “Silence is not limited to the absence of words; rather, we open ourselves to hearing other voices: that of our heart, and above all, that of the Holy Spirit.” - Pope Francis, General Audience 10 January 2018.

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.” - St Teresa of Calcutta “It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still so that God may speak.” - St John of the Cross




Combination pep rally, retreat inspires leaders CAROL ZIMMERMANN

FROM JULY 1-4 the main floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando was transformed into a huge parish hall with places for worship, prayer, discussion, and even coffee and doughnuts during the “Convoca-

tion of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America.” At the convocation 3,500 church leaders, men and women religious, bishops and laypeople gathered to set a new course for the U.S. Catholic Church. Following a retreat format, each day started and ended with group prayer. Mass was celebrated each day in the hotel ballroom, and there were plenty of scheduled times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and private prayer in a large room turned into an adoration chapel. Many of the keynote sessions took the form of pep talks encouraging delegates to share their faith boldly with the world at large and within their own families and parishes. The numerous breakout sessions provided the working aspect of the gathering: closely examining what the Church is doing and where it can do more. More than 155 bishops attended the gathering, sitting with their delegations for meals and breakout sessions. Cardinals and bishops who spoke at keynote sessions or in Mass homilies encouraged participants that this was their time, their mo-

ment, stressing the urgency to bring God's message of love to a divided world. At the final Mass, described as a “Mass of Sending,” Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said the Church is called to achieve great things in the face of the impossible – to unite people together by going to the peripheries of society and sharing the good news of Jesus through action rooted in faith. None of the homilists or keynote speakers sugarcoated the challenges for the modern church and more than once speakers pointed out that Catholics are leaving the Church in greater numbers, particularly young adults, than those joining the Church. But as Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles pointed out: “The saints always loved a good fight and we should like a good fight too.” Throughout the convocation Pope Francis was pointed out as a model for modern Catholics to follow in inviting others, especially those on the peripheries, to Christ. Speakers also were quick to quote his 2013 apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), which lays

At Marian Valley Jesus is the most important person. The source of grace and prayer.

out a vision of the church dedicated to evangelisation or missionary discipleship in a positive way, with a focus on society's poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged, unborn and forgotten. Two homilies during the convocation specifically quoted the Pope's admonition in “Evangelii Gaudium” that Catholics shouldn't be “sourpusses” but should reflect joy. Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl acknowledged that Catholics are not always comfortable with the idea of evangelising, but said they need to be willing to step out of themselves and talk with people about their faith as part of an encounter the Pope speaks about. Part of this simply involves listening to people, caring for them and leading them to Jesus, said speaker Sister Miriam James Heidland, a sister of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Delegates were repeatedly encouraged to reach out to the peripheries especially to immigrants and the poor but also to all members of the church's diverse family – people of all races, women and young people.

Hosffman Ospino, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College, said it is time for the Church to start building a "language of communion" rather than dividing the church community into different groups and individually responding to those needs. “It's the church serving the church,” he said. “We all are the church.” That message inspired Sister Kathleen Burton, a Sister of St. Joseph who is co-director of the Office of Faith Formation, Family Life and Lay Ministry Formation in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, who said: “The walls need to come down.” “There's a renewed sense of evangelisation and re-evangelizsation,” the delegate told Catholic News Service. “We're being challenged that we don't wait for people to come to us, but we've got to go out to them.” For many delegates, seeing the Church's diversity, Latinos, African-Americans and Africans, Native Americans, and Asians from across the continent at the convocation was an inspiring sight, helping them better understand the idea of the Church as family.  - CNS

marian valley Our Lady Help of Christians

Retreat Centre with Adoration Chapel

A place to experience solitude, prayer and spiritual renewal. Accommodation (self-contained) available for small groups, couples, families and individuals. We pray here especially for peace in the world, our beloved country Australia, the Church, Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life, our Archdiocese, the Pauline Fathers’ ministry at the Shrine, and for the intentions of every pilgrim.

Adoration Chapel

MARIAN VALLEY is a sacred place. It has been established to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. It is a Shrine to which pilgrims come for Holy Mass, for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to be a part of Eucharistic Adoration, to join in Eucharistic Processions, the Rosary, Devotions, Reflection, Retreats - indeed everything that leads to Spiritual Renewal and conversion. Each year thousands of pilgrims visit the Shrine. Our Lady invites all to pray and helps us to bring Christ to our world as she did.



