Days of Recollection

Twice a year, on the first Saturday of Advent and the first Saturday of Lent, the Oratory offers a Day of Recollection at Holy Family Church. Beginning at 10:00 a.m. with a sung Mass and ending at 3:00 p.m. with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, each Day offers morning and afternoon conferences, running concurrently, aimed at adults, teenagers, and primary school children. Each Day has its own theme, the Rosary and Litany of Our Lady are prayed in common (replaced by the Stations of the Cross in Lent), there are ample opportunities for confession, and a chance to meet other Catholics during lunch. Baby-sitting for children under seven years old is provided, as is lunch. There is no cost for the day, but people who intend to stay for lunch are asked to make a donation to cover the cost of food.

This year, adapting to the current lockdown situation in our churches, we are moving the Advent Day of Recollection to an online format and spreading it across three Saturdays: December 5, 12, and 19. On each of these days there will be the usual livestreamed Mass at 10am, followed by a reflection from one of the Fathers. There will also be links to materials for children and youth on You can register on for free by indicating that you belong to Holy Family Parish in Toronto.

This year, the Advent Days of Recollection theme is: “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.”

Saturday December 5: Charity Prepares Our Hearts

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them…” (Matt 9:35—10:1, 5, 6-8). Charity prepares our hearts (and the hearts of those around us) to receive Our Lord.

Saturday December 12: Prepared through Reconciliation

“…to turn the heart of the father to the son…” (Sir. 48: 1-4, 9-11). Carrying wrongs within our souls separates us from our neighbour and from God. Reconciliation is necessary before a meaningful relationship can be formed.

Saturday December 19: Trust and Acceptance as the Final Preparation

“Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me…” (Luke 1: 5-25). Being prepared for Our Lord’s coming requires a habitual state of mind, a receptivity to God’s plan, whatever it might be.