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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!

The following is for informational purposes 

and not a program being offered through Shalom Place at this time.

I, Janet Norman, recently took a course from the Shalem Institute in Washington DC called an Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction (GSD) . I had never heard of it before.


GSD is an opportunity for 4 - 5 people to listen with compassion, reverence and openness to others as they share their lived experience of God’s presence in their life.


The process involves 

  • silent prayer for the person who will be sharing 2 minutes
  • focused active listening while the person shares 5 minutes
  • silent prayer asking God how God wants us to respond 2 minutes
  • a time of sharing observations, insights from God 10 minutes
  • silent prayer as we let go of presenter and prepare for the next 2 minutes

Thus each person is held in prayer for 20 minutes. At no time do we offer good books to read, topping a story with our own experience, criticism or strategies. At all times we operate from the belief that no one is broken or in need of fixing and deep trust that God is present, active and loving in each person’s life.


Sharing stories free of concern of being corrected, challenged, advised or fixed was liberating and we each found God speaking to our life as we listened to the other. I found the whole experience healing and humbling.


The lectures were brief, well presented and informative, sharing with a partner was gentle and affirming and the Group Spiritual Direction with a facilitator was powerful, full of the Spirit and healing.


This course is being offered again Sept 10 - 12 2021 and I highly recommend it. I found it to be a life changing experience, deepening my relationship with God, opening me to the journey of others and allowing me to witness to the loving action of God in the life of others.


Janet Norman 


https://shalem.org/programs/shortterm/group-spiritual-direction-workshop/




As we begin this summer season, we pray you will have time to slow down and reflect on God's presence and action in your life!


Trust in the Slow Work of God

By Pierre Chardin

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything To reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way

to something unknown, something new.

Yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability and that may take a very long time.


And so I think it is with you.

Your ideas mature gradually. Let them grow. Let them shape themselves without undue haste. Do not try to force them on

as though you could be today what time

--that is to say, grace—

and circumstances

--acting on your own good will—

will make you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new Spirit gradually forming in you will be.


Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you,

and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser. Amen.


GROWING IN WISDOM:

Seeking Deeper Generativity

In Hinduism the stages of life are described as: 

childhood; 

student; 

householder; 

forest dweller; 

sannyasin (“holy beggar”).

Another way of looking at these phases from the perspective of our spiritual journeys is:

youth – the struggle to get our lives together;

generativity – the struggle to give our lives away;

late life – the struggle to give our deaths away.


We spend most of our lives in the householder / generativity stages. As we enter our later years it is time to reflect on our lives and to impart the wisdom we have gained through experience, to become an elder, to be a forest dweller and ultimately a holy beggar (or holy old fool).


Based on these phases of our lives, Fr Ron Rolheiser and the faculty of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio developed a program called “Forest Dwelling: Spirituality for our Wisdom Years.”


Realizing that not every one has the time or resources to go to San Antonio, some of the Canadian “graduates” of the Forest Dwelling program through association with Queen’s House Retreat and Renewal Centre in Saskatoon and with the blessing of Fr Rolheiser have developed a program inspired by and drawing on the resources of the Forest Dwelling program that will be offered virtually (via Zoom). 


This is a two-year program that will feature four one week “intensive” sessions plus ongoing spiritual practice and is called “Growing in Wisdom: Seeking Deeper Generativity.” This program is intended for people who are 60 years of age and older.


Queen’s House has reached out to retreat and spirituality centres across Canada to determine interest in becoming “hubs” to facilitate the programs in various locations. Shalom Place is willing to act as a “hub” and we are reaching out to you to determine if there is enough interest to do this.


We are holding a 2-hour version of the two-day Zoom presentation given in early June by Queen’s House that will provide more information. 


DATE:  Tuesday July 6, 2021

TIME:  10:00 AM to Noon. 

PLACE: via ZOOM from the comfort of your own home

REGISTRATION:  [email protected], call us at 705-254-4690 or use the contact form here

This is a “Come and See” session. Please register by Monday July 5 so that we can get the Zoom link to you. 

"Finding Friends with Francis!!"

Join us to explore how Pope Francis' latest encyclical could change the world! This experience will be a dynamic exchange of experience and possibility...


When:      June 9, 16, 23, 30, 2021   6:30 - 8:00 p.m. (ET) via zoom

 

Facilitator:   Sr. Mary Jo Radey, CSJ    


Cost:     Your free-will offering helps support Shalom Place ministries. 


