Response to COVID 19 - Retreat Arrangements as of November 2021

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Welcome! We are pleased to be able to conduct our retreats with Covid-Safe arrangements in place – and we need your help to make it work!

In order to keep our resident community, staff and all visitors safe during retreat time, we have a number of procedures in place. You will be fully briefed on these arrangements at the welcome meeting upon your arrival. We thank you in advance for your co- operation to keep St. Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre a

safe and healthy place.

In keeping with government advice, retreatants classified as vulnerable per AHPPC guidelines are encouraged not to attend physically. Retreatants need to assess their own vulnerability in deciding whether or not to attend a retreat.

While we follow all Government guidelines and adhere to all cleaning requirements, it is your personal responsibility to attend to your own hygiene, wear a mask if required and maintain the appropriate physical distancing during your stay.

During this time visitors to St. Mary’s Towers are

being asked to have their temperature checked on arrival. For those staying on retreat, daily temperature checks will be organized. Please note that if you become ill on retreat with suspected COVID-19, cold or flu symptoms, we will assist you in organising your immediate departure home. It therefore will be necessary for you to have a local (ie Sydney region) nominated support person as a condition of attending your retreat. For interstate and overseas visitors, if this is not possible, you will need to be able to fund and organize your own departure if required. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide transport if you become ill or provide long term isolation at this time.

Currently, according to health regulations, all visitors to the Retreat Centre will need to be double vaccinated and be able to show proof of this upon entry, until 1st December or unless otherwise noted. It is also highly recommended that you have had the flu vaccination. Please note that this could change at any time in the future as we monitor the situation and adhere to public health orders.


Our aim is to provide a safe retreat environment where we do our best to maintain everyone’s wellbeing in the current situation. Please have masks available if required during your retreat.


As per current Government requirements, we have a “Service NSW” QR code so please download the Service NSW app to your phone or tablet before you come, as this will help streamline your arrival and daily registration. For those without a mobile phone our COVID Monitor will register your details digitally. We are required to register your details and keep them for a period of 4 weeks and provide the information to health authorities, if requested. The information will be kept securely and only used for this purpose.


We strongly encourage you to arrange your own private transport to St Mary’s Towers. We can provide only limited train pick-ups. Please bring and wear a mask if you are travelling by train and will need a pick-up.


You will notice an increase in cleaning activity around the Retreat Centre along with appropriate supplies of hand sanitisers available in all areas for your use. Please use good hand hygiene at all times.


We are limiting the number of retreatants for the time being to assist in this area. Current physical distancing requirements mean that the number of people inside a building must never exceed the limits detailed in the latest Public Health Order. For this reason all seating in public areas will be spaced and we ask you to ensure that you maintain the 1.5m distance at all times. Please refrain from physical greetings such as shaking hands, hugging or kissing.


People who feel unwell, who have flu/ respiratory symptoms, elevated body temperatures or who have been in contact in the previous 14 days with people suspected to have or who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are not permitted to attend. If any of these symptoms arise while you are on your retreat, please advise the office or the Director immediately. You will be asked to follow our Leave Plan for Suspected COVID 19 Cases and assisted in your return home with your nominated support person.


There are new arrangements and restrictions regarding the provision of meals. It will be possible to cater for only a very limited number of diets for medical reasons at this time.


There will be some changes in the way in which we celebrate Mass and these will be advised on arrival. All music and hymns will be listened to in a reflective manner and communion will be distributed under one kind, the Host.

We are grateful for your understanding of these new arrangements and would like to note that apart from gathering for Eucharist and meals, much of the remainder of our retreats will remain the same as we pray together in the silence.

As our capacity for visitors and retreatants remains limited at this time, all appointments and visits need to be booked through the Administrator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ph: (02) 4630 0233.

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