Ave Maria! Mount St. Francis Hermitage is a Catholic, Marian retreat center run by the Franciscans of theImmaculate. With 150 acres of rugged terrain in the hills of Maine, NY, Mt. St. Francis offers an ideal place of prayer and solitude for religious and faithful alike. Here one can be alone with God in silence; here those who are living under pressure, who are worn out by the burdens of daily life, can draw near to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mount St. Francis is open for prayerful visits from dawn to dusk. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered daily at the Oratory located at the Marian Friary (see Mass Schedule). The peaceful surroundings of God’s creation afford an atmosphere of recollection: Our Lady’s Hill; the ponds dedicated to the Sacred Heart, to Mary Mediatrix, to St. Joseph and St. Anthony; the outdoor Stations of the Cross. The focus of an eremitical retreat is to foster the spiritual life of the individual. Retreatants and day visitors are expected to respect each other’s privacy and recollection. Modesty in dress is required. The Holy Spirit via the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the main Spiritual Director. Under His direction one may consult the Franciscan priest on duty. A modestlibrary for spiritual reading is also available. By design there are no demands placed uponthe retreatant. Every effort is made to preserve silence and solitude which is at once purifying, illuminating and unifying under the divine action of the Holy Spirit. A degree of hardship is purposely built into this ‘desert experience’, e.g. the fetching of water andcooking one’s own meals. In this way both body and spirit receive a balanced and invigorating experience. Individual Retreats: for those desiring to make an overnight retreat or longer there are twelve hermitages linked by dirt roads and trails, sufficiently distant from each other so as to ensure privacy. Each is self-contained with electricity, a wood burning stove for heat, a microwave and propane burners for cooking as well as an outhouse. The hermitages have no runningwater. A shower room and a washer and dryer are available for our overnight guests. Retreatants must provide their own food and if possible their own bedding and are advised to bring a flashlight, boots and an umbrella. Group Retreats: Friars are available for directed, day-long retreats for groups and confirmation classes. The grounds offer a prayerful atmosphere and St. Anthony’s Hall (stove, oven, refrigerator and microwave) is available for lunch. Groups must providetheir own food. The suggested donation is $10 per day.n food.
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