Text:   Available online at no cost.


Registration: Use the contact form on this website - click  here

                         Or email us at [email protected]

                         Or call us at 705-254-4690

                                       BEFORE JUNE 7, 2021


NOTE: Participants must be familiar with the Zoom platform!




Lay Yourself Open


When you want to lay yourself open for the divine,

like a snare that is hollowed out to its depth,

like a canopy that projects a shadow

from the divine heat and light

into your soul,

then go into your inner place physically,

or to that story or symbol that reminds you of the sacred.


Close the door of your awareness to

the public person you think yourself to be.

Pray to the parent of creation, with your inner sense,

the outer senses turned within.

Veiling yourself, the mystery may be unveiled through you.


By opening yourself to the flow of the sacred,

somewhere, resounding in some inner form,

the swell of the divine ocean can move through you.


The breathing life of all reveals itself

in the way you live your life.

~ Neil Douglas-Klotz ~

New!

Outdoor small group program! 

"Walking the Sacred Path"

This program will have you outside in our lush forested areas. It involves weekly and daily reflection and scripture readings with a meeting once a week in an outdoor setting in nature...rain or shine!!! This program runs for four weeks. 


DATE & TIME: 

          Thursdays 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.  

          Beginning April 22, 2021


FACILITATOR: Patty Boucher


LOCATION: TBD


SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free-will offering helps continue this ministry and is greatly appreciated. 


REGISTER:  [email protected] or 705-254-4690 or complete the contact form on this website 

Third Week of Easter

Humming in the Darkness

Hope means to keep living 

amid desperation 

and to keep humming in the darkness. 

Hoping is knowing that there is love, 

it is trust in tomorrow, 

it is falling asleep 

and waking again 

when the sun rises.

In the midst of a gale at sea, 

it is to discover land. 

In the eyes of another 

it is to see that you are understood...


As long as there is still hope 

there will also be prayer...


And you will be held 

in God's hands.


From With Open Hands by Henri Nouwen

Second Sunday of Easter

"The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. 'Peace be with you,' he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer, but believe.'" (John 20:19-20,27-28)


I remember closed doors along my own life's journey, and I remember moments when you were suddenly there, in spite of all my defences; moments when you took my hand and brought me face to face with my wounded Healer and left me no more room for doubt.

~ Margaret Silf ~

Awaken Me

Risen One, come, meet me in the garden of my life.


Lure me into elation.

Revive my silent hope. 

Coax my dormant dreams.

Raise up my neglected gratitude.

Entice my tired enthusiasm.

Give life to my faltering relationships. 

Roll back the stone of my indifference.

Unwrap the deadness in my spiritual life.

Impart heartiness in my work.


Risen One,

send me forth as a disciple of your unwavering love,

a messenger of your unlimited joy.


Resurrected One,

may I become

ever more convinced that your presence lives on, 

and on, and on, and on.


Awaken me! Awaken me!

~ Joyce Rupp ~





Check out this Holy Saturday video reflection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVyTaZclT64




 Lent Retreat Morning

"Accepting God's Invitation...

to journey through Lament to Hope"

Through the experience of scripture, journalling, reflection, sharing and prayer we will name and acknowledge our laments and losses and open ourselves to hearing God’s invitation to move to hope with trust and confidence. Come prepared to have time, space and quiet to journal and share in small groups as you are comfortable.  



DATE & TIME: March 17, 2021      10:00 a.m. - Noon

FACILITATOR: Janet Norman - Check out her info on our team page!

SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free will offering

LOCATION: ZOOM

(All participants must be familiar with the ZOOM platform in order to register.)

REGISTRATION by March 15: Three ways to register:

  1. Call us at 705-254-4690 
  2. Email us at:  [email protected] 
  3. Contact form found here

Lent 2021: ​What to give up, when you feel like giving up

by Sr. Colleen Gibson

On the eve of Ash Wednesday, a comic strip appeared in my inbox under the subject line “The Lent-iest Lent Ever.” In it, a man, coffee cup in hand, casually asks her, “Did you decide what you’re giving up for Lent?” With a look of mild uncertainty on her face and eyes fixed on the list unfurled before her, the woman remarks, "First I need to check the list of things I gave up for the pandemic."


The person who sent me the comic jotted one simple line below the comic: "With a year like this, what's forty more days?"

