Our Community News
A Gift of Quilting
In June of 2013, Mount Mary Retreat Centre was the recipient of a wonderful gift of quilts, for all the beds in the Villa and Cottage retreat houses - 23 single- and 3 double-sized beds in all.
This huge, creative undertaking was born of the huge heart of our SSMI Associate, Irene Sadovy, of Toronto, who, beginning this project at least two years prior, enlisted the help of three other SSMI Associates, Lillian Pokorchak, Roma Nazarewycz and Leda Ostafichuk, and one other special helper, Maria Suchyj, 87 years of age, Irene’s mother.
The following is a letter from Irene, which accompanied her gift:
~ And God bless you, Irene! ~
A little gallery
Lillian, Roma, and Maria. (Photo of Leda not available.) Our Artisans show a work in progress to Sisters and Associates in Toronto.
In their intended places
Airlift Rescue at Mount Mary
On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, a young woman was airlifted to hospital, from the Mount Mary Retreat Centre grounds, having fallen 20 meters near the Ancaster Mill, about 2 km away. Retreatants and residents looked on at a distance, as ambulance personnel brought her from the site of the accident to the helicopter.
Parking on Mount Mary’s narrower roads, accessing our smaller retreat houses, is not permitted as a matter of course, precisely for the passage of emergency vehicles. Retreatants sometimes ask why parking is not allowed there, when some of our smaller buildings are not occupied. This is a good example of why clearance is needed at all times, since ambulance access was necessary for this rescue, even though it did not involve our guests, nor were the buildings in question occupied at the time.
(Sound from this video was muted, for the aural comfort of the viewers.)
Official Blessing of New Registrar’s Office
On Thursday, September 5, 2013, the new office of the registrar of Mount Mary Retreat Centre was officially blessed by Rev. Ivan Trush, of Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic parish in Hamilton. The new office is located in the School building, directly to the left of the front doors. This new location is more central to the activity of the retreat centre, overall, and we trust will serve the interests of the retreat groups more readily than the previous location at the convent.
New contact information can be found in the footer of this website.
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“Blisters for Sisters”
On Friday, July 19, 2013, a storm hit southern Ontario, including Ancaster and Mount Mary, knocking down or cracking about 50 trees, not including the wooded area. Estimating about a month’s work to clear away all the damaged wood and loose debris, an idea was revived to invite local teens, who need to do volunteer community service as part of their high school curriculum, to offer some hours of service at Mount Mary. Announcements were made at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic parish after every Mass that weekend, to call for volunteer help. The project was called “Blisters for Sisters”, a term coined by one of the chaplains of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board Residential Retreat Experience team, some years ago.
A number of volunteers trickled in throughout the week, both from St. Ann’s and from our Ukrainian Catholic acquaintances, including our Knights of Columbus Shashkevych Council #7464. While our staff cut and removed felled trees, our volunteers raked debris and piled up the more manageable branches, for later disposal, so that our landscaping could continue safely. With all your help, our necessary clean-up time was greatly shortened. Though we still have much of the heavier, more perilous work to finish, this simpler but not less laborious work is mostly completed in the space of a week!
A big Thank you! to the following:
A big Thank you! also to Ernie Bablak and Olga Swan, for providing lunch for these volunteers for the first couple of days — this was much appreciated on such short notice!
A big Thank you! also to Frs. Ian Duffy and Adam Voisin (see Fr. Adam’s blog here) for their solidarity in announcing our need.
End of an Era
On July 15, 2013, Mount Mary saw the end of an era, with the demolition of our swimming pool. An outdoor swimming pool had been installed in the early 1970’s, when Mount Mary Academy was still open. It had been inoperable for a number of years. No doubt it held memories for many of our alumni, as well as the Sisters, who enjoyed it in the hot summers. And the Waterloo Catholic District School Board Residential Retreats will have to strike from their storybooks, forever, the legend of Sr. Mary Cannonball, Olympic Diver!
Celebrating our faith anyway! - Vandalism won’t dampen our spirits
On May 10, 2013, six weeks before our Pilgrimage, Mount Mary was visited by vandals in the night. The angel from the Monument to the Innocent Victims of Abortion, erected by the Knights of Columbus of the Fr. Markian Shashkevych Council #7464 and blessed on October 26, 2000, was removed from its base, exposing the reinforcing bar that held it. A small statue of the Mother of God, situated in our cemetery, was overturned. And the Resurrected Jesus, mounted on the back pillar at our cemetery altar site, had been damaged; one of the two bolts by which it was mounted had been ripped out of the back of the statue, and it was left dangling upside-down by the other, which it seems the vandals were unable to dislodge.
The Mother of God statue was otherwise unharmed, and was put back in place. The angel cannot be recovered, without its return by the perpetrators. Until such a time, it was replaced by a smaller “garden variety” angel. But the Resurrected Jesus was sent for repair, and was returned to us for remounting the day before our Pilgrimage of the Year of Faith. It could not have been more appropriately timed.
“Heavenly Father, Creator of Life, You give life to children. Protect them in the wombs of their mothers, so that they will be safely delivered, to see the faces of their parents and the beauty of your Creation.” ~ Prayer for the Unborn
Jesus is back! (Repairs compliments of Myroslaw Trutiak - MST Bronze, 345 Munster Ave, Etobicoke, ON, M8Z 3C6; www.mstbronze.com. Thank you, Myros!)
Restoration of St. Maria Goretti Statue
On March 6, 2012, Kelly Stephen, chaplain at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener, Ontario, picked up our statue of St. Maria Goretti, having obtained permission of the Sisters at Mount Mary for the students of that school to repair it, on the students’ request. The statue was in bad need of repair.
On June 26, 2012, he returned it, with the one student, Ioanna Malton, who actually took the project on, by herself. We asked her if she could write a few words about the project for our website. In August, she gave us a very comprehensive report, with photos, and we've transformed it into the video clip below. Do watch, and enjoy this fascinating process!
Mount Mary Christian Retreat Centre