A Place of Serenity – to Reflect and Reconnect with God
Marylake Retreat Centre
Retreat Schedule for 2017/2018
The theme of this year is:
“Lord, if it is you, Bid me to come to you.” Matthew 14:22-33
Sept 29 - Oct 1
Nov 24 - 26
March 2 - 4
May 4 - 6
Oct 20 - 22
Nov 17 - 19
Jan 19 - 21
Jan 26 - 28
April 13 - 15
April 27 - 29
For Information please contact:
Within a short drive from the complexity and commotion of Metro Toronto lies the simplicity and serenity of the Augustinian Retreat Centre at Marylake. Nestled amid pastures and woodlands, Marylake offers an atmosphere in which one can become attuned to God’s creation and alert to God’s Word. The presence of a praying community of Augustinian friars provides a setting conducive to peaceful reflection, while the attentive care of the Augustinian Sisters of Good Counsel gives quiet witness to the unity of fervent prayer and humble service.
Formerly the country estate of Sir Henry Pellat, whose Toronto residence was Casa Loma, Marylake has been for over sixty years a vibrant centre of Augustinian spirituality and renewal in the life of the Church of Toronto. Though the number of active friars has diminished, the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace remains a living sign of permanence and continuity with a rich heritage of sanctity, scholarship and spiritual direction, as well as communion with men and women throughout the world who take the example and Rule of Saint Augustine as their guide.
"Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me," as scripture says, "Rivers of living water will flow from within." [John 7:37-38] What we Augustinians have to offer is not our own wisdom and strength. We simply invite others to draw near to the water and to slake their thirst from the same source that nurtures and vivifies us: Jesus Christ, the deep spring of eternal life.
The Purpose of the Retreat
A retreat is a privileged time to let God’s surprising and subversive Word challenge our casual acquaintance with God, to let us in on God’s designs for us, to awaken us to the beauty and tenderness of the one whom we dare to call Father. To recognize Jesus as our friend and brother. To become aware of the Spirit who dwells in our hearts. Saint Augustine called himself a “minister of Word and Sacrament”. That is the role we, his followers, try to fulfill for you on retreat. We want to break the Bread of God’s Word for you so that you may more readily assimilate and digest it. We want to provide you the opportunity to commune more intimately with Jesus, the Bread of Life. With Jesus who heals and forgives, who strengthens and encourages.
Mary, the Model Retreatant
The one for whom Marylake is named is a model for us as we open ourselves to receive the Word of God in our minds and hearts. Like Mary, the mother of the Lord, we need to ponder, sometimes to struggle, perhaps even to wrestle with the Word of God. That Word is always fresh, like the morning dew, and always manages to seep into our lives. Isaiah tells us that the Word never returns to God empty but always accomplishes that for which it is sent.
What we have to Offer
We want to offer you the best we have to give: what is not of our own making but God’s gift to us, one that we have come to value and treasure. As Augustine told his congregation some sixteen centuries ago, “We share with you what we ourselves are nourished on. We all eat from the same storeroom, and it is God who stocks the pantry.”
An Atmosphere Conducive to Reflection
To help us take full advantage of this holy time, we ask that you come prepared to listen, to ponder, to be still, to reflect, The weekend should be uncluttered. We need to be free, even from much vocal prayer, so that we can drink in all that the Lord has to say to us. If our usual manner of praying is full of words, the retreat is a time to let God speak.
We Pray as Church
We pray as the totus Christus, as living members of the Body of Christ. Our personal reflection flows from and leads to the traditional communal prayer of the Church: the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist. Although the Sacrament of Reconciliation has a definite communal aspect, experience has shown us the importance of a leisurely personal celebration of the Sacrament, and so we provide ample time for individual confession. Augustine says, “Your desire is itself your prayer.” It has been our experience that those who come with eager anticipation and deep desire will return home blessed with a joyful realization of God’s unconditional love.
This Retreat Centre is available for and compliments the many spiritual needs of the Archdiocese, including
- Clergy Days
- Religious Sisters and Brothers Retreats
- Weekend Groups
- Weekday Groups
- Youth Groups
- Teacher Faith Days
- Private Individual Retreats
Additional information on Retreats
During the retreat, presentations follow a scriptural theme. The retreats usually begin on a Friday evening with a welcome, followed by a presentation and evening prayer.
Saturday’s scheduled activities include conferences, presentations, group discussions, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Mass, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.
Sunday includes Mass at the Shrine, closing conference, Benediction and parting lunch. Refreshments are available in the dining room at all times during the retreat.
An option to pray the rosary on the Rosary Path is available to you in the afternoon.
We comfortably accommodate with private rooms, 45 retreatants. In the event that some people can share a room, as in a family retreat for example, a total of 58 people can reside at the centre.
The Sisters of Our Lady of Good Counsel have an outstanding reputation for their home-style cooking and many kinds of dishes which suit the tastes of retreatants, who constantly express their delight in words and offerings. Accommodations can be made for dietary requirements.
For weekend retreats, the centre is usually opened at 6:30pm with registration by the Captains at 7:30pm. Refreshments are available in the dining room during this time. The Holy Hour or Mass at the start of the retreat begins at 9:00pm in the Chapel. The retreat concludes on Sunday after lunch.