Sharing God's love through Beauty, Truth and Goodness with the people of Canberra’s Inner North

Category: Parish retreats

Retreat in Daily Life

A “Retreat in Daily Life” gives you a special opportunity to draw closer to God in your personal prayer at home, by following a set pattern of prayerful meditations on Scripture passages over several days. Our Retreat in Daily Life will be drawing on the wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of Ignatian spirituality.

The Retreat in Daily Life has been designed so that you can do it on your own, in your own time: you’ll find all the necessary resources and information on this web page. It can also be helpful to gather a few other people (e.g. members of a prayer group, a parish or ecumenical group …) to do the Retreat together over one calendar week, in which case the group should start together with an initial meeting on Sunday, and then close together with a final meeting the following Sunday. Please contact for more advice on doing the Retreat as a group.

You’ll need to set aside about an hour each day for the Retreat in Daily Life. All you’ll need to take part is a quiet corner, a Bible, a notebook … and the desire to deepen your relationship with God and discover the call of Christ for your life.

Before you begin, you will need to watch the two short introductory videos on the Holy Cross YouTube Channel (on “Praying with a Bible Passage” and “Praying the Examen”). Below you’ll find the handouts referred to in the videos, which you can print out – or save on your device – and use as a guide for your prayer during the week.

The programme is then as follows:

  • six 20 minute talks (Monday to Saturday), posted on the Holy Cross YouTube Channel, for you to watch in your own time
  • six 30 minute prayer exercises (introduced at the end of the daily talk), for you to do in your own time
  • a short prayer exercise (the “Examen”), to do at the end of each day

Once you have completed the Retreat:

  1. Please click here to give us your feedback (via Google Forms)
  2. If you would like to make a financial contribution to Holy Cross to support our retreat ministries, please click here for our bank details (and mark your donation “Retreat”)


You might also find the following useful:

If you have any questions then feel free to contact Have a good time of prayer!

Small table with stone labyrinth and singing bowls

Parish women’s retreat 30 July-1 August

Are you a busy woman needing a break? Ask about the Holy Cross Women’s Retreat being held from 30 July to 1 August by the shores of Lake George. There are options to come for the whole time, or just for a day to find some rest.

Contact by 23 July. Be quick, as there are not many spots left.

Mt Majura Trail

Women’s Quiet Time in Fellowship for Lent

Following on from the success of the Advent women’s retreat last year, we are planning another weekend with the same format for Lent. 

Two events will be held to ‘top’ and ‘tail’ a weekend, one Saturday and one Sunday. Women from all walks of life are welcome to attend only one, or both.

Event One Morning Bushwalk – Saturday 20 March, Hackett

7.30 – 9am Bushwalk on Mt Majura reserve. Meet at the Hackett Gate on Grayson Street. Bring a thermos and drink tea with a view!

Event Two Evening Gathering – Sunday 21 March, Holy Cross Church
7pm Evening of contemplative prayer and fellowship, followed by 

8pm Wine and cheese

Contact: for more information.

Mt Majura Trail

Women’s Retreat done differently – 5&6 December

It’s been quite a year, and more than ever many of us are feeling the vital need – and the significant challenge – of carving out time for fellowship and quiet reflection.

This year, our women’s retreat will, like so many other things, be done a little differently. Join us in a welcoming atmosphere as we spend time together the weekend of 5-6 December:

Saturday 5 December
7.30-9am Bushwalk on Mt Majura reserve (meet at the Hackett Gate on Grayson Street)

Sunday 6 December
7pm Evening of contemplative prayer and fellowship, followed by
8pm Wine and cheese under the cherry tree.

Parish Retreat 2019 at Silver Wattle

My family attended the Holy Cross annual retreat from Saturday to Sunday this year.  It was the first time any of us four had attended the retreat or traveled out to Silver Wattle.  As soon as we arrived we felt welcomed, both by the other parishioners and by the tranquility of the setting.  

The bright sunshine and blue skies overhead kept the children out of doors playing into the evening, blithely unconcerned as the air got colder and the hour darker.

That they were able to play freely over the terrain without us parents having to wander or wonder after them – what are they up to?  Are they safe? – is probably the closest my kids have come to having a childhood like mine – one of clambering over rocks and climbing up trees without a parent in sight.  I felt grateful for the setting and the people around me providing that sense of security.

I myself got to explore the surrounds – child-free! – with a walk Sunday morning up to the cross on the nearby hill and another brief stroll down to the meditative labyrinth. During both walks, seeing the vast expanse of the Australian bush and the Lake George basin I reflected a bit on God’s timeless and loving presence on this majestic planet.

White cross at the top of a hillside overlooking Lake George plains

On Saturday evening we had a talent show, where all the extroverts and showmen and women had a shot at entertaining the rest of us.  We were an obliging lot, happy to laugh along with every skit and party trick, and to sing along with every song and dance.  There were some skeptics lurking among us, though, determined to dismantle the magic behind Geoff and Jasper’s mind-reading feat – fortunately they were unsuccessful, and the mystery lives on for another year!

During the weekend Tim led several sessions where we talked about the different facets of our faith community in light of the First Corinthians passage about the church – like the body – being made of different but equally vital parts. Broadly, we discussed our church as a place of praise and worship, as a place for fellowship and outreach, and as a place to strengthen our faith through discipleship.  We brainstormed as a group on ways to expand and/or integrate these various activities.

Most striking to me from these talks was the notion that Holy Cross in essence holds two services each weekend: one on a Saturday when volunteers set up Tuckerbox and open the church for the local community to access affordable food and a place to relax and recharge; and the other on a Sunday when the usual parishioners come to celebrate the Eucharist and worship together. Ideally, we would like these two groups to interact and get to know one another better…and the first opportunity for that will be grand opening of our new Tuckerbox building, on 19 October, a Saturday.  I am looking forward to attending.

I can’t leave off describing the weekend without mentioning the food.  Each meal was – to put it as simply as my kids would – YUMMO!  We had pasta options, salad options, and a delicious trio of soups, among other choices. And the berries galore after dinner!  Vegetarian and gluten-free diets were accommodated.  I can imagine that  A LOT of work and love went into planning these meals, preparing them at home and on site, and cleaning up afterward.  A big thank you to Kirsty and her team!

And a big thanks as well to Christine for organising our weekend and to Tim for leading us in prayer, study, and worship.

Large group gathered outside Silver Wattle Centre for group photograph

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