Newfoundland, Canada
View from the hermitage

Sheila O’Handley

Let me share a little about myself with you the reader.

Sheila O'Handley PictureI was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1941. I am the first born of ten children to the late Malcolm and Agnes O’Handley

In 1958, I entered the Sisters of Saint Martha, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Having experienced a persistent call to the solitary life I came to Saint Mary’s Place of Solitude and Prayer, Doyles, Newfoundland, Canada, in 1993.

I ‘m an extrovert. I love people and a good time. I am more a contradiction to people when they see me living this way of life. They say, “Look, you’re a great educator, you’ve got all kinds of life, you work well with people and you want to go hide yourself in the woods.”

Well, they make for a good argument. However, I believe that the solitary life is my life’s calling. And that the solitary life is a vocation in itself having an apostolic dimension, a public ministry to say to the world that there is something greater, namely the Mystery, and there needs to be some individuals who say it with their life.

I am also a self taught weaver. I work with a variety of materials: cotton, silk, chenille, wool and linen; creating jackets, scarves, shawls , table and altar clothes, runners etc.

It would indeed be an oversight if I failed to mention my two year old  independent chocolate lab retriever,  Quantum.

Academic Background:

  • Masters Christian Community Development
  • Masters of Divinity
  • Bachelor of Sacred Theology
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Certificate: Adult Facilitation Skills
  • Trained Spiritual Director
  • Jungian Psychoanalysis Theory and Practice

Guest's Comment

“The reverence for life and spirit here refreshed me. I am thankful that I found this place of solitude and prayer for I needed it. I had forgotten how to pray, and the first book I opened I found my way out of my forgetfulness. The view from the windows here are wide and I needed to widen my vision.”
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