The norm is self-directed silent retreats. Each retreatant can set his or own schedule but is invited to come to Mass and Liturgy of the Hours. The liturgical schedule has not been set in stone at this point. If a retreatant or a small group wants a directed retreat I am willing to offer a daily conference. I can also offer my ‘strength, hope, and experience’ for those seeking recovery from codependency or addictions in congruence with the Catholic Faith, as long as the retreatant is not in need of medical care. In other words, an addict of any substances should already have started a recovery program and no longer have physical withdrawal symptoms. I can also offer some spiritual direction and a confidential listening ear.
There are 120 acres of beautiful forest with varied terrain to explore for anyone with a bit of an adventurous heart. There is a stunningly beautiful large pond at the back of the property that is well worth the effort to discover. There are some walking trails already, and more being prepared. If someone wants to go off trail too much, a compass would really come in handy! There is a ‘creek’ teeming with fish, so if a retreatant has a fishing license and observes the seasons for particular species, fishing is also a possibility. The road is paved and not very busy, making it conducive to bicycling in the warmer months. Nearby gravel roads make for an easy hike for those times when hiking through the forest is perhaps a little too burdensome. Snowshoeing is also a possibility in the winter, and I suppose cross country skiing as well, but there are no groomed ski paths. Since it is a silent retreat centre, normally 4-wheelers, motorbikes, and snowmobiles would not be allowed in the woods. Five kilometres away, there is a large lake with road access and parking. There is no dock to swim from at the lake, but the land is prepared in such a way that there are two boat launches, and some people have been known to swim there.
Cell service is weak to non-existent, although there is a signal booster at the house which can often make calls possible. There is also a landline at the house for emergencies. The landline ringer is usually off, but there will be voicemail when we open in case someone needs to get in touch with a retreatant. The grounds of In Viam Pacis are alcohol, drug, smoke, and vape free. It is truly a place where retreatants can be unplugged and undrugged!
As for food, a retreatant should bring his or her own food. A common fridge and a common basic kitchenette will be on-site. I’m sure I’ll have some food available for retreatants who do not bring food, but, I’m a priest, not a chef, after all!
One way to keep up to date on the progress of In Viam Pacis and find out when we are open is to subscribe to the YouTube Channel and turn the notification bell on. You can also check the Archdiocese of Ottawa Friday Facts.
I hope this answers some of your questions. For the address and direct email address you can fill out the Contact Page and I’ll return your email with the information.
Fr. Anthony Hannon
In Viam Pacis