Dripping with sarcasm, that wisecrack made me smile in the face of the larger point the comic was hammering home. After the year we've had, what more could we give up?


Last year, after all, was supposed to have been the "Lent-iest" Lent ever. From the declaration of the pandemic by the World Health Organization in March, only a few weeks into the Lenten season, a new reality and understanding of the fragility of life, the loneliness of loss and isolation, the need for attentive engagement, and the call to prayer in the face of uncertainty took hold. The prayer, fasting and almsgiving of that Lenten season overflowed into the year that has been, creating a sense that Lent never fully came to a close.


And so, as I returned my focus to the comic my friend sent, I wondered, "what's the point?"


After a year of grief and loss, isolation and distance, masks and protocols, what more could these 40 days offer? What could I possibly give up or take on this Lent? If that list of sacrifices keeps getting longer, why not just give in and give up?


The temptation to give up is real.


Last Lent, as the pandemic and its accompanying realities began to gain momentum, the season of Lent took on a surreal air. The Lenten promises I had made paled in comparison to the ever-evolving reality of life in a time of pandemic. As a result, I chose to put my Lenten practice aside. At the time, I felt that by not following through for the full 40 days, I had come up short in my Lenten commitment.


Looking back on that choice now, though, I know it was the right choice for me. The consciousness of God's presence that I longed to deepen by giving something up for Lent was heightened by the discernment to once again embrace the comfort of what I was going without. My attention was needed elsewhere and my ability to be fully present to the situations at hand was enhanced by my choice to give up on what I'd given up.


That, of course, leads me to this Lent.


By the time that comic came to my inbox, I still hadn't decided the details of my Lenten practice. There were groups I could take part in, books I could read, prayers I could commit to, and small actions I could take on. All of these practices would be good options, yet with a spirit bleary-eyed from Zoom calls, world news, and other demands, I felt less zealous about making a commitment and more resigned to endure the season as best I could.


Looking at the woman in the comic, I wondered: What do you give up when the thought of doing one more thing is burdensome or the prospect of adding to the growing list of daily sacrifices is daunting? What do you give up when you feel like giving up?


The answers to those questions, surprisingly, emerged rather quickly.


When we feel like giving up, perhaps one of the best things we can give up is the need to control every facet of our lives. The pandemic has made strikingly clear that some things are simply out of our control. We cannot will the world to get back to normal. Uncertainty is more commonplace these days than we might be comfortable with, but what if we companion that uncertainty, rather than trying to correct it by controlling ourselves and others? Relinquishing the need to achieve or to obsess over having everything in order may in fact be the best thing we can give up. In so doing, we give God the space to be in control and free ourselves from the illusion that we are God, remembering instead that God has made us to be human.


If giving up the drive to control is the first step in a liberating Lent, giving up our penchant to negatively judge is a closely linked second. Judgment, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps us to gain perspective and assess situations. However, when we recognize that our judgments are unkind and uncharitable, undergirded by a need to control or lessen the "other," it's time to give them up. Just as with control, this "giving up" of judgments is easier said than done. Being able to relinquish our negative feelings and lay our judgments aside for the benefit of others and ourselves is a process of self-actualization, which takes both honesty and humility as we grow in self-awareness and face our imperfections. If we can give up the need to pass judgment, we can grow closer to the union to which God calls us and gain new perspective on the loving way God sees all of us, even those we can't stand.


By letting go of the temptation to control and judge in our daily lives, we will hopefully find ourselves freer to face the attachments of our egos and the drive to hold tightly to the power, glory and entitlement the world promises. Indeed, these promises are the falsehoods we confront when we embrace prayer, fasting and almsgiving in the season of Lent. In and through these practices we recognize our reliance on God, raising our consciousness and giving up what stands in the way of a deeper relationship with God.


Deepening our relationship with God, after all, is the aim of whatever we give up or choose to do this Lent. For that reason, perhaps the greatest thing we could give up this Lent is the nagging feeling that we should give up. In this year full of sacrifices, giving up would be a choice to relinquish hope and to dishonor all that we have been through. To give up on this season would be to give in to despair and, in the process, to lose sight of where this Lenten journey ultimately points us — to the hope-filled morning of Easter.


We carry a lot and, during this Lent especially, we need to be attentive to what might lighten our load. Maybe we are being called to let go of anger or hurt, judgement or control, sadness or selfishness, worry or regret, offering in their place love and compassion both for our neighbors and for ourselves.


