What is the mission of the Nazareth Family Apostolate?
The mission of the Nazareth Family Apostolate is to discover God at work in the hidden and ordinary events of everyday family life, where we become communities of love and a hope for the world in imitation of the Holy Family.
What is a Nazareth Family Retreat?
A Nazareth Family Retreat is a one-week getaway for the whole family to enjoy!!
Each family stays in their own separate half of a large cabin with their own bathroom. Families prepare and eat their meals (breakfast & dinner, lunch is provided) in the main lodge, which also contains a beautiful chapel and indoor recreation areas.
A typical day at the retreat begins with Mass celebrated by our on-site priest from Madonna House in Combermere.
After Mass the children gather for spiritual formation, sports, and crafts led by wonderful volunteers.
Meanwhile, the parents gather for a special time to learn & share about bringing our families closer to Christ.
After a lunch prepared by our volunteer cooks, most families adjourn to the beach for some much-needed family fun & bonding time.
Each evening we gather for a different activity. These include the rosary, Adoration, reconciliation for the children, and a bonfire!
Who comes to a Nazareth Family Retreat?
Any Catholic family is welcome to come to a Nazareth Family Retreat. Families of all ages and sizes attend our retreats.
Nazareth family retreats are for families, and spaces are available during each week for first-time-attending families.
You can also choose to come to a Nazareth Family Retreat as a volunteer. Click here to find out more.
Summer 2023 Nazareth Family Retreat
If you joined us last summer, please feel free to send us any photos you would like to share.
How do I register to attend one of the weeks?
A link to the online registration form will be available here when registration opens in January 2024.
Where are Nazareth Family Retreats held?
Nazareth Family Retreats take place at the Dominus Vobiscum Retreat Centre located near beautiful St. Gabriel, Quebec on the shores of Lac Maskinongé.
A Yearly Tradition
Our first Nazareth Family Retreat was in 2007. Since then we have enjoyed our annual retreat and can't imagine giving it up.
We, the parents, especially enjoy our time as a couple each morning to meet with the other couples and the hosts to learn how to be better spouses and parents.
We, the kids, especially enjoy spending the morning doing games, sports and crafts while mom and dad have to do that boring parent stuff!
We all love spending our afternoons on the beach or playing soccer in the yard.
Maybe we will see you up there!!
The Thompson Family 2014
The History of Nazareth
Don and Rosalie ("Posie") McPhee began the Nazareth Family Apostolate in the early 1980's. Don and Posie responded to God's call to restore Catholic families to Christ, modeled on the hidden life of the Holy Family. Both Don and Posie were converts to the Catholic faith. The apostolate began as a series of family retreats given at a retreat centre in Combermere, Ontario. In the early 1990's, Posie co-founded the popular Nazareth Family Journal, which ran quarterly from 1991 to 1997.
After the retreats had been running for several years, Don had the foresight to produce a series of six videos based on the teaching and sharing of Nazareth spirituality. He asked several of the key associate families to participate in the video project. Today, we have access to this wonderful legacy for our summer retreat weeks.
In 1992, Don (by then an ordained Deacon) and Posie moved with their family to Minnesota to work in a pastoral mission. Nazareth retreats continued to be offered under the direction of associate families in an abbreviated weekend format until the mid-1990's. In the fall of 2000, a group of families east of Ottawa were encouraged by their pastor to begin running Nazareth retreats using the videotape series at the Dominus Vobiscum Retreat Centre, north of Montreal. The summer retreats have been running ever since, now offering families a choice of three weeks each summer.
The Dominus Vobiscum Retreat Centre is owned by the Archdiocese of Montreal and is on loan to the Newman Centre at McGill University. It consists of over 250 acres on the shores of Lac Maskinongé in the Quebec Laurentians. A very dedicated group of volunteer families have been restoring the camp to operational status little by little since the camp fell into disrepair and abandonment in the 1980's. The retreat centre has a history of ministering to families dating back to the 1930's.
About the Wood Carving
Albert Gerritsen (b. 1940)
Albert is a Liturgical Artist residing in Calgary, Alberta. He works mainly in wood, but also makes liturgical items such as chalices out of silver. Most of his work is in Catholic churches and schools in Alberta.
Albert was commissioned to make the Nazareth carving for the chapel in the Nazareth Family Retreat Centre in Combermere. Ontario. When that closed, the carving was passed on to be used by the continuing Nazareth retreat ministry.
We are always looking for some great pictures of your experience at Nazareth. Please send them to us!!!
Nazareth Day was a huge success! We were pleased to see so many families come out and spend a day together. The food was great, the company was better! Looking forward to the Nazareth week next summer!
If you would like to share any photos you took during the event please email them to email@example.com, God Bless!
There are four ways to contact us:
David and Cheryl Darwent: (613) 446-1868
Nazareth Family Apostolate
271 Agathe Street
Rockland, ON K4K 1K7
Please support this much-needed family ministry
Since the Nazareth Family Retreats began, families have benefited from the use of the Dominus Vobiscum Retreat Centre. Over the past several years, countless volunteer hours have gone into improving the buildings and property, enhancing the usability and safety of the camp. Expenses have increased, and these increases have necessarily been passed on to the groups using the facilities.
As an apostolate, we would like to keep the costs of attending Nazareth affordable to families. We have increased the registration prices to reflect our financial commitment to Dominus Vobiscum, but this may restrict some families from attending.
Nazareth Family Apostolate welcomes monetary donations to help offset our expenses and to help provide subsidies for families who may have difficulty paying the full registration fee.
If you would like to donate to Nazareth Family Apostolate to assist us in helping families, please make cheques payable to Nazareth Family Apostolate and send to: Nazareth Family Apostolate, 271 Agathe Street, Rockland, ON K4K 1K7
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org. See the Contact Us tab for other ways to contact us.
Please note that we cannot offer tax receipts at this time.
Core Team of Nazareth Family Apostolate