The Women's Retreat – Thank you!

Thank you Jeanette Lewis

For many years now a women’s retreat has been held in Southern Tasmania. This involves two days of precious time to unwind, think about our lives, meditate on the things of God, read, pray, enjoy nature,and have the embracing company of other retreatants.

A lot of talk takes place as we arrive and later share an excellent meal together. (Wonderful –  no cooking, housework or interruptions for two whole days!). After this a comfortable silence prevails until after our closing service on Sunday afternoon.

Each Retreat conductor has a different theme, and during the weekend we have 6 addresses. We can talk to the conductor privately. Retreats were originally started by the Sisters of the Church who ran Collegiate School, and were held there during the holidays. Usually we filled the chapel, and the Sisters looked after us in every way.

If you feel daunted at the thought of a retreat, don’t worry. Many people feel the same. I was ‘dragged’ along reluctantly for my first retreat 51 years ago, and at the end of it I was ‘hooked’ and never miss one if at all possible. Betty Ellis also put in endless time and effort while first helping the Sisters, and later taking responsibility while it was still possible to meet at Collegiate. This became inconvenient as some girls now stay for the holidays.

Since 22 years ago, Jeanette Lewis has taken the responsibility of running the retreats, now held at MaryKnoll, Blackmans Bay.

She has worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone is comfortable and that the Chapel looks beautiful. Our beds and rooms are like a home away from home. Anything that might be needed is at hand and special diets catered for. It is very inclusive, and everyone feels welcome. Jeanette arranges for different conductors, mostly from the mainland, each year. The grounds are well kept and beautiful, and it is an ideal place to spend a spiritually refreshing weekend.

All this arranging takes a lot of time and forethought, and I personally would like to thank Jeanette for all that she has accomplished for us to help us along on our way. I’m sure that others feel the same, and I would recommend this weekend to everyone. You’ll never be quite the same again!

Thank you Jeanette, we are very grateful for what you do.

Jane Beavan


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 24 women standing outside retreat cottage

Women's Retreat 2017