As we press on like the Israelites wandering in the desert, we cannot lose sight of hope and of the One who walks hopefully with us through this season, and every season, of our lives. With God as our companion, we may have to give up lots of things. Some of those sacrifices will be voluntary, while others will not. Still, we journey forward together, giving all we are and all we hope to be to God and finding that no matter the season, God will never give up on us.


The following reflection recently appeared on the Global Sisters Network website and we are reposting it here with their permission. 


A Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia, 

Colleen Gibson currently serves as coordinator of services at the 

Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Center in Camden, New Jersey.

Philip Chircop recently posted the following thoughts: 


BEST OF TIMES … WORST OF TIMES 


February 7 was the birthday of Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812 – June 9, 1870). For your reflection, here are Dickens’ profound first words, from “A Tale of Two Cities” written in March of 1859. I find them to be meaningful words especially these days as the world stands still haunted by a deadly virus. 


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us …”. 


~Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities

New!

On-line small group program! 

"Dear Heart Come Home"

Midlife … is a summons to grow and a challenge to change. Midlife beckons one inward. It is a move to interiority, a passage to the deeper places where we discover our authenticity, where we realize both our limitations and our grandeur. It is here that we come home to our truest Self. We take our external experiences with us to the inside and look at our life. We evaluate our goals, hopes, dreams, beliefs, behaviours, experiences – all that has marked us and contributed to the person we have become – and we ask ourselves: “Is this the person I want to be in the future?”


We will use Joyce Rupp’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: 

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

          Jan. 20, 27; Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24; Mar. 3, 10


FACILITATOR: Stephanie Romiti, CSJ


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! 


SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free-will offering appreciated. PARTICIPANTS ARE ASKED TO OBTAIN THEIR OWN COPY OF THE BOOK,  from the vendor of their choice. (Note: amazon and chapters/indigo online have limited copies, though it is available as an e-book for Kindle. It is also available through a few U.S. vendors, such as Barnes and Noble.)


REGISTER:  [email protected] or 705-254-4690 or complete the contact form on this website 

Pope Francis has declared this year to be the Year of St. Joseph! Our current reflection is a video clip of Fr. James Martin, SJ speaking on why St. Joseph is the patron we need at this time. 

As we move into the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, let us pray in gratitude for the gift of sight!

Prayer of Gratitude for the Gift of Sight

Creator God, Holy Parent, I give you thanks for all of your so often unnoticed natural gifts.

I rejoice especially, now, in my eyes, these two tiny but marvelous gifts that add so much 

     to the fullness of my life.

The gift of sight enlarges the world of my enjoyment and magnifies my appreciation of

     nature, of great works of art, of the gifts of books and print, of those persons I love - 

     and for this I am grateful.

I thank you also for the gift of insight by which my spirit sees and understands.

For the gift of the third eye, the eye of the heart, by which I may stand-under the meaning

     of life, I am indeed grateful.

I am especially thankful for your Son, Jesus, star-born prophet, whose very coming was a

     healing light to the world, who opened the eyes of the blind and gave to a weary world 

     new sight.

Blessed be all those who have taught me to see: prophets, poets, writers, and 

     movie-makers, friends and lovers, all teachers of vision.

May my eyes bless you this day; may they be opened-prayers of gratitude, as I attempt 

     to overcome any blindness of heart and any dullness of appreciation of the wonder of 

     sight.

In the fullness of my being, I bless you, incomprehensible Lord, who foresees a heaven 

     of such splendor, that ear has not heard, nor eye seen, such beauty as you have 

     prepared.

Blessed are you, Lord my God, for the wondrous gift of sight.


~ Edward Hays ~


January 1, 2021

Befriend your 'self'.

See the beauty

     within you.

See the light

     within you.

Find the still point 

     within you.

Be in your sacred centre:

It is a place

     for conceiving

          and giving birth.

It is a place

     of gratitude,

          a place of light.


~ Mary Southard, csj ~


December 25: Merry Christmas

December 24: Betting on Bethlehem

Christmas survives because of Bethlehem. Had it occurred in Jerusalem (or had a bigger press budget) it would have long ago been forgotten. Instead, Christmas persists, an annual people's revolt showing how much the insignificant and the powerless still matter in a world where big is king. 


