Take a short drive now up to Carmel Hill where Vianney House, our guest house for visiting clergy, is set in the hills overlooking the scenic Madawaska River Valley below. Vianney House offers a unique opportunity to step aside from the pressures of parish work and spend time in prayer and rest. Guest priests are encouraged to participate in meals, prayer and, where possible, physical labor with the community, so as to absorb the spirit of Madonna House in a practical way. There is also the possibility of retreat or time spent in Poustinia, according to each individual’s need.
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Since Vianney House was opened in 1966, literally thousands of priests have passed through its doors and been refreshed and encouraged by this unique experience. Its rooms simply furnished it features a chapel and walking trails nearby wending their way through the wooded hills.
As seen in her book Dear Father, Catherine perceived the presence of Christ in those bearing the Sacrament of Holy Orders with what seemed to be a mystic’s insight. She wrote once that:
“A priest is a man whose goal is to be another Christ. A priest is a man who lives to serve. If he isn’t, then Christ in him will be the servant, yours and mine, and if the priest doesn’t feel like being another Christ, the Christ in him will be revealed more clearly if only you and I have eyes to see.”