The shrine was opened and blessed on 10th December 1995 and is now the Brisbane Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians. It is under the care of the monks of St. Paul the First Hermit (the Pauline Fathers). At Marian Valley we observe many Feast days in honour of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother. Various ethnic communities celebrate their annual pilgrimage days with their religious and cultural traditions. Enquiries call (07) 55 333 378 or

Retreat cabins

Retreat cabins for hire. Each cabin has two separate rooms.


per night

P 07 55 333 378 | E


Space to listen for God ST MARY’S TOWERS RETREAT CENTRE is situated in 500ha of Australian bushland only 80 kilometres from Sydney. The property includes the first Biobank site in NSW aimed at ensuring the regeneration of native Cumberland forest, a working farm and extensive gardens. This beautiful setting is the perfect environment for a prayerful and relaxing retreat to refresh the spirit. It is enhanced by the Spirituality of the Heart as lived by
the resident Missionaries of the Sacred Heart community, daily Eucharist, and the nurturing of a profound silence for prayer. The retreat team not only encourages respect for
the treasure of this silence, but is dedicated to integrating their love of prayer in a stance of living that is eco-friendly and respectful of the environment. Consequently, St Mary’s Towers provides a space for people to listen deeply to God in their personal lives and in creation so as to better experience the love of the heart of Jesus. A variety of retreats offer various pathways to enter the silence – reflection days, prayer weekends, six, eight and 30 day retreats including the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola and the opportunity to pray with the writings of the Mystics. Extended personal retreats can also be arranged in consultation with the Director.

New additions to the program include the following options to assist those who want to learn more about and deepen their experience of the silence: • guided retreat days particularly for those new to silence and the retreat experience • Long Weekend retreat experiences. To cater for those with limited time, in addition to our regular weekend retreats which are usually part of the 6 and 8 day retreat experience, a number of long weekend 3 day retreats are

planned for 2019. Topics include: • Prayer Weekend for the Contemplative Professional with Lou Nulley • Lifting the Veil- living in liminal space with Fr John Armstrong • Mindfulness and Prayer with Lou Nulley and Michelle Vass We continue to offer our very popular Life’s Healing Journey, a particular healing retreat that helps those wanting to come to a true place of forgiveness in their lives. This retreat

has been updated and extended to a 9 day retreat. It is a powerful retreat experience that integrates the psychological and spiritual elements of the healing journey with an image of God congruent with the teachings of Jesus in the gospels. All retreats are held in an atmosphere of silence to nourish and support prayer and healing. Ongoing accompaniment beyond the retreat experience can also be arranged with members of the Retreat team.

St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre RETREAT PROGRAM


JUNE 1-7 I hold you, I see you: God enfolding us in love Dominic Gleeson MSC 1-3 Prayer Weekend as above 8-16 Praying the Psalms (Pt1, Ps1-50) Michael Fallon MSC 8-16 Prayer Weekend as above 22-28 Living Silence: Everyday contemplation Michelle Vass 22-24 Prayer Weekend as above 29-1 JUL Men’s Prayer Weekend - Saints, Sinners and Scripture: The role of prayer Paul White


JULY 3-11 Genesis: The story of creation, our beginnings and the patriarchs Michael Fallon MSC AUG 3 AUG-SEP 4 30 Day Retreat. The choice of: Life’s Journey Experience, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius or Praying with the Mystics AUG 4-12 Entering the Mystery of Contemplation with Teresa and John Michael Fallon MSC 14-23 Life’s Healing Journey Retreat Team 24-2 SEPT Directed Retreat SEPT 17-20 Living into Death, Dying into Life Therese Compton, Michael Fallon MSC & Michelle Vass 21-27 Ecospirituality: A new consciousness

‘Open the door on your busy life and enter into sacred time with God’ Retreat Team 21-23 Prayer Weekend as above OCT 5-11 Eckhart & the Beguine Mystics Michelle Vass 5-7 Prayer Weekend as above 12-18 The Art of Film Dominic Gleeson MSC 12-14 Prayer Weekend as above 26-1 NOV The New Testament and the Quran Michael Fallon MSC OCT 26-28 Prayer Weekend as above NOV 2-8 Sharing in Jesus’ Prayer Michelle Vass 2-4 Prayer Weekend as above 16-22 Praying our Life: Prayer through Stillness into Silence Michelle Vass and Lou Nulley 16-18 Prayer Weekend as above

23-25 Women’s Retreat – Praying with Julian of Norwich Pauline Compton 30-6 DEC Advent Retreat: Blessed be our longing Retreat Team 30-2 DEC Prayer Weekend as above DEC 7-15 Directed Retreat 31-JAN 8 “Come to me and find rest for your soul” Retreat Team

For Retreat information contact: St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre 415 Douglas Park Drive, Douglas Park, NSW 2569 Phone: (02) 4630 0233 Fax: (02) 4630 9364 Email:




A Beautiful place to encounter God

SANTA TERESA is a special place to encounter God through prayer and reflection amidst the beauty of God’s creation. Owned and run by the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Santa Teresa provides a modern and well equipped facility set on the shores of Moreton Bay looking across to Stradbroke Island. Whether you come as an individual or as a

member of a group, for a day or an overnight stay, your spirit will be refreshed and renewed by a combination of the following elements: the natural beauty of the setting, the cleanliness and comfort of the 30 ensuited rooms, the versatility of the four formation spaces, the quietness of the prayer spaces and chapels, the warm hospitality and attentiveness

of the staff, the nourishment of the wonderful meals and the appeal of the landscaped grounds with its views of Moreton Bay. The Carmelite Sisters living next door welcome guests to join them for morning mass or to come and pray in their chapel with its vibrant stained glass windows. The Blessed Sacrament chapel is a cosy prayer cave, available 24 hours a day for visitors. The Hermitage and Cana prayer spaces coupled with the Labyrinth and Quandamooka Prayer Walk provide outdoor prayer places where one can commune with God.

Just 40 mins from the Brisbane CBD and the Brisbane airport, Santa Teresa is readily accessible yet it takes the visitor into a deeply reflective place. One guest spoke of their experience as ‘visiting heaven on earth’. Take a virtual tour of the Centre by viewing the video found on the website. For further information or to make a booking: contact the Supervisor on (07) 32864011 email: or visit the website at: Come and experience the beauty of this place.

Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre

‘a place of encounter’ (07) 32864011 | E: |





SOMETIMES IN order to hear the still, small voice of God in our lives, we need to do as Christ did in the Gospels—remove ourselves from the crowds and withdraw to a lonely place. For it is only in a quiet place that we can truly hear the Father’s voice. The Benedict XVI Retreat Centre in Grose Vale is a place designed to allow the gentle voice of God to invade hearts and minds. In a semi-rural bushland setting – about an hour’s drive north-west of Sydney’s CBD – the Retreat Centre is permeated by a quietness that is only disturbed by the chiming of bellbirds in the surrounding treetops. Those who stay at the Retreat Centre can spend time strolling around the beautiful 16-hectare property or sitting in the magnificent chapel, just spending time in quiet conversation with the Lord. There are lovely places here where you can

go and sit. It’s quiet and you can be one with your God. Although open to all age groups, the Retreat Centre was designed with young people in mind. Named after the Pope at the time, the inspiration behind the Centre came from Cardinal Pell, who wanted to allow young people who attended World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney to continue their spiritual journey. He wanted a place where they could renew and deepen their faith in fellowship with one another. With accommodation for up to 150 people at a time, the Centre caters especially for youth groups, university groups, families, school and

parish groups. Sporting facilities including tennis courts, volley ball courts, an archery field and a swimming pool dot the property. For more adventurous guests there’s also a flyingfox and an obstacle course. The Centre is fully-catered, with a resident chef . The jewel in the crown at the Centre is the chapel, which tends to have a powerful impact on people. Its design had many influences – Romanesque, Gothic and a little bit of Australiana. As you enter the chapel, the inscription over the doorway states, “House of God, Gate of Heaven.” Once inside the eyes are drawn

upwards to the domed area above the sanctuary where a beautiful Romanesque crucifix is suspended. Beyond the crucifix, the blue vault of the ceiling evokes the blueness of the vault of heaven and of Our Lady’s mantle. There are several cut-outs in the blue ceiling in the shape of the fleur-de-lis, representing the Trinity and the floor is paved in earthy tones so that there is a sense of a meeting between heaven and earth. On the wall behind the altar, is displayed a series of gilded frescoes depicting the life of Christ, copies of icons by Neocatechumenal Way co-founder Kiko Arguello. It’s not just the chapel but the whole of the Centre that has a spir-itual atmosphere. There’s a very beautiful sense of peace and calm. Benedict XVI Retreat Centre that has a spiritual atmosphere. There’s a very beautiful sense of peace and calm. People who have stayed there often remarkthat they feel at home and the best feedback they get is the people who return to the Centre again and again. While the Centre has a distinctly Catholic spirituality, it is open to all. Tel: (02) 4572 2899 (business hours)




Stop, reflect and begin again



ne of my childhood fascinations about going to school was learning about the Clock (for a Fijian this was exciting stuff), learning to tell the time and calculate the minutes, hours and seconds. Learning to draw the clock- face was a major work of art for a little child and to get it right was a great achievement. Learning about the Clock was fun and enjoyable, but it took me a few more years before I was able to have my own watch. It is a surprise to young people today that there was a time when wearing a watch was considered a luxury. Today, most of us wear watches, or use our phones, to help us know it’s time for the school pick-up, go to the gym, catch the right bus, and find out how long till Master Chef is on. To add to this exciting technological world we live in, the Fitbit watch is becoming a common trend. With a Fitbit, you can tell the time, answer calls, monitor sleep, and calculate the number of calories burnt, and so on. This invention has allowed people to make their ever-busy schedule even more packed with other appointments and distractions. Jesus, too, was very busy. “Large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them” (Matt 15:30) But Our Lord “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.“ (Lk 5:16). Had Jesus owned