Christmas has an inescapable bias. Third- and fourth-world people who read the story often hear personal affirmation - it sounds like it was written just for them. First-world people who read it often hear judgment. The reason? Bethlehem, where the weak triumph over the powerful and the nobodies confound the famous, where valleys are exalted and mountains are laid low.


Those who understand Bethlehem are not one bit surprised. We expect the simple to baffle the sophisticated, the plain to triumph over the complex, the small to overturn the large. We actually believe that little countries like East Timor or Puerto Rico have as much right to independence as big countries. We've seen dictators toppled.


So Christmas is our festival, the bizarre story that puts its bets on Bethlehem. The story that lets ragged shepherds under flickering starlight get the first word of the birth of God on earth. It celebrates light overcoming darkness, the small defeating the big, the poor finally having less to fear than the rich, the simple and sincere emerging as ultimately sovereign.


Each Christmas asks us whether we will again bet on Bethlehem. Why would we choose otherwise? It is, in the end, the only story worth whatever we can wager - even our lives. 


~ Donna Schaper ~

December 23: O Emmanuel

December 22: O King of Nations

December 21: O Rising Sun

December 20: O Key of David

December 19: O Root of Jesse

December 18: O Lord

December 17: O Wisdom

O Antiphons

The O Antiphons refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours during the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23.


The exact origin of the O Antiphons is not known though there is reference to them as far back as the sixth century. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the O Antiphons was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, ‘Keep your O’ and ‘The Great O Antiphons’ were common parlance. The O Antiphons have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church.


Each of the of O Antiphons highlights a title for the Messiah referred to in the prophecy of Isaiah:

               O Sapientia (O Wisdom) – December 17

               O Adonai (O Lord) – December 18

               O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) – December 19

               O Clavis David (O Key of David) – December 20

               O Oriens (O Rising Sun) – December 21

               O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations) – December 22

               O Emmanuel – December 23


According to Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one- Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ‘ero cras’ are formed, meaning, ‘Tomorrow, I will come.’ Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, ‘Tomorrow, I will come.’ So the O Antiphons not

only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.

(This background was taken from an article by Fr. William Saunders. See https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/what-are-the.html 


For our exploration and celebration of the O Antiphons, the format will be as follows:

      Each day a presentation will be posted to the Shalom Place website - www.shalomplace.ca. Click on the link and the presentation will begin.

      The first thing you will see will be a slide which will display the words of the day’s O Antiphon.

      This will then lead to a video of a setting of the Magnificat by Bernadette Farrell.

      After the Magnificat, the Scriptures on which the O Antiphon for the day are based will appear for you to read. Also appearing on the page will be the words of the O Antiphon. If at any time in the presentation you find it is going too quickly, simply hit “Pause” button so that you can absorb what is on the screen.

      Following the Scripture will be a short audio reflection by David Thorp.

      Concluding the reflection will be a verse from the Advent carol, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” which is based on the O Antiphon.

The total presentation should take about 10-12 minutes.


Some Acknowledgements and Thanks

     The first person I want to acknowledge and thank is my late brother, David Thorp, for introducing me to the O Antiphons. I also want to thank his wife, Barbara Thorp, for sending me the recording of the talk that David gave at the Thursday Morning Men’s Breakfast in Boston on

December 8, 2005. Barbara also provided the photo of David which is displayed during the excerpt of the talk presented each day. I also want to thank Thomas Lester, Director - Archives and Library, Archdiocese of Boston, where David’s papers are archived, for sending me copies of

resources that David had accumulated.

     I really, really want to thank my brother, Mark Thorp, for doing all the technical work to produce the presentation. I gathered the materials, then he added to the graphics but it was his professional expertise (he has worked in the television and film industry for about forty years)

that edited that material into the presentation you will view.

     And to Sr Stephanie Romiti for figuring out to get this on the website.

