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,

I’m writing this letter on an unusual Southern California day. We’re currently enjoying some lovely Autumn rain! It’s the kind of rain that does the most good for the plants and trees, as it comes down slowly, giving the ground a chance to absorb the moisture. I’m truly grateful for days like this! I can almost hear the thirsty soil saying, “Thank you!” Water has indeed been a rare commodity in our part of the world, which makes me think of our lake, sitting out there so sad and dry. However, I have great news! You might remember in an earlier letter my mentioning that we were negotiating with the Engineering Department of Loyola Marymount University for the students to do a repair and gray water project for the lake. I’m now very happy to inform you that this dream is becoming a reality! The Eco-Energy Committee for the Sisters of Social Service met with a couple of students and their faculty sponsors, and they are ready to move forward with the project! They have divided the project into three phases, which will begin shortly and end in May of 2018. Phase One will include cleaning out and repairing the lake, and the construction of an island for the ducks and other wildlife. Phase Two will involve the redirection of rainwater into the lake and placing of pipes, which will carry gray water from the laundry to the lake, and Phase Three will involve the construction of a wetland water filtration system. It is a long process. It may include some messiness and inconvenience, but the end result will be worth all the effort. As part of the project, the students have raised funds. However, what they currently have is only a beginning. More funds will be needed as the project advances. If you are interested in more information and would like to give a donation for the lake project, please call the Center at (818) 784-4515. We appreciate any help that can be offered, and donations of any amount are most welcome! As we enter Phase One of the project, we ask that you keep us in your prayers. As always, please take a look at our upcoming programs. Our theme for this Center Update  is “Wood Hath Hope,” and I have hope in my heart as I look out the window at the rainy day, and think of brighter (and wetter) days ahead. May God bless you for all your support of Holy Spirit Retreat Center and our programs and activities. We’ll see you at the Center!

With gratitude,
Chris Machado, S.S.S.