“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” 
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Dear Friends,

Here we are saying good-bye to the Summer season and welcoming the new season of Autumn.  Let me share with you the many activities that had occurred at the Center during the Summer months.  As we informed you in the previous newsletter of our recent purchase of a beautiful two-story home that is located adjacently to St. Raphaela Center.  We have named this property the House of Hope, desiring this home to be an extension of the mission of St. Raphaela, that is, a place and time for God where each retreatant can be renewed and filled with love and be that sign of hope that our world so desperately needs.  During the Summer months we have been busy renovating this property to make it more welcoming for individuals and groups seeking to make overnight retreats or day of prayer.  We are happy to share with you that the House of Hope has 10 single rooms and the following accommodations:

The Chapel is a simple and sacred place that can accommodate 12 to 15 people comfortably for Eucharistic celebration and quiet prayer and reflection.  The beautiful French window allows the nature lighting from the outside to enter, and it gives a beautiful and peaceful view of the picturesque landscape. 

Four possibilities for meeting spaces:

  1. The Formal Conference Room is located at the entrance to the house. This is elegantly decorated with formal sofas and couches.  The beautiful French window makes this room bright and spacious.  It can hold 15 -20 people comfortably.
  2. The Multi-purpose Conference Room is located near the kitchen with a beautiful built-in fire place for a casual and informal setting.  There are many 8-foot long tables available for you to creatively arrange it into a configuration that best fits your group's need.  This room can hold up to 25 people.
  3. The Cozy Conference Room is located near the backyard and swimming pool.  The high ceiling and built-in fireplace make this room spacious and cozy.  It is equipped with a wall-mounted flat screen TV that can accommodate any laptop. This spacious and versatile space is an ideal setting for all forms of presentations and activities for 25 people.
  4. The Sun Porch has the view of the beautiful backyard with its greenery and cascading waterfall and swimming pool.  The comfortable couches and seats make this space conducive for prayer and meditation.  It can also be a nice space for a small group meeting of 6 to 8 people.

The swimming pool is located in the backyard of the house and enclosed by four self-closing gates.  It is also nested behind row of trees to give it a beautiful surrounding and a much-desired privacy for a peaceful swim. 

Truly this brief description of the house does not do it justice to the beauty and peace of this home, so we wait with open arms to welcome you and your group. 

On August 1st, we welcome Lauren Finore to be part of our retreat ministry as our Program Designer.  Lauren's experience includes teaching religion in the classroom both in Pennsylvania and New York City at Sacred Heart Academy and The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She holds a B.A. from Saint Joseph's University, where she first experienced the peace of Saint Raphaela Center while on retreat. She earned her M.A. from Fordham University in Religion and Religious Education and after serving as a campus minister and teacher in Manhattan for seven years she moved home with her husband to begin a new adventure as a mother.  We joyfully welcome Lauren.  She will be helping us to create and facilitate more day retreats.

The next piece of news – the activity of the Holy Spirit – might surprise some of you.  We Handmaids here and around world have been discerning and making more effort to respond to the cries of immigrants and refugees.  After more than a year of praying and discerning, the Province has asked me to take on another mission with a focus on people in mobility.  I will be going to Athens, Georgia and El Salvador.  Therefore, as of October 1st, 2018 Sr. Lyan Tri will replace me as the Director of St. Raphaela Retreat Center.  She has been here at the Center for more than three years as our business manager, and many of you have come to know her as a gifted spiritual director and a friendly and hospitable Handmaid.  A special welcome to Sr. Lyan in her new role.

The last six months have been a wonderful experience for me.  I have enjoyed working side by side with our wonderful and dedicated staff who share in our mission in each of their unique role.  I thank you for the privilege of welcoming you personally or as a group to our Center.  My life has been enriched because of my experience and the people I have met here.

As you can see, this Summer season has been for the Center a “season of activities” with many new and exciting additions of spaces and peoples, and new changes of roles and missions, and so we rejoice for we know and believe that this is all God’s loving works. 

Let us keep each other in prayers as we go forth living our vocation and mission with joy!

United in Christ,
Sr. Uyen-Chi Dang, acj

St. Raphaela Center welcomes both Individuals and Groups looking for a time of retreat. We also offer scheduled Programs, including a variety of retreats and events organized by our Center staff around different thematic and spiritually-guided formats.

For Individuals

  • Personal Days of Prayer: Choose from one of our scheduled dates or arrange for your own.
  • Overnight Retreats & Other Programs: Choose from one of our scheduled programs or make arrangements for your own private retreat.
  • Spiritual Direction: Share your journey with a trained director, either on an ongoing basis or during a retreat stay.

For Groups

We host groups of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds. The following offerings are available for groups coming to the Center:

  • Partial-day, full-day, or overnight stay
  • Use of facilities and staff services
  • Collaboration of a staff member to help plan and facilitate a retreat

Scheduled Programs

We are adding new programs all the time! Some of our regular programs include:

Check back often to see all of our upcoming events, and register before space runs out!
To stay up-to-date on all the happenings of the Center, subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter.

A warm welcome and God's loving embrace await you every day at
St. Raphaela Center - a place and a time for God.

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