     The banner at the top of this introduction and the Advent candles at the bottom are from Loyola Press’s article “What are the O Antiphons?”  https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/advent/about-advent/advent-links-to-explore-and-share/what-are-the-o-antiphons/

     On the opening and closing slide of each presentation there are a couple images. The ones on the left were designed by the Benedictine Sisters of Turvey Abbey, Northamptonshire, England and are available as full length banners and smaller posters from McCrimmon Publishing

Company Ltd – www.mccrimmons.com/O-Antiphons. See also – https://youtu.be/L-lNcdImng8. The ones in the centre are from St Anne’s Episcopal Church, Trexlertown, PA. See - http://stannesepiscopal.net/o-antiphons/ The video of the Magnificat can be found at - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15AccZAcdpk O Come, O come Emmanuel is from two You Tube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xtpJ4Q_Q-4 and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxPynSu2LGE

     As Assistant Director of Shalom Place, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that, although our programs at Shalom Place are free to all who wish to access them, we greatly appreciate any free-will offering you might want to make. This Home page has a link below to our contact page, if you wish to support our ministry.


Wishing blessings on your Advent as you make room in your hearts for Emmanuel, God-with-us.

Burnie Thorp

December 16, 2020


To introduce our O Antiphon reflection series beginning Thursday, we offer the following introduction. 


The O Antiphons refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours during the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23.


Each of the of O Antiphons highlights a title for the Messiah referred to in the prophecy of Isaiah:

O Sapientia (O Wisdom) – December 17

O Adonai (O Lord) – December 18

O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) – December 19

O Clavis David (O Key of David) – December 20

O Oriens (O Rising Sun) – December 21

O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations) – December 22

O Emmanuel – December 23


According to Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one- Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia - the Latin words ‘ero cras’ are formed, meaning, ‘Tomorrow, I will come.’ Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, ‘Tomorrow, I will come.’ So the O Antiphons not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion.  

Please scroll down for more information. 

December 15, 2020

“I take delight in you, my God.

I sing a song of joy in my soul.

I proclaim the wonder of your love

through my words and actions.”

~ Joyce Rupp ~

December 14, 2020

“In the twilight of life,

God will not judge us on our earthly possessions

and human successes,

but on how well we have loved.”

~St. John of the Cross~

December 13, 2020

The third candle of Advent is JOY.

Despite her fear and apprehension,

Mary responded to God's call and was filled with joy.

Her whole being sang out:

'My soul rejoices in God, my Saviour.'

~Source unknown~

December 12, 2020

"What matters now is not that Christ was born of Mary,

but that Christ longs to be born in you - 

and is born with each compassionate deed."

~Meister Eckhart~

December 11, 2020

The Presence of God


God is with me, but more,

God is within me, giving me existence.

Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence

in my body, my mind, my heart

and in the whole of my life.


~Source unknown~

December 10, 2020

Advent Longing

In the darkness of the season, in the silence of Mary's womb,

     new life waits and grows.

     Hope is shaped in hidden places, 

     on the edges, in the depths

     far from the blinding lights and deafening sounds of consumer frenzy.


In the darkness and silence of my own life,

     I wait,

     listening for the whisper of angel wings,

     longing for a genuine experience of mystery,

     hoping for a rekindling of joy and the establishment of peace.


I lean into the darkness

     and silence.

    Expectant.


~Larry J. Peacock~

December 9, 2020


Come, O Gift of heaven's harmony

attune the ear of my heart

so that I may hear

just as Mary, faithful woman of Israel, heard. 

Show 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.

Amen.


~Edward Hays~

December 8, 2020

Feast of the Immaculate Conception


Mary, you who gave birth to the promised one,

help us to be aware of the oneness of all creation

as we celebrate your feast today.

Aid us in our efforts to bring love, justice, and peace

to our hearts, our families, our communities, our nation, and our planet.

Amen.


~Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet~

December 7, 2020


We are the people of Advent...

We are the people longing for the light of Christ...

We are the people who can identify with the Advent of long ago...

We can see the characters of the Advent that was 'then' in our Advent which is 'now'...


Where in our lives is John the Baptist, provoking us to become aware of new things happening in our lives?


Where is Zachariah in our lives, not immediately open to what is so new, so hard to understand?


Where is Elizabeth, so ready, through the wisdom of living, to appreciate the coming of the Lord?


Where is Joseph, so gracious when all was so strange?


And where is Mary in us, trusting in the providence given to her, welcoming the Word in her heart?


For where we find Mary in ourselves, there we find Christ being born in our souls.


~Source Unknown~

December 6, 2020

The Divine Guest lives within your heart;

blessed are you who listen for 

love's secret voice.

Even a whisper from the voice of love

is powerful,

uprooting fear and melting

hearts of stone.

Gratitude and songs of joy fill you

as you befriend the Beloved

of your heart.

