Retreats and Reflection Days

Why have a retreat?

A Retreat provides an opportunity to step aside from the busyness of everyday life to spend quality time with God. It is sometimes described as 'going on a holiday with your best friend'. Retreat is a time of quiet during which one has the opportunity to reflect on one's life in the light of the scripture. Retreats take various forms and are of various lengths. Retreats can be shaped to suit the needs of the individual or community.


The following resources may assist people and communities looking for a retreat. For assistance or further information please contact Louise Gannon rsj at the Liturgy and Adult Faith Formation Office - you can contact her via email or by calling 02 4979 1135; alternatively you can contact the Tenison Woods Education Centre at or by calling 02 4930 9601.


Retreat in Everyday Life

The Retreat in Everyday Life is facilitated by Fr Richard Shortall sj. It is available to parishes/regions and other communities by contacting Louise Gannon rsj (see above). The retreat runs over a 5-6 week period and incorporates some formation opportunities for the whole community, including a Call and Discernment Workshop. This sample retreat flyer provides more information, as does the Call and Discernment Workshop sample flyer.


Seasonal Retreats

Fr Richard Shortall sj is also available to run week-long retreats focused on the seasons of the liturgical year, in particular Advent and Lent.


Retreat Centres

Within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle there are a number of retreat centres which are managed by various religious congregations. These centres typically offer hospitality to anybody seeking space or solitude, who wish to reflect on their relationship with God away from the stresses of modern life.


Below is a list of retreat centres, as well as descriptions and contact details. The diocese encourages those seeking peace and re-connection with God, to explore these resources.


Anawim Prayer and Retreat Centre, Wangi Wangi

Situated on Wangi Wangi peninsula on the western shores of Lake Macquarie, "Anawim" is a ministry of the Lochinvar Sisters of St Joseph. Anawim offers hospitality to anyone seeking space, solitude and unstructured time in an atmosphere of quiet and peace; private retreats throughout the year (except during January); directed retreats upon request; days of prayer and reflection; spiritual direction and facilities for groups wishing to organise and conduct their own retreat, seminar or program.


The natural beauty and quiet of the surroundings encourage relaxation and reflection while the lakeshore and the nearby bushland reserve provide opportunities for easy walking.


A 10 metre swimming pool is available for exercise and relaxation.


Contact: June Flynn RSJ
Address: 16 Wangi Point Road, Wangi Wangi, NSW 2267
Phone: 02 4975 1436

Fax: 02 4975 3831


Living Waters Meditation and Spirituality Centre, The Junction

Living Waters Meditation and Spirituality Centre is available for all those who are seeking spirituality, healing, meditation, prayerful support or Spiritual Direction. We are a community of people who pray by reaching into our deepest centre of being.

You are welcome to share our way of life.


"The all important aim in Christian meditation is to allow God's mysterious and silent presence within us to become more and more not only a reality, but the reality which gives meaning, shape and purpose to everything we do, to everything we are," John Main OSB.


Contact : Anne Cuskelly

Street : 34 Kenrick Street The Junction NSW 2291
Phone : 0407 436 808
Email :



We offer:

  • Meditation groups
  • Introductory courses
  • Teaching sessions, and
  • Retreat days. 

Download the Newcastle program for 2017.  


Mercy Spirituality Centre, Toronto

A Member of McAuley Ministries Limited, this centre situated on the shores of Lake Macquarie is conducted by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The program offered includes -

  • 6 day facilitated silent retreats
  • weekend retreats - residential and non-residential
  • Private retreats
  • Days of reflection
  • Also available are times of discussion and sharing stimulated by books / films and dinner conversations

More detail is available at


Contact : Anne Ryan RSM

Street : 26 Renwick Steet, Toronto, NSW 2283

Postal: PO Box 1115, Toronto, NSW 2283
Phone : 02 4959 1025



Retreat centres outside the diocese

Following are a few of the many retreat centres that operate outside the diocese.


  • Canisius Centre of Ignatian Spirituality ( at Pymble
  • St Clement's Retreat and Conference Centre ( at Galong
  • St. Joseph's Spirituality and Education Centre ( at Kincumber South
  • St. Mary's Towers Retreat Centre ( at Douglas Park

Reflection Days

Reflection times can be organised to suit the needs of the community. These may take many forms and may take a few hours or a day. For assistance with finding a facilitator or support in preparing a time of reflection for your community, you can contact the Diocesan Office for Liturgy and Adult Faith Formation or the Tenison Woods Education Centre as above.