a Fitbit he would have counted 659, 9737 steps over the 5029 km he walked during his three years of public ministry. We have grown so used to “being busy” that we now believe we do not have the time to pray or to go away for some quiet prayer and reflection. Jesus, our Lord and Teacher, lived a pretty busy schedule, but he made the time to be alone in prayer. In doing so, he has given us an example of “being alone with God.” The Vocations Centre offers retreats that are designed to allow participants to do exactly this – to be alone with God. Since taking on this role, I have come to appreciate the need to provide more opportunities for young people to make a retreat. As our world continues to distract our minds in more invasive ways, we will begin to offer more and more opportunities to retreat from the new crowds – on our news feeds – and enter the silence of prayer. We are not just atomised beings, made of mere matter; we have a spiritual soul that needs our care and attention too. God alone can satisfy our soul’s desire. We are all on a path of self-discovery and personal growth. St Benedict’s example teaches us that everything good a Christian does is an opportunity for contemplating God. The orientation of our hearts is towards God. We are on a pilgrimage towards Him. As we walk joyfully in hope towards our eternal home, let your Fitbit do what it does best, but you and I need to choose to find the time to stop, reflect and begin again.


We have grown so used to “being busy” that we now believe we do not have the time to pray or to go away for some quiet prayer and reflection.

For more information contact the Vocation Centre | (02) 930 8



'For Love Alone' Day Retreat for Women 14 JULY 2018

This day retreat will be an opportunity for young women to meet and have conversations with consecrated women and explore their vocations to marriage, single or religious life. You will also have time for silent prayer, confession and adoration during a Holy Hour. (18 - 35 yrs old) COST: $99 WHERE: St Benedict’s Parish, Broadway

Silent Retreat for Men 3-5 AUGUST 2018

This is a silent retreat weekend for Catholic men considering a vocation to the Priesthood. This weekend will enable you to spend some time in prayerful silence with Daily Mass, Rosary, Prayer of the Church, Adoration, spiritual guided talks and much more. (18 - 35 yrs old) COST: $99 WHERE: Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush

‘Svodowisko’ Vocations Camp for Men 19-21 OCTOBER 2018

A weekend camp of Mass, talks, good food, bush walks, archery, sports and prayer for young men who are seeking an adventure and a deep exploration of their spiritual life. (18 - 35 yrs old) COST: $150 WHERE: Benedict XVI Centre, Gross Vale

07 8421 | | REATREATS 20 MAY 2018



St Joseph’s: a centre for reflective living Centre for Reflective Living

St Joseph’s Baulkham Hills invites you to experience a place apart from the everyday ST JOSEPH’S Centre for Reflective Living Centre sits within beautiful, spacious grounds at Baulkham Hills, north-west of Sydney’s CBD and Sydney Harbour. If you are planning a retreat or conference you should speak with our qualified staff.

St Joseph’s provides accommodation with spacious en-suited rooms and catering as required. Facilities also include a 200-seat chapel/conference room; three Blessed Sacrament Chapels for private prayer or reflection; several meeting

rooms that accommodate 20100 people; a reading room; guest lounges with TV/ DVD and tea/coffee facilities. The centre is airconditioned and all conference rooms are equipped with modern AV equipment. Guests can also use an out-

door swimming pool (available summer, spring and autumn) and a popular labyrinth within the grounds. Please contact us for more information by phone on (02) 9634 2317 or go to

of life.

Baulkham Hills Centre

SOME 2018 RETREATS 8 – 15 July | Baulkham Hills | $660 Befriending the beauty of Your Own Soul - Lynette Young rsj

A time to ponder and open our lives to a spirituality that will sustain us during the second half of our lives, to enjoy our heart’s desire, to draw alongside the mystery we hold as the Beloved of God.



8 – 15 July | Baulkham Hills | $660 “Of love beyond desire, and so liberation” (from T.S. Eliot’s ‘Little Gidding’) Bernard McGrath osb This retreat explores the life long tasks of liberation and love, of the self and of the universe.

come to Australia for ministry. Topics include an introduction to Australia – the land, its peoples and the Church; Right relationships – women and the Australian church, integrity in ministry and child protection; and psychological aspects of entering a different culture.

