HISTORY OF MOUNT MARY
Welcome to a sacred place: Mount Mary, where the woods encircle it from every side, in the Golden Horseshoe, by the Meadowlands. A place where we continue to celebrate the gift and diversity of life…
At Mount Mary Retreat Centre, we provide opportunities for spiritual renewal to our retreatants.
With a large Chapel on site and acres of untouched green space, Mount Mary is the ideal location for those looking to experience the presence of God.
Secular groups as well as people from different faith denominations are welcomed at Mount Mary.
Mount Mary Retreat Centre is a diverse community influenced by both Ukrainian Catholic and Roman Catholic traditions.
The Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate live on site, and since 1946, have dedicated their time and energy into building Mount Mary into the successful Retreat Centre it is today.
Now owned and operated by the Diocese of Hamilton, Mount Mary will continue to serve as a Christian Retreat Centre and build on the legacy left by the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate.
WHAT WE DO
At Mount Mary Retreat Centre, we provide a welcoming and spiritual reprieve from the stresses of everyday life.
Surrounded by nature, you will feel a sense of calm and peacefulness as soon as you enter the property.
We offer both day and overnight retreats as well as meals throughout your stay.
In 1925 Fred Dalley, a manufacturer and entrepreneur famous for his “2 in 1 shoe polish” built Wynnstay Estate on the 100-acre farmland in Ancaster. The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, a Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic Congregation, purchased the former Wynnstay Estate in 1946 and named it Mount Mary Immaculate.
From the start Mount Mary served as a school of religious formation for the Sisters Servants with many young women arriving each year from various parts of Canada, the United States and Australia. In 1970 the training program was transferred to Mundare, Alberta.
In 1947 the Sisters opened an orphanage/ children’s home, and then kindergarten and daycare centre. These closed in 1956.
In 1952 a private residential and day high school for girls was constructed on the site.
In 1953 Mount Mary Academy welcomed its first students and boarders. Girls from the vicinity, parts of Canada, USA, Central and South America, Trinidad and Hong Kong came and were educated from grades 9 to 13. Hundreds graduated to take their professional, home-making and community roles in the world. Lifelong friendships were formed, memories live on. Due to various changing circumstances, with much prayer the Sisters read the signs of the times and in 1975 closed the Academy as such but leased the facility to the Hamilton – Wentworth R.C. Separate School Board to be used for staff education.
In 1976 Mount Mary began hosting retreats and it continues to do this to the present day.