In the Fall of 2004, an Association of Friends of St. Mary’s was established consisting of individuals and couples who wish to support the contemplative ministry at St. Mary’s. In October, 2005, the association became incorporated and is legally known as St. Mary’s Place of Solitude and Prayer Inc. This new entity received charitable status from Revenue Canada and donations receive appropriate receipts for tax purposes.
The seven member Board of Directors of the corporation meets regularly and communicates to a network of more than 100 friends. The chief mandate of the corporation is to support the hermits spiritually and materially. It recognizes the need for contemplative and spiritual reflection for individuals, couples, and all who seek to listen to their hearts in solitude and reflection.
It is the view of the Association of Friends that we all have a basic nature that is good and kind and intelligent. But often, the world is too much with us and we need to return to nature and silence to reclaim our God-given essence. St. Mary’s Place of Solitude and Prayer is a sanctuary which offers an opportunity to do just that. In the solitude of this sacred space, it is possible to clear one’s mind, open one’s heart and face the realities of day to day living, thereby reclaiming our natural birthright of goodness, kindness and intelligence.
The Association of Friends is a group of individuals who have enjoyed the solitude of The Hermitage and have spent time with the hermits, Nick and Sheila. The Friends have dedicated time and resources to preserve Saint Mary's Place of Solitude and Prayer. During the past few years, the corporation has raised funds and helped provide laundry facilities, a new generator, propane stoves for each of the guest hermitages, and financed workshops at the hermitage for spiritual and human development. It is looking into the feasibility of solar and wind power in order to make the hermitage more environmentally friendly. As well, a committee has been struck with a mandate to discuss the future vision of the hermitage, including building a multi-purpose centre.
If you wish to donate to The Hermitage to help fund their service, please use the link below.
If you would like to join the Association of Friends, please contact us at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
May your stay at St. Mary’s Hermitage refresh and renew you in a way which helps you to work with others to create a better world.
Chair, Association of Friends of St. Mary’s