9-20 July | Baulkham Hills | $1,210 Acculturation Winter Progam Coordinators: Annie Bond rsj and Brian Vale ssc This program is designed for priests and women and men religious who

11 November – 9 December Baulkham Hills | $5,250 | 4 Weeks The Time of Sage Coordinator: Lianella Girardi A Sabbatical for religious living the 80s years, with themes relevant to this time

25 November – 2 December Baulkham Hills | $660 The Hospitality of God - Ann Morrison rsj Through the silence of this retreat you are invited into the embrace of the Trinity and experience the Hospitality of God. Over these days we will contemplate the Rublev icon, based on Genesis 18, painted in 1411 for the abbot of the Trinity Monastery in Russia. As Henri Nouwen says: The more we look at this holy image with the eyes of faith, the more we come to realise that it is painted not as a lovely decoration for a convent church, nor as a helpful explanation of a difficult doctrine, but as a holy place to enter and stay within. 25 November – 2 December Baulkham Hills | $660 Awakening Anew - Mary Baker rsj An invitation to enter anew the rich themes of Advent – through Music and Imagery, along with some gentle practices designed to honour our embodiment of Holy Mystery.


Canisius house for prayer and reflection PETER CANISIUS HOUSE welcomes all who seek a time of reflection, contemplation and prayer.

Peter Canisius House is one of the Australian Jesuit Centres of Ignatian Spirituality. To see the complete program of our retreats go to

WE WELCOME... • Overnight and day school retreats • Overnight and day church, religious and meditation groups • Community groups (Rotary, Lions Club etc) • Individual directed retreats

WE PROVIDE… • 45 spacious twin share bedrooms • 8 ensuite rooms • Canisius Hall (seats 130) • Multiple breakout spaces • Modern AV equipment • Delicious chef prepared meals • Chapel • Blessed sacrament chapel • 2 labyrinths


Our trained spiritual directors accompany people in finding, knowing and feeling God’s activity in their lives.

SILENT DIRECTED RETREATS IN THE IGNATIAN TRADITION A silent retreat for a day, a weekend, a few days, 30 days or 30 weeks, can be an excellent way of opening oneself to God. There is a daily session with a spiritual director to guide you through your retreat.

P: 02 9488 4524 | E: | W: | 102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble 2073




Winbourne offers a grand entrance for any event MANY PEOPLE comment they feel a sense of peace and tranquillity when they visit historical ‘Winbourne’. Perhaps it’s the leafy, tree-lined driveway, the unique welcome of Thomas the resident donkey, the beautifully maintained gardens and newly refurbished accommodation, the country style meals, or simply the old world charm of yesteryear. Situated at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, less than an hour from Sydney, the 100 hectare heritage estate of ‘Winbourne’ has a purpose-built retreat and conference centre with professional facilities and attentive service. Dating back to 1824, Winbourne was originally owned by William Cox who was in charge of constructing the first road over the Blue Mountains. Activities on the estate varied through the years from the Cox sheep industry, vineyards and wine production, cultivation of wheat and other cereal crops, fruit growing and dairying. In 1901 the property passed from the Coxes and became renowned throughout the land as a superior Guest House for the next fifty years. There is still much evidence of days gone by, including a large stone building originally comprising stables and coach-house (c1822). The Christian Brothers purchased the property in 1958 as a House of Studies for the young Brothers undertaking their teacher-training and in 1974, Winbourne began to be used as a Retreat Centre for students and adults who were looking for a place where they might relax, reflect and pray.

Some sixty years later, the Centre continues to welcome groups and individuals from all walks of life including School Retreats (both students and teachers) Prayer & Parish Retreats, Meditation & Yoga Groups, Sporting Teams, Craft/Hobby Groups, Corporate Seminars, Funerals & Wakes, Weddings & Engagements. Winbourne offers two styles of accommodation - the Cottages and the Main Accommodation Building, both extensively and tastefully refurbished in late 2017. Each Cottage contains eight twin-share rooms (maximum of 48 guests), all rooms with ensuite, television, heating and fans. For couples, beds can be converted to queen size. Quality linen is supplied throughout and there is one room per Cottage with disabled access. There is also an air-conditioned central Common Area within each

Cottage complete with TV, lounge area and kitchenette with tea/coffee making facilities. A token-operated laundry, with clothes dryer, is available for guests’ use. The Main Accommodation Building is two storeys with a total of 22 bedrooms. Four rooms are twin-share with ensuite and the remaining multi-share rooms are serviced by newly refurbished bathroom facilities, located conveniently throughout the two levels. Bed configurations range from two to six beds per room, with a combination of bunks and single beds. The total capacity within this building is 93 guests and is well suited for school groups, sporting teams and youth retreats. Basic linen is supplied as standard and full linen is available for Teachers and adult groups - or on request for youth groups.

