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The following Shalom Place reflections, programs and retreats have been offered IN THE PAST.

Be sure to check our website and FaceBook page regularly for future offerings!

December 3, 2020

"Memory Awakens Hope"

Advent is concerned with that very connection 

     between memory and hope which is so necessary to all. 

Advent's intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, 

     namely, the memory of the God who became a child. 

This is a healing memory; it brings hope. 

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness 

     and thus to open doors of hope. 

~Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger~

(Pope Benedict XVI)

December 2, 2020

Lord, Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness - 

send your Holy Spirit

upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do - 

seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.

We who are anxious over many things - 

look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways - 

long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hears are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come, Lord Jesus!"


(Henri Nouwen)

December 1, 2020


I beg you to keep me in this silence so that I may learn from it

     the word of your peace

          and the word of your mercy

               and the word of your gentleness to the world:

                    and that through me perhaps your word of peace may make itself heard

                         where it has not been possible for anyone to hear it for a long time.

(Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander)

November 30, 2020

Silent God

This is my prayer - 

That, though I may not see,

I be aware of the Silent God who stands by me.

That, though I may not feel,

I be aware of the Mighty Love which doggedly follows me.

That, though I may not respond,

I be aware that God - my Silent, Mighty God,

Waits each day. Quietly, hopefully, persistently,

Waits each day and through each night for me,

For me - alone.

(Edwina Gately, Psalms of a Laywoman)

November 29, 2020

Psalm of an Advent Ear

With prayerful pleas and Advent songs of longing,

I await the birth of God's Anointed One.

Come, O Gift of heaven's harmony,

and attune my third ear, the ear of my heart, so that I may hear,

just as Mary, faithful woman of Israel, heard.

O God, the time is short, these days are too few

as I prepare for the feast of the birth of Mary's son.

Busy days, crowded to the brim,

with long lists of gifts to buy and things that must be done.

Show to me, also your highly favoured child,

how to guard my heart from noise and hurry's whirl,

so that I might hear your voice calling my heart to create an empty space

that might be pregnant with heaven's fire.

Quiet me within, clothe my body in peacefulness,

that your Word once again may take flesh - this time, within me - 

as once it did in holy Mary,

long Advent days ago.

(Source unknown)

 We recently celebrated Shalom Place's 

20th anniversary!

In honour of the occasion, a retired team member shared the following poem.


Souls gathered there

Seeking inner peace—

Joining in prayer

In the ultimate release.

Seeking inner peace—

Joining in retreat

In the ultimate release—

One heart, one beat.

Joining in retreat

Shalom is love

One heart, one beat

Message from a dove.

Shalom is love

Opening hearts first—

Message from a dove

Quenches our thirst.

Opening hearts first—

Spiritual programming

Quenches our thirst

With new understanding.

Spiritual programming—

Beautiful souls—

With new understanding

Hears and consoles.

Beautiful souls

Joining in prayer—

Hears and consoles

Souls gathered there.

In gratitude for the beautiful souls

I met at Shalom Place. Happy 20th anniversary

~ Robin Lelievre ~

Walking the Sacred Path

  • Participate in prayerful meditation
  • Reflect on yourself and your relationship with God through prayer, awareness examen and journalling which is completed in the privacy of your home.
  • Faith sharing with others.
  • Participants will be using the book Entering the Castle: Finding the Inner Path to God and your Soul’s Purpose by Caroline Myss

Dates:  October 21, 28, November 4, 11, 2020

Time:  4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Location: Mount St. Joseph Centre - ALL COVID precautions are in place!!

Cost:  Free will offering + cost of book

Facilitator: Patty Boucher

Register by email [email protected] or 705-254-4690 or complete the contact form on this website before Oct. 9

New Format!

On-line small group program! 

"Rooted in Love"

The spiritual journey is very much about paying attention to what is happening in our daily lives. This growth in awareness will lead to a deepening of our relationships with God, others and ourselves. 

We will use Margaret Blackie's book as the source of input, private journaling and group sharing during our sessions. More information will be provided at the first session. 

DATE & TIME: 2 options available:

1) Mondays 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon (Eastern Time zone)  

                     Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23


2) Tuesdays 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.  (Eastern Time zone)

                     Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24

FACILITATOR: Stephanie Romiti, CSJ

SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free-will offering appreciated (plus the cost of the book). PARTICIPANTS ARE ASKED TO OBTAIN THEIR OWN COPY OF THE BOOK, either hard copy or e-book, from the vendor of their choice. 

LOCATION: Meet from the comfort of your own home! We will use "zoom" to meet - guidance will be offered ahead of time for those needing it! 