~Nan Merrill~

December 5, 2020

This Advent-time

we remember Mary and Joseph,

giving thanks for their faithfulness,

courage and obedience,

stepping out into the unknown

in the strength of your Spirit,

playing their part

in the fulfilment of your plan

to bring your prodigal people

home again.

We pray that their example

might be the pattern of our lives,

that when your gentle whisper

breaks through the clamour of this world

and into our small corner,

we might be ready to listen,

and having listened, to act.

~Source unknown~

December 4, 2020

You are the Point of all Being.

Every tree stretches up to You.

Each plant reaches down to You.

All the roads go on to You.

The many waters run toward the vastness of Your love.

The air breathes in and unto You.

Every heart wants to turn to You.

How unhappy we are when we miss the Point of all Being.

How blessed are we when we follow our longing and leaning into Your direction.

~Mary Jo Leddy~

in Radical Gratitude

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!"

Amen.


(Henri Nouwen)

December 1, 2020

Silence

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.


Shalom

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

OR

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.

A Summer Retreat 

with Fr. Ron Rolheiser OMI 

You are warmly welcome to join people from around the world as we enjoy Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s summer retreat – this year being offered on Zoom by Queen’s House Retreat and Renewal Centre in Saskatoon. For complete information including the retreat schedule please visit this webpage: http://www.queenshouse.org/?page_id=7913

There are two options for you to consider:

Option One: Monday evening only, July 6, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Topic: Faith, Doubt and Darkness: Understanding the Dynamics of Belief and Doubt Beyond the Fervor of Youth

$25

To register on-line go to https://qh.retreatportal.com/events/f?p=101:2:24493461031851::::PROGRA M_ID:7784


To register by phone call 306-242-1916


Option Two: The complete retreat - Monday evening, July 6, 7:00 p.m. – Thursday July 9, 11:30 a.m.

Topic for Tuesday-Thursday: Naming the Present Moment of our Faith: Searching for Nurturing Metaphors in a Time of Receding Transcendence

$100 per screen – any additional participants are invited to give a donation to Queen’s House To register for the full retreat go to https://qh.retreatportal.com/events/f?p=101:2:24493461031851::::PROGRA

M_ID:7782 

 To register or donate by phone call 306-242-1916

New to Zoom? Contact Sarah Donnelly, Program Director, and she will assist you in using this platform: 306-242-1916 x226. 

Zoom can be used with a computer with a camera and microphone, tablet or phone.


We look forward to welcoming you to this summer retreat! “Nourish Your Mind and Nurture Your Spirit…with Queen’s House Retreat & Renewal Centre”

In the meantime, check out the Archives page for a sampling of the types of retreats we've offered in the past!



FRIDAY, JUNE 26

Flannery O'Connor in Search of the Province of Joy

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell

During this retreat devoted to the work of Flannery O’Connor, we will consider the challenges she faced in making her pilgrimage as a Christian and as a writer; we will examine passages from her stories, essays, journals, and letters that bear the mark of her extraordinary imagination, her crackling intelligence, and her saving humor; and we will consider the ways in which her voice speaks to us, inspires us, and helps guide us along our own pilgrimages, especially during this moment of great challenge and uncertainty. The retreat offers an invitation to walk alongside one of the most compelling companions we might choose to accompany us on the journey of life.


Please go to the following link for retreat schedule and registration information: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/flannery-oconnor-in-search-of-the-province-of-joy-angela-alaimo-odonnell-tickets-108124366892?aff=PPEmail&mc_cid=f1d8879845&mc_eid=fe965ae08b


 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.

FACILITATOR: Burnie Thorp

 SUGGESTED OFFERING: N/A

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

REGISTER:  CLOSED 

"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

(2011)

“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

FACILITATOR: Burnie Thorp

 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

OPENING TO THE COMPASSION OF GOD


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. 


COME JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF

INPUT, PRAYER & QUIET REFLECTION


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

FACILITATOR: Sr. Stephanie Romiti, CSJ

SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free-will

LOCATION: St. Veronica’s Parish

“Echoes of God’s Tenderness”

Monthly Contemplative Prayer

COME WHEN YOU CAN!

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

SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free-will

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.

FACILITATOR: Burnie Thorp

 SUGGESTED OFFERING: Free-will

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

 SUGGESTED OFFERING: $30 + book

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

FACILITATOR: Burnie Thorp

SUGGESTED OFFERING: $30 + book

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