In addition, the Centre provides a choice of seven various sized function rooms offering modern facilities within magnificent sandstone buildings. Audio/visual equipment, internet access/wifi, on-site parking and wheelchair access are all available on-site. Guests may also utilise the air-conditioned Recreation Room with table-tennis, pool table, lounge area and kitchenette. There is also a tennis court, basketball court, handball courts and a huge playing field with BBQ and picnic facilities. Guests of Winbourne are delighted by the sumptuous dining experiences created in Lupe’s Kitchen on-site, providing delicious and nutritious country cooking. Special function menus for Weddings, Birthdays, Funerals, Baptisms and other private events can be arranged to suit your needs, and special dietary options are available upon request. Your next event deserves the best of everything... the peaceful country setting, touch of Australian history, comfortable accommodation and delicious food. We can tell you why Winbourne is the place for your next event, but we would rather let you see for yourself. Our Events Team is available Monday to Friday during business hours to help you plan your next event and guided site-tours are available upon request. Please phone Jenny or Leanne on (02) 4773 5555 to discuss your booking requirements.

Historical Winbourne is a place of quiet reflection, peace and tranquillity, set on 100 hectares in the picturesque Mulgoa Valley at the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

Edmund Rice Retreat & Conference Centre. Conducted by the Trustees of the Christian Brothers

Winbourne offers various sized conference rooms with modern AV equipment supplied. Two styles of comfortable accommodation are available for up to 150 guests, together with home-style catering. * School Retreats * Staff Spirituality Days * Church Groups * Professional Groups * Sporting Groups * Craft & Hobby Groups * Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions * Funerals & Wakes * Special Occasions

Phone: 02 4773 5555 Email: Website: Address: 1315 Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa NSW 2745




Things to know before going on retreat MARILYN RODRIGUES

TIPS FOR YOUR Ocean view and RETREAT quiet valley atmosphere


If you don’t know much about who is running the retreat, the place where it is being held, or its associated charism, try to find out as much as you can through someone who’s been there before, ask your parish priest, or at a pinch, use Google. You need a retreat experience that as much as possible is aligned with your particular needs and values. If you’ve never been on a spiritual Particularly if you have a busyerringong life and time s sydney’s new vocations retreat before, or haven’t gone since and the The Centre welcomes all types of groups director, Fr Epeli Qimagina, says surrounding district was denominations and is frequented allocated for retreat-going is infrequent and school, here are aand few things you originally the home of the (see page 17), God, our Father, is by school and parish groups for self-run Wadi-Wadi Their land precious, twice before going on apeople. retreat conference groups, sporting, craft always present tothink us, no matter might like to keepretreats, in mind. was bountiful with native flora and fauna, and family groups. how lost we are. Epelirecommendation should purely onFrthe of bya clean friend. Arivers, and also served creeks and Accommodation is available for 130 know. Like every other seminarian, he spent providing fresh water. The Seven Mile guests. Two styles of accommodation are retreat very special forwasaapersonal en- area, many hours seeking the willis ofa God for his life in place Beach favoured food-gathering on offer. The three cottages offer twin or the silence and solitude of a retreat. with the Shoalhaven Bight providing a single room accommodation. Each cottage counter with Jesus, and yousteady will meet and rest supply of fish, shellfish, oysters and Silence, as Fr Epeli says, is not an absence of has eight bedrooms with two single beds lobsters. Evidence longcan occupation per room with an ensuite. Each cottage ants, try to remember to spend at least a good with ofhim more readily whereof this you sound but the presence the one who loves and in a place great value for money, usually comparing well of the area can be seen in the form of has a small kitchenette and lounge area. details call the manager at Gerringong gives everything. quickly feel comfortable and settle in. middens. The second storey accommodation part of it alone in quiet reflection and prayer, (02) 4234 0441 or emailto mkmoss@ in on financial terms other kinds oftwoweekend His point is important. The silence of a site has 22 rooms with varying numbers of The Christian Brothers retreat is also our own entry into the desert getaways while they providebedsmuch val-an ensuite or in the solitude of your room, the chapel, or with fourmore rooms offering COST where, in the stillness and quietness, all the edmund Rice Retreat and and “Billow View” the other rooms share bathroom to you, and through you while to your family and usual distractions are put away, giving us time The Christian Brothers acquired “Billow ueConference facilities. outdoors. It’s perfectly acceptable to excuse Centre, Mulgoa Every retreat centre considerable View” (pictured right) from the Cooke The various sized conference rooms and space to begin to attune our hearing to the must factor “Winbourne” (pictured below) isthan located a simple friends back home, family in 1959, to be used as a holiday offer modernholiday. facilities and internet access.yourself from a conversation if you need to get in the Mulgoa Valley, 15km from Penrith paradoxically small but mighty voice of God. costs into its fees, but also, every Catholic house and retreat centre. In more On site catering is available with special and 10km from the M4 Motorway, west of OTHER recent times the Brothers have also Sydney. The RETREATANTS Christian Brothers bought the dietary requirements catered for with prior some time alone on your retreat. should be able to go on at least an annual used the property as holiday camps notice. 100 hectare site in 1958 and for 20 years it A guide for everyone, for disadvantaged children and as a We welcome your enquiry. was part of the Brothers’ Trainingtry College. If it’s a silent retreat, to text rather than talk retreat. There are usually discounts for seniors conference centre for various groups, Ph: (02) 4773 5555 Since the 1970s the centre has been used TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO especially those planning a particularly those associated email: as a place of peace, and have toreflection, speakserenity to someone by phone and students. If you aren’t one of these andwith the if you renewal. Brothers’ various ministries. For more Web: CONFESSION AND/OR SPIRITUAL retreatcost or attending one and keep it off or on silent. If it isn’t a silent is genuinely an issue, let the centre know DIRECTION For busy retreat directors and planners, retreat, and part of the reason of the retreat is when booking that you would like to access a though, it’s easy to become distracted by all discount. to benefit from time with the other retreatRetreats are a special opportunity to receive the planning needed to ensure aEven retreat at goesfull price retreats tend to be