REGISTER:  [email protected] or 705-254-4690 or complete the contact form on this website - Please indicate your preference for the Monday or Tuesday groups.

 Men's Program

“Eager to Love”

The loving, inclusive life and preaching of Francis of Assisi make him a recognizable and beloved saint across many faith traditions. He was, as Richard Rohr notes, "a master of 'making room for it' and letting go of that which was tired or empty." 

Francis found an "alternative way" to follow Jesus, one that disregarded power and privilege and held fast to the narrow path of the Gospel. Rohr helps us look beyond the birdbath image of the saint to remind us of the long tradition founded on his revolutionary, radical, and life-changing embrace of the teachings of Jesus.

DATE & TIME: Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12

NOTE:  This program is now resuming with currently registered participants, after having been suspended with the onset of COVID-19.



LOCATION: Shalom Place, Mount St. Joseph Centre OR zoom, depending on response from participants


"A Pandemic Alphabet" 

The Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy is a list of 37 universal practices that are markers of the spiritual life. Spiritual literacy is the ability to recognize the presence of the sacred in our everyday experiences. These 37 practices both support this perspective and enable us to act upon it.


As COVID-19 has ravaged the world, we have found ourselves looking at how we can apply the alphabet practices to the pandemic. Some practices reframe what we are experiencing in light of the teachings of the spiritual traditions. Others suggest specific strategies we can use to cope.

Click here to continue reading.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat ~

"Needless to say, 

Church isn't the only place where the holy happens. 

Sacramental moments can occur at any moment, 

at any place, and to anybody: 

watching something get born, 

making love, 

a walk on a beach, 

somebody coming to see you when you're sick, 

a meal with people you love, 

looking into a stranger's eyes 

and finding out they are not a stranger's. 

If we weren't blind as bats, 

we might see that life itself is sacramental.." 

~ Frederick Buechner ~

Celebrating the Saints

Join us to experience that joy that is part of the COMMUNION OF SAINTS, that "great cloud of witnesses" who can help to inspire us and help us to live with new eyes and a renewed heart!

These sessions will be an interactive exchange of 

ideas, talent and joy!!

No materials necessary to join!

No contribution is too small!

No prior knowledge of the Lives of the Saints is required!

Dates:  January 20, 27, February 24, and March 2, 2020

Time:  4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Location: Mount St. Joseph Centre

Cost:  Free will offering

Facilitator: Sr. Mary Jo Radey, CSJ

Register by email [email protected] or 705-254-4690 or complete the contact form on this website before Jan. 15

Reflection #2

From The Other Side of Chaos

by Margaret Silf


“Are we willing to accept that things do break down in our personal lives and in the life of the world, and trust that this might really be the beginning of a breakthrough? Or will we try desperately to hold everything together, or put it back together, to how it was before it fell apart? In terms of our Christian story, we might ask whether we are willing to allow the death to happen, trusting in the resurrection. Or will we abort the paschal mystery by trying in vain to maintain the status quo, to hold on desperately to what is no longer leading to life, and thereby block the way to resurrection?

... Are we hoping that God, or faith, will rescue us from the breakdown and repair the damage, or dare we trust that God is inviting us to engage in the coming to birth of something new, in and through the labour pains of loss and disintegration?” 

 Lent Retreat Morning

"Delightful and Loved"

"This is my son, the beloved, 

with whom I am well pleased."

(Mt. 3:17)

These words are not only said about Jesus but about each one of us. In his "Beloved Sermons," Henri Nouwen fully explores how each of us is the "Beloved of God" and that we are taken, blessed, broken and given. 

After viewing the videos, the key to the morning will be time for quiet reflection about how we are God's Beloved in whom he delights. 

DATE & TIME: February 29, 2020       9:30 a.m. - Noon


 SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free will offering

LOCATION: Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish Hall, 114 MacDonald Avenue

REGISTRATION: 705-254-4690, [email protected], or using the contact form on this site

Advent Retreat


You are invited to come apart for a time to ponder the mystery of the incarnation. Scripture, story, silence and prayer will help us open to the compassion of God who wants to be united with us in our humanity through Jesus the Christ.

When: Saturday November 30, 2019

Time: 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM

Where: Emmanuel United Church, 224 Bennett Blvd 

Suggested Offering: $40.00 lunch included

Facilitator: Janet Norman

Registration: by November 26 by email: [email protected] or 705-254-4690 or by using the contact form on this website

Janet is a retired United Church minister whose spiritual wisdom has touched many lives over the years and has been a guest facilitator for several "Shalom Place" retreats in the past living out her desire to share the beauty of the "Good News”. 

