Mosaic of Saint Helen at the church façade

Renew, Recharge and Journey: Retreat Centres to Visit this Summer

Posted : Jul-26-2023

This content is from another website - Click here to view on original site.

Summer is a great time to sit back and relax. Long, warm and bright summer days really allow us to enjoy the season – especially after so many months in the cold. It’s also an ideal opportunity to go on a retreat.

First off, why go on a retreat?

  • Renew: Retreats offer an environment that allows you to renew your relationship with Jesus, providing time for conversation with Him, and experiencing his love and mercy through the sacraments, whether through Confession, Adoration, or Mass.
  • Recharge: Retreats often last from a few days or a week, allowing you to take a break from the busyness of daily life.
  • Journey: Gain a deeper understanding about our faith and all its beauty whether through sessions or workshops. Additionally, many retreats offer time and opportunities for fellowship, allowing you to make new friends and memories.

If you’re looking to take a break from all the noise and busyness of the world and to renew the spiritual side of your life, make one of the retreat centres below your next summer mini-pilgrimage.

Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Retreat Centre

Manresa is known for its range of weekend retreats, designed to help individuals deepen their faith by helping them discern, experience and contemplate God in all things. Led by experienced retreat leaders, each retreat focuses on a specific theme. Participants have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with spiritual directors and, if desired, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Individual retreats with or without spiritual direction, as well as day retreats are also available. Manresa is located on a 21-acre property that offers access to scenic walking trails on conservation lands, making it an ideal setting for reflection and contemplation.

Marylake Shrine

The Augustinian Retreat Centre at Marylake is located in King City, Ont., and offers a peaceful atmosphere away from the busyness of the city. Surrounded by pastures and woodlands, it provides a space for individuals to connect with God's creation and with His Word. Marylake is a vibrant centre of Augustinian spirituality and serves as a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Grace. The presence of the praying community of Augustinian friars and the caring support of the Augustinian Sisters of Good Counsel creates an ideal environment for reflection and spiritual renewal. The retreat centre caters to various spiritual needs of the Archdiocese – whether for Clergy Days, retreats for religious sisters and brothers, weekend groups, weekday groups, youth groups, teacher faith days, and private individual retreats.

Queen of Apostles

Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre is a retreat centre situated by the Credit River Valley. It provides a peaceful environment where individuals, couples and groups can find rest, guidance and nourishment – offering a break from the fast-paced world. Whether for a short visit or an extended stay, the centre rejuvenates and inspires visitors through its peaceful atmosphere and available spiritual direction. With its well-equipped facilities, including meeting spaces, accommodations, and meals prepared by the center's own chef, Queen of Apostles has become a great choice for groups seeking a peaceful and spiritually-enriching setting for conferences, seminars and retreats.

St. Augustine Seminary

St. Augustine's Seminary, located in Scarborough, is the primary seminary for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, focused on preparing individuals for ordained priesthood within the Catholic Church, as well as forming men and women who aspire to serve in various ministries within the Church. Surrounded by nature, while not being too far from the city, St. Augustine’s is a great choice for those looking to find peace and community. Throughout the year, St. Augustine's Seminary currently holds talks and retreats, namely their Patristic Talks and Spirit & Life Series. For more details and to view all their upcoming event listings, visit their website here:

St. Francis Centre

The St. Francis Centre aims to embody the Franciscan charism, promoting Catholic virtues and teachings while recognizing the sacred potential in each individual. The resident friars actively contribute to the centre's activities, leading retreats, celebrating masses, providing counseling, and offering their unique gifts and talents. The Chapel, adorned with beautiful stained-glass windows depicting the life and mission of St. Francis, serves as a great space for reflection. Meals are provided in the dining room, with options for both day and overnight retreats, and additional snacks and coffee can be arranged throughout the day. Surrounded by 150 acres of scenic land, including ponds, rivers, and trails, guests can explore the natural beauty and wildlife of the property.

Villa St. Joseph

Villa St. Joseph is a located in Cobourg, Ont., owned and staffed by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada. Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Ontario, this historic building holds a rich past. With a focus on ecological awareness, interfaith dialogue, and social justice, Villa St. Joseph provides a great space for individuals to find rest, engage in prayer, engage in self-reflection and experience spiritual renewal.