smoothly – registrations trickling in, catering needs, last-minute cancellations, to name just a few of the things that can get retreat planners worrying. But a retreat always belongs to God, first and foremost. So our advice is just to leave everything in his hands because the retreat is His. Trust in providence, which always delivers something – and usually the last things we expect.

Centre Edmund Rice Retreat and Conference

The Billowview

(Conducted Winbourne is a place of quiet reflection, peace and tranquillity, set on 100 hectares, located in Mulgoa.


by the Christian Brothers)

(Conducted by the Christian Brothers)

We welcome:  School self-run retreats  Staff spirituality days

 School day groups  Church groups THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS  Professional groups  Sporting groups groups  Special occasions AND “BILLOWVIEW” Reflective Hermitage available for single retreat

the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as to seek some more detailed advice and guidance in spiritual direction than is usually possible in the confessional. Ask when booking into the retreat if you would like to make use of these and aren’t sure if they will be available.

WHAT TO BRING You may be given a list of things to bring, but generally you’ll need these few basics: • Comfortable changes of clothing and shoes • Any necessary medications • A torch • Your own pillow and slippers, earplugs and eye mask if needed for sleeping • A favourite prayer book • Your own Bible and perhaps another spiritual book, or audio book or podcast downloaded on your smartphone (in which case, it’s best to use earphones) • A notebook or journal for writing or drawing in, and a pen • A pocket-sized packet of tissues • A camera (to take out on a nature walk) • A couple of favourite tea bags or soup packets etc. • A simple knitting or crochet project to work on while listening to talks, if you are so inclined

St Benedict’s Monastery


Located on a 36-hectare property in a semi-rural area on the north west outskirts of Sydney, ideal for prayer and reflection. Guests are welcome to enter the rhythm of the monastic day by joining the community for the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharist and Lectio Divina.

Our Centre offers various sized conference rooms with all AV The Christian Brothers acquired “Billowview” equipment supplied, including free wifi. Accommodation is available on site along with catering. We welcome your enquiry. (pictured right) from the Cooke family in 1959, Enquiries 4773 5555 Fax: 02 4773 5500 to be used as a holiday housePhone: and02retreat Email: Website: In everyone, more recent times the Brothers haveAddress: 1315 Mulgoa Road, This retreat guide is,centre. of course, for Mulgoa NSW 2745 but especially those planning a retreat or also used the property for holiday camps for attending one. In this week’s edition of The Catholic Weekly wedisadvantaged present the most children and as a conference CHRISTIAN BROTHERS comprehensive guide to the available facilities 159 Belinda Street, Gerringong, NSW 2534 centre for various groups, particularly those available around Sydney and NSW. Ph: (02) 4234 0441 M: 0447 644 895 There is so much to choose from, too. E:various associated with the Brothers’ ministries. Whatever kind of retreat you are thinking of

there is something, somewhere in these pages, that will meet your needs or those of your parish, your community, your group. It’s true that one size does not fit all, so, whether your group is large or small, vibrant or silent, each of the centres and venues featured in these pages offers something unique – and certainly something that will best suit the voyage of discovery that you are engaged on. We hope you find this guide not only useful, but a beginning to your unique adventure with God. 14

The Christian Brothers Retreat and Conference Centre is located in Gerringong and provides excellent facilities and accommodation for 15 singles or 20 persons if five couples are included. Large meeting room with TV, Video, DVD and conference equipment on request. Most rooms with internet connection, fax and phone. You can self cater or catering on request. Barbecue available.


The centre overlooks the ocean on two sides. Gerringong and Berry arts, crafts and antiques 10 minutes away. Werri or Seven Mile beach – walking distance.

