What We Offer
The Refuge has its own activities, and is also available for use
by appropriate external organizations. Preference is given to
charitable groups, faith groups, people working with those in
serious need, groups working with families. Priority is given to
women, children and men who are in financial or other
difficulty. Special rates for groups which serve the needy.
What Guests Have to Say
“My initial reason for going on the retreat at St Mary of
Egypt Refuge was to hide.
— From the October,
2013, St Mary of Egypt newsletter, written by Immanuella, who
was a resident at Covenant House when she came to the
refuge for a three-day retreat.
I was like many other people going through a hard time and I
needed a break.
I made up my mind not to talk to anyone during our journey. I
was going to read my novels, listen to my music and write my
But as we arrived at the refuge this overwhelming sense of peace
and gratitude overtook me.
While I was hiding away from my problems, I found something calm
and peaceful. And if it wasn’t
for St Mary of Egypt, I probably would have never found it.
Sometimes we are too blinded by worldly worries and we forget to
appreciate the real beauty around us. The little things we have
every day but take for granted.
This retreat has really helped me connect to my spiritual side
and I would recommend it to anyone. It is definitely a
During the first weekend of most months, individuals,
couples or small groups are welcome to spend the weekend with
us. We ask $100 per person (negotiable), and will ask you to
share in the work and life of the Refuge; you may choose whether
to spend free time alone or with others. Participation is by
referral for those who have not yet been at the Refuge.
See our calendar (on the menu bar above) for upcoming retreats.
A retreat is a time set aside from regular life to “come
away and rest a while.” Tuition varies with the retreat;
subsidies are available.
Retreats are open to people from all walks of life. We have
worked with city after-school programs, church groups, single
mothers, adults with developmental disabilities, and art therapy
groups, among others. Emphasis is on welcoming those who come
from a socially disadvantaged position, and for whom this kind
of opportunity has mostly been denied.
The goal is to bring people to a deeper sense of connection with
themselves and the environment, and possibly healing. For city
people, it means time with nature, silence and simplicity. For
rural people, it provides a resource for people who are isolated,
and may not have access to social services. We provide a place
for people to gather and to have for their difficulties a larger
community of support, with a circle of care that may be harder
to get for some.
Grieving Hearts — November
We offer a healing weekend for those who have experienced loss
Focused Theme Retreats
Watch our calendar (on the menu bar above) for this year's
retreats on offer. Past themes have included: For Women; For
Men; Ecology; Prayer; Forgiveness; Depression; Broken Hearts.
Intensive University Course
We have held two-week residential summer courses, usually in
July. To keep abreast of what's on offer, watch our calendar
(on the menu bar above) or contact us and ask to be added to our