Originally posted Nov. 2, 2019:

This month began with the feast of All Saints' Day. Let us reflect this month on what it means to be a saint, i.e., what is holiness?

The path to holiness: 

Let the Beatitudes be your guide

Adapted from Donald J. Kettler

In his recently published apostolic exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate” (“Rejoice and Be Glad”), Pope Francis reminds us that everyone is called to holiness. We are all called to be saints.

This can sound like a lofty goal — something reserved for special people. It brings to mind those who are already beatified or canonized by the church — people like the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Christ. Or St. Teresa of Calcutta, who started a religious order and devoted her entire life to helping the poorest of the poor.

Sometimes God calls people to be Gospel witnesses in these exceptional ways. But more often, he doesn’t. More often, God encourages us to answer the call to holiness in less dramatic, but no less important ways — in our day-to-day interactions with spouses, parents, students, neighbors and co-workers.

For this, the Beatitudes offer guidance. The pope calls them “a Christian’s identity card.” If you want to know how to live your life, you can turn to these teachings that Jesus gave in his Sermon on the Mount:

Added Nov. 11, 2019:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.

The path to holiness requires focusing less on wealth and material things, and giving more time and attention to the most important things in life - God, our families and the needs of others, especially the poor.

Added Nov. 20, 2019:

Blessed the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Are we humble? Are we patient with the faults and limitations of others? 

Added Nov. 27, 2019:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Do we show compassion (from the Latin word meaning to "suffer with") to people we encounter who are experiencing illness or sorrow? Do we pray for them and offer our assistance?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Do we desire and work for justice on behalf of society's most vulnerable people - the unborn, the immigrant, the marginalized and the abandoned? Are we good stewards of the Earth?

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Do we truly do to others as we would have them do to us - forgiving them for wrongs they have committed against us, and seeking forgiveness from those we have hurt?

(to be continued...)

Celebrating the Saints

Join us to experience that joy that is part of the COMMUNION OF SAINTS, that "great cloud of witnesses" who can help to inspire us and help us to live with new eyes and a renewed heart!

These session will be an interactive exchange of 

ideas, talent and joy!

No materials necessary - no contribution is too small

No prior knowledge of the lives of the Saints is required!

Dates:  October 15, 21, November 11, 18

Time:  4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Suggested Offering: Free will

Facilitator: Sister Mary Jo Radey, CSJ

Register before October 11, by email [email protected] or 705-2544690 or complete the contact form on this website

Spring 2019 Retreat Evening:

Called to Life

As the created world around us responds

to the call to new life

with green grass, budding trees and blooming fl0wers,

we too are invited to listen and respond

to this same divine call. 



DATE & TIME: Thursday, May 16, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

FACILITATOR: Sr. Stephanie Romiti, CSJ


LOCATION: St. Veronica’s Parish

“Echoes of God’s Tenderness”

Monthly Contemplative Prayer


You are invited to this monthly quiet time of prayer. The only pre-requisite is a longing to enrich your connection with God’s intimate love for you. This contemplative prayer time will include beautiful music, moments of silence and the inspiring work of Canadian poet, Ulrich Schaffer. Refreshments will be available following the time of prayer. Open to seekers of any denomination – no registration needed – come when you are able.

DATE & TIME: 3rd Mondays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., beginning Oct.15

FACILITATOR: Sr. Lea Joanisse, CSJ


LOCATION: Mount St. Joseph Centre Chapel, 90 Ontario Avenue

 Lent Retreat Evening

“Delightful and Loved”

“This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17). These words are not only said about Jesus but about each one of us. In his “Beloved Sermons,” Henri Nouwen fully explores how each of us is a “Beloved of God” and that we are taken, blessed, broken and given to become like Jesus in the world.

DATE & TIME: Monday, March 11, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.



LOCATION: Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish

"Harvest Us Home:

Good News As We Age"

This 6-week program is based on the book of the same name. The book is a treasure of spiritual maturity and psychological savvy. This program will guide you to experience how aging can be an enriching time…to review your life with gratitude…to recognize God’s ever-present & gracious love …to be encouraged to live life as fully as possible

DATE & TIME: Mondays, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Feb. 11 - March 25, 2019

FACILITATOR: Robin Lelievre


Men’s Lenten Program

“Wondrous Encounters”

Using Richard Rohr’s book, you will explore Lenten Scripture passages in an exceptional way – leading to transformation rather than simply offering information. Input, quiet reflection time and sharing are included.

DATE & TIME: Thurs., 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., 

                 Mar. 7, 21, 28; Apr. 4, 11, 16, 2019