The Retreat and Conference Centre is located in Gerringong, less than two hours south of the Sydney CBD. It provides excellent facilities and accommodation for about twenty people. It has ten The Catholic Weekly, 7 June, 2015 modern bedrooms and six older, smaller bedrooms. There is a large meeting area with a large kitchen in one house, and a smaller meeting area and kitchen in the other house. There are TVs, DVD players and Wi-Fi available. While catering can be provided, most groups prefer to share in the preparation of the meals. There is a barbecue available. The centre has extensive water views over Werri Beach and Seven Mile Beach. It is close to the arts and crafts of Berry and the Shoalhaven.

Contact details: 159 Belinda Street, GERRINGONG P: 02 4234 1564 | M: 0481 912 059 | E:

St Benedict’s Monastery

121 Arcadia Road, Arcadia NSW 2159 Phone: (02) 9653 1159 Fax: (02) 9653 1883 Email: Website: Directions to the monastery:




Sacred place to listen to ‘still, small voice’ that calls us and loves us


A UNIQUE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A PILGRIMAGE, WALK A LABYRINTH AND VISIT A CASTLE - ALL IN ONE DAY! SPACIOUS, HOSPITABLE and prayerful – these are the first thoughts that come to mind on visiting St Clement’s on the Southern Slopes of NSW, two kilometres from the small village of Galong and just 1½ hours by car from Canberra. It is situated in Wiradjuri country where rocky outcrops, hills and creeks witness to a land etched in the memories of the Indigenous people; the past is a rich resource. The family of the former convict, the Irishman Edward Ryan, bequeathed the land to the Redemptorist Congregation in 1918. The castle he built is a tribute to his land and home. The Redemptorists have absorbed this history and

added their own chapter with education, farming, retreats and hospitality. It is a rich and varied history and a glimpse of the endless change and faithful constancy of a living community. It is also a sacred place, somewhere to come aside and rest a while, somewhere to listen to the ‘still, small voice’ that is always calling, encouraging and loving us. St Clement’s welcomes individuals and groups, for retreats and conferences. The Retreat Centre also has its own programme, accessible via the website or by request to the Retreat Co-ordinator, or (02) 6380 5222.

The Good

Set in 800 acres St Clement’s is ideal for your next retreat, conference, reunion, meeting or gathering. Fully refurbished accommodation for over 100 guests, modern conference facilities and unsurpassed hospitality are offered in this peaceful and historic country setting - just one and half hours drive from Canberra. A comprehensive spiritual and art retreat program ranging from a single day to a week is available. Groups with their own spiritual leaders are most welcome.

Such a beautiful and tranquil place ... everything about it brings a feeling of solitude, contentment and fulfilment Retreat Program available on website St Clement’s Retreat & Conference Centre, Kalangan Road, Galong NSW 2585 | E: P: 02 6380 5222 | Fax: 02 6386 7353








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Seeking the peace that only God can give

There is one thing I ask of the Lord for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold His temple.  – Psalm 26 Peace or Pax is found at the entrance of all Benedictine monasteries. It is the desire of all those who come to the monastery – to seek the “peace that God alone can give and that the world cannot take away.”

Cottages Hospitality is a Benedictine charism which enables the community to share the monastic life with guests who come to the Abbey seeking God. It is an extension of the community's ministry of prayer and worship which is carried out primarily in the Liturgy of the Hours, the Eucharistic Celebration and in Lectio Divina. Some sisters are also available to offer guidance to guests who may be looking for a guided retreat. The Abbey provides accommodation for twenty to thirty guests. We have 9 hermitages (which can take two people but normally only one) and two cottages with shared facilities which can accommodate twelve people.

These few verses from the psalms capture and express so beautifully the spirit of our life as an enclosed community of Benedictine nuns. Many people have told us that when they hear about our community, they experience a sense a mystery which leads them to wonder, who are these people and what do they do all day. We would like to use this opportunity to share with you the answers to those questions and the true meaning of our life. Our vocation is a call to a life of prayer at the heart of the Church…. at the heart of the whole world. Naturally, prayer is an integral part of every vocation but for us, prayer is the whole meaning of our lives. We are called to live prayer. We become Benedictine nuns in order to give our lives to seeking God, "that in all things God may be glorified"


If you are interested in making a retreat or seeking some quiet time in prayer, you can contact us by: Phone/Fax: +61 2 42360533 | E-mail: Or write to: Cottage Bookings Benedictine Abbey, 695 Jamberoo Mountain Road, Jamberoo, NSW 2533 REATREATS 20 MAY 2018



retreats Incarnate Word, in whom all nature lives, Cast flame upon the earth: raise up contemplatives among us, those who walk within the fire of ceaseless prayer, impetuous desire. Set pools of silence in this thirsty land. – Australian Poet - James McAuley 1917-1976

Retreats 20 05 2018  

News and features on an international, national and parish level from the award-winning team at The Catholic Weekly. Delve into our weekly p...

Retreats 20 05 2018  

News and features on an international, national and parish level from the award-winning team at The Catholic Weekly. Delve into our weekly p...