About Bethlehem Centre

 

 

Bethlehem Centre exists to serve both spiritual and practical needs of groups and individuals in our immediate region, Vancouver Island, this beautiful province and internationally. We are grateful that so many are drawn to the positive energy, peaceful ambiance and glorious nature beauty of our location. ALL are welcome as we strive towards our broad vision of offering a destination supporting and sustaining ‘spirituality without borders’.

The original foundation for what exists today rests on lengthy commitment of the Benedictine Sisters, under the leadership of Sr. Jill Aigner, and we are honoured to build on that foundation to create a Centre which is open to all who seek to nurture spirit, in whatever form that takes – through individual expressions of art, music and creativity, through collaboration with other like-minded individuals, through meditation and retreats, through engaging with nature, and being open to joy.

We evolve with, and in connection with others and we welcome new ideas for programs, workshops, events and partnerships. Aside from programs with a spiritual connection, we are open to hosting private meetings and small events.

We welcome you to connect with the Centre – for the first time – for a return after a long time – or for the next step in your journey.

Mission Statement

Bethlehem Centre encourages and supports the expression of beliefs and values about humanity, spirituality, healing and peace by welcoming groups and individuals exploring a spiritual path and seeking a gathering place for education, reflection and community building.

Core Values

Hospitality

Our traditional history of hospitality reflects the essence and primary expression of the core values of Bethlehem Center.

We offer a personal welcome, simple accommodation and nourishing food in an environment of beauty and peace.

Inclusiveness

 We embrace and honour the uniqueness, the inherent value of each human being and each spiritual path.

We welcome individuals and groups from all spiritual traditions and practices.

Listening

We value deep listening as a way of connecting to self, others and the earth.  We listen with the ear of our heart.

Simplicity

We believe that simplicity is an invitation which stands in contrast to the complexity of our lives and society.

Living in relationship with the earth and Cosmos

We acknowledge that we are one with the earth, the cosmos and every living being.

We celebrate the compassion that is at the core of our relationship with every living being and all things.

Testimonials

Bethlehem Centre is a place of peace and beauty. Our group, Faith and Sharing, has been coming here every summer since 1989.

We always find a welcoming space to form community, to spend time with God and in nature. This year the pandemic has made everything different. But still we came. It was a unique and life-changing time.

The staff provided professional services, feeding us well, and keeping the spaces clean, so we felt safe and able to relax and enjoy the gifts of this place. We are so grateful to have this haven to come to and more so in these uncertain challenging times.

We go home refreshed, grounded and more whole.

Faith & Sharing

August 2020

I spent 3 days in a silent retreat at Bethlehem Retreat Centre.

This is a very unique and special place which already has everything there needs to be for a retreat.

I hope that it can be preserved for the use of all those that are interested in spiritual growth.

Karen Cain

Artist

Bethlehem Retreat Centre was a haven of peace for me during the few days I spent there in February, 2010.

Having come from many busy weeks in cold and snowy Saskatoon, it was blessing-filled and soul-nurturing experience to bask in its beautiful setting near the lake and forest.

In addition to appreciating the quiet time for prayer and contemplation, I appreciated the warm hospitality. For me, the Bethlehem Retreat Centre was a taste of heaven.

Sister Teresita Kambeitz

OSU, Saskatoon

My late husband, Lock Mawhinney and I have been going to retreats since the Center opened. We have attended all Faith and sharing retreats, in fact, 3 generations , my daughters and their children have attended these retreats.

What a Grace to attend a week long retreat with your children and grandchildren! The kids will not miss it, even if we are too tired and say we might not go, they protest!

Joanne Mawhinney

I have had the opportunity to have been a retreatant at Bethlehem Retreat Centre in the past and was looking forward to my next visit. The tranquil setting and wonderful walking paths,  just out the door, are comparable to none.

Coming from the hectic city of Calgary , the retreat centre served as an oasis for my soul. Last visit I brought a friend from Manitoba and have been actively seeking out friends from Calgary to accompany me next visit.

Barbara Friesen

Calgary

I attended a week long contemplative retreat at Bethlehem Retreat Centre at the invitation of a friend in 2013.

Since I live in Winnipeg and could fly directly into Nanaimo, it peaked my interest that it was being offered on an island ideal for walking, in a setting with rolling hills, white peaked mountains, a man-made lake and towering trees. The centre and surrounding area proved ideal for reflecting, reading, relaxing, walking, and provided me personal renewal.

The experience allowed me to feel deeply serene and touched each of my senses as well as my mind, body and spirit. I truly recommend a retreat in this natural paradise for anyone seeking prayer and reflection.

Daria McLean

Winnepeg

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