Holy Spirit Retreat Center, as a chartered ministry of the Sisters of Social Service, is rooted in Scripture and the spirit of St. Benedict. We strive to create an atmosphere of prayer and hospitality where community is nourished, each person can thrive and an interfaith environment is fostered.


A Letter from the Executive Director

Sister Chris Machado

Dear Friends of Holy Spirit Retreat Center,

The theme of the rest of 2016 is “Turning Hearts of Stone into Hearts of Flesh.” We are concentrating our current offerings around the idea of living non-violently in response to a world seemingly gone mad with violence and discord. Turning hearts of stone into hearts of flesh is not for the faint of heart, but it is a discipline that requires courage, humility and the willingness to leave one’s comfort zone. We are offering some programs that will aid in building hearts of flesh. I urge you to take a look at what we have to offer and consider making this avocation a focus in the next few months, and hopefully beyond! I have a dream of opening a center for non-violent living at Holy Spirit Retreat Center, and the first step in that process is the creation of a local chapter of the International Thomas Merton Society. Thomas Merton was a Catholic monk who devoted much of his life and writing to the promotion of non-violence.

The Chapter is currently involved in book study, but our meetings will also involve presentations by speakers who are experts in Thomas Merton and non-violence. There is another chapter group meeting in La Cañada, and we plan to bring our groups together for special events and activities. If you are a lover of Thomas Merton and/or are feeling the tug to move toward a deeper commitment to living non-violently, please consider joining us. We meet on the third Sunday of each month from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call me at (818) 285-3354. If we are willing to let our hearts be broken open, we can begin to be part of the solution and not part of the problem! Have a peaceful and restful summer, and we’ll see you at the Center!

Holding you all in prayer,
Chris Machado, S.S.S.