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Small Group Programs

Small group programs are offered throughout the year. 

There are a wide range of topics,

meeting the needs and interests of a variety of different people.

All small group programs are offered at Shalom Place, unless otherwise indicated.


Seeking Deeper Generativity

In Hinduism the stages of life are described as: 




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. 

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