Queenswood is a retreat centre situated on a 14-acre wooded property in Saanich, British Columbia, Canada.
Our mission is to facilitate a deepening of one's relationship with the Divine, one's self, others and the universe. In this way, we support the spiritual, physical and mental health and wellness of our community in the Victoria region and beyond.
In 2008 Queenswood renewed its program focus as a place of renewal for all who let their heart's greatest joy meet the world's greatest needs. Our programs help ministers, teachers, educators, counselors, social workers, public servants, health care providers, and other caregivers to be healthier and more effective. We aspire to be the Canadian retreat centre that best integrates resources for the wellness and renewal of people whose personal mission in life is to serve others.
Queenswood offers both personal retreats and retreat programs for personal and spiritual development. We offer a peaceful retreat environment and respectful guidance, using time-tested spiritual development tools enriched by insights from both Western psychology and Eastern medicine.
Our sabbatical program welcomes people in ministry and academics who enjoy a peaceful housing alternative with exceptional wellness amenities and program options.
Queenswood rents conference space to educational and healthcare organizations as well as nonprofit groups who contribute to the betterment of our global society. We provide reduced rates for small nonprofit and service agencies to use Queenswood. As the rental facility of choice on southern Vancouver Island for such groups, we host training, planning, and staff wellness events in an atmosphere of peace, beauty and health, so that our guests can become renewed and re-energized to continue their meaningful work.
With the sale of the property to the University of Victoria this year, Queenswood now has the opportunity to ensure its future with UVic as its new landlord. Sr. Marie Zarowny, Province Leader of the Sisters of St. Ann, has assured the board that the possibility of continued Queenswood programming has been an important part of their discussions with the University. “The progress Queenswood is making towards financial independence from the Sisters of St. Ann will put Queenswood in a strong position to move forward. We are enthusiastic about Queenswood’s current program focus, and hope that it will develop long-term as a service to the community and a continuation of our legacy.”
- Inclusivity: we welcome guests of all spiritual, financial, sexual and cultural backgrounds
- Sustainability: we care for our environment and make sustainable choices
- Relevance: our programs are relevant to social needs
- Respect: we regard each person as a unique expression of Divine love
- Peace: we support a culture of non-violence and justice
Queenswood is a dynamic learning community. We facilitate spiritual exploration in a spirit of reverence for the sacred mystery of each person.
Healthy spirituality helps us engage with the deepest meaning of our lives through our journey of living and dying. Each day we meet opportunities to live as our best selves from a spirit of love, and to deepen our relationship with ourselves, the Divine, others, and the natural world in which we live.
Queenswood is a place for exploring spirituality that helps us be fully alive physically, mentally and emotionally. We offer drop-in classes such as meditation and yoga, and offer other services such as reiki (a healing bodywork), counselling and spiritual direction. Food is increasingly organic and vegetarian at Queenswood these days.
Our resources and practices are grounded in rich spiritual traditions, and are accessible, relevant and useful for today's seekers. We are sometimes asked if Queenswood is interfaith, or Catholic, or a Christian ecumenical retreat centre. The answer is... yes! Queenswood is a place where the legacy of the Sisters of St. Ann is alive, while at the same time people of many different traditions find us to be a spiritual "home away from home." While many of our staff have Catholic or Christian backgrounds, our team of facilitators and spiritual directors increasingly represent other global religious traditions and practices which resonate with Christian spirituality, such as yoga and Buddhist and Zen meditation.
We love to hear stories of how Queenswood has been a blessing in people's lives. We hope and pray that Queenswood will continue to help guests be open to Divine initiative and gifts of love, inspiration and peace for many years to come.
Our facility is enfolded in nature, so our guests enjoy walks through the gardens and forest or to a nearby park or beach.
The Queenswood building was originally designed by John DiCastri as a home for young Sisters of St. Ann who were studying healthcare and education at the University of Victoria.
The building itself reflects the shape of an uplifted body, with the residence wings as the legs, counselling rooms in the torso; hospitality centre and Marguerite Lounge in the heart; conference rooms, library and dining room as the outstretched arms, and the chapel as the head. You will notice that our Catholic roots in some aspects of our architecture and decor, as well as in our weekly celebration of Eucharist. Our changing displays of inspiring art from a variety of religious and spiritual perspectives are dialogue partners for guests to encounter.
Our pool is enjoyed by many of our neighbours, including St. Ann's residence, a retirement home for Sisters of St. Ann.
Our new Sanctuary (prayer and meditation room) is being designed with input from Catholic/Christian, Buddhist, and Zen friends to create a space where we can all feel at home while appreciating special aspects of one another's faith
Staff and guests together help create a healthy, integrated space that supports growth in harmony with the Earth.
Ecological sustainability is an important element of our operations. We compost, recycle, and make green choices in our cleaning supplies. Low-flow water systems help reduce our water consumption. In 2008 we upgraded our conference room lighting to become energy-efficient. During our 2009 renovations, we installed carpet made from recycled materials, installed energy-efficient lighting, used Eco-Logic paint with low VOC, and re-used materials as much as possible.
We encourage our guests to use carpools, bus, and bicycle to get to Queenswood. We're on the #11 bus line which runs from UVic to downtown.
Travelling by air? please consider a donation to the Greening Queenswood fund if you would like to offset emissions. You can calculate your emissions with an online carbon offset calculator (one such link is available here).
As we continue to find ways to be green, we welcome your ideas, and invite donations to the Greening Queenswood fund. To make a donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queenswood is sustained by many people who share their time and gifts generously. If you support what we do, please consider volunteering your time or expressing your support through a financial donation. We are a charitable organization and provide tax receipts. Bequests to Queenswood provide a way for you to leave a legacy at Queenswood. We also have specific funds such as our bursary fund which make it possible for low-income participants to take part. To contact us about volunteering or options for making a donation, please contact Sr. Marina Smith ssa at email@example.com or 250-477-3822,