“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:1)
The major ministry of our Community is hospitality in many different forms, with a focus on spiritual growth and renewal. This sense of hospitality is foundational in all the ministries of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor.
We have two ministries, on the beautiful grounds of the Priory, which focus on hospitality: the Priory Guest Wing (for women only) and St Gabriel’s Retreat House (for men and women).
The cost is a free-will offering. We do not set a specific amount because it could be discouraging to individuals who want to come. The donations help with the expenses of providing guests a place to stay including utilities, staff, the cost of food and maintenance of the building and grounds.
Located on the same grounds as the Motherhouse, St. Gabriel’s is a ministry of the All Saints Sisters, assisted by both paid and volunteer staff. The building was originally constructed in 1927 as a convalescent home for children and one of the early works of the Sisters in Baltimore County. In 1972 the children’s home was closed and reopened in 1973 to serve as a small Retreat House, a holy place for souls to convalesce.
St Gabriel’s serves lay men and women, as well as priests and religious seeking quiet and spiritual refreshment. Each person is encouraged to enter into the silence and prayerful spirit of the Priory. Retreatants attend Mass at the Priory Chapel and may join the Sisters for the Divine Office.
The Guest Wing
In this culture of constant noise, we attempt to share our monastic life with others. Thus our ministry of hospitality is an expression of prayerful charity directed toward God and toward our neighbors. (cf. Directory D45a)
The Sisters extend their prayer, silence, and lifestyle to individual women through the use of the Guest Wing, which consists of six private rooms (cells), two shared bathrooms, a sitting room, a guest library, and a dining/kitchen area. We request that modest clothing be worn when visiting.
• Meals are prepared and provided by the Priory kitchen staff
• A Sister is assigned as the Guest Mistress and is available to assist guests with their questions and needs during their stay.
• Visits are arranged by contacting the Priory
WHAT IS A RETREAT? It is an opportunity to spend time with our Lord in silence, which enables you to hear His voice in your heart.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR RETREAT? Pray. Pray that God will be with you during your time with the Sisters. Pray that God will open your heart and mind to listen to His voice, as often He speaks through the silence when the noise has settled.
It is important that you allow yourself to set aside your personal responsibilities so that you can be fully present and able to spend quality time with God. And that means leaving behind anything that will distract you from your time with our Lord, including:
• Laptops and other Technological “Toys”
• Work from home or business
• Guitars, musical instruments of any kind
• A lot of books
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU PLAN TO STAY? It takes about 24 hours to settle into the cycle and atmosphere of Retreat. Three days is a comfortable time for most people. One guest wrote: “By the third day I begin to listen to what God is patiently trying to reveal to me through the readings, meditations, or quiet periods in the Chapel.”
How you use your time during Retreat will vary according to your need at that time:
• naps are wonderful
• walks around the convent grounds
• hiking in the woods
• spending time in prayer