Toronto, Canada| 416-226-2201|convent@ssjd.ca

COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE
Guest House and Convent Closed and Retreats Cancelled
Cancelled retreats will be rescheduled at a later date

It is with continued heavy hearts that we let you all know that our Guest House and Convent remains closed to non-essential visitors until further notice and that all SSJD retreats up to the end of June are now cancelled. In addition, the Women at the Crossroads program in July has been cancelled.

If you have already registered for any of these retreats, the Guest House office will be in touch with you regarding your deposit.

Please continue to keep in your prayers all who are affected by this disease – the sick and dying, the health care workers, the self-isolating, their families, the house-bound who have no way to get food, the lonely and frightened, and the scientists and health care researchers seeking for ways to stop the virus.

With assurance of our prayers for you.
The Sisters of St. John the Divine

Throughout the year, we offer a program of retreats and quiet days covering a variety of themes. As its name suggests, “Food for the Soul” is designed to feed the hungry spirit while encouraging growth, healing, and wholeness.

All retreats and quiet days at St. John’s Convent take place in the milieu of a contemporary monastic community with a daily rhythm of prayer. All guests are invited to take part in the daily Eucharist, and those staying overnight may like to join us in the Divine Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline). See the regular chapel and meal schedule.

Guided Retreats

These overnight retreats focus on a particular theme and include four or five talks over the course of two days, with ample time for personal reflection, reading, walking, and prayer. Participants are invited to join the Sisters for chapel services. Meals are eaten in silence, and the Guest House is a place of silence during the retreat.

Retreats may last two or more days, beginning with Evening Prayer at 5 pm on the first day and ending with Holy Eucharist and a midday meal on the last day. We limit the number of participants for retreats, so register early. A non-refundable deposit is required for all our retreats.

The fee and (non-refundable) deposit are listed under the description for each retreat. Commuters are welcome if there is space; the fee is 55% of the overnight fee, and the deposit is the same as listed.

Upcoming guided retreats are included in the list of all retreats.

Silent Directed Retreat

Silent Directed Retreats are 3-day retreats (Friday-Sunday or Tuesday-Thursday). We hold several at specific times of the year as part of the Food for the Soul retreat offerings. Each retreat is open to a limited number of people and features individual spiritual direction led by a trained spiritual guide.

See the schedule of upcoming Silent Directed Retreats.

For details, contact the Guest House.

Quiet Saturdays

These are one-day retreats, beginning with coffee and conversation at 9:30 am and ending by 4 pm. Each focuses on a particular theme. The retreat leader gives two or three short talks during the day, leaving ample time for prayer and personal reflection, and the opportunity to join the Sisters for the noon Eucharist.

There is an opportunity for quiet conversation over a bag lunch or, for an additional fee, a hot (silent) dinner in the Refectory with the Sisters. Fees are listed in the description for each Quiet Saturday. Full payment is required with registration.

Upcoming Quiet Saturdays are included in the list of all retreats.

Quiet Garden Days

The Courtyard Path

Enjoy some time for rest, reflection and prayer in the Convent courtyard, labyrinth, gardens and walks, beginning with coffee and conversation at 9:30 am and ending by 4 pm.

Inspired by the Quiet Garden Trust in England, these are days to relax, renew, and rest in the beauty of God’s outdoors, as well as to enjoy the Sisters’ chapel and library. In case of rain, there is plenty of space indoors to wander, sit, dream, and pray.

A Sister will give a brief introduction with suggestions for how to use your day, you can join the Sisters for the noon Eucharist, and the day ends with a brief gathering for sharing and reflection.

Fees (and deposits where applicable) are listed in the individual descriptions. Full payment is required with registration.

See the schedule of upcoming Quiet Garden Days.

The Quiet Garden Trust

“The ancient tradition of silent contemplation is as important to the modern mind as it was to those of our forebears – and the Quiet Garden Movement has been facilitating the practice of mindful contemplation for the past 25 years, in gardens across the world…”

Dr. Rowan Williams

The Quiet Garden Prayer

Oh Lord Jesus 
true gardener 
work in us what you want of us,
For you are indeed the true gardener 
at once, maker and tiller and keeper of your garden 
you who plant with the word, 
water with the spirit 
and give your increase with your power. 
– Cisterician Guerric of Igny, 12th century