Well, yes it is! According to Rob Morris SJ, Director of JISA Sevenhill, Sacramental wine is made in the style of sherry and in conformity with the requirements of cannon law. Sevenhill Cellars has been making wine since 1851. In fact, it is the oldest winery in Clare Valley. Retreatants at JISA Sevenhill enjoy visiting the cellars which are open between 10am to 5pm, seven days a week. Sevenhill Cellars export to India, Malaysia, Singapore and Papua New Guinea. Whilst sales of sacramental wine have slowed due to COVID-19, Sevenhill’s winemakers are busy with their range of 17 table wines and fortified wines. Another fun fact about JISA Sevenhill, is that it was once a boarding school, Jesuit Novitiate, seminary and residence for Jesuits.
If you visit for a day or overnight retreat you may like to make time to explore the Chartres Labyrinth and the Classic Labyrinth. According to Labyrinth expert and JISA Spiritual Director Sally Longley, the labyrinth is a metaphor for life: the twists and turns of the path are much like those we encounter in life. We can sometimes feel we are heading happily in a certain direction, and yet all of a sudden, things change, and perhaps our jobs are made redundant, there is a pandemic(!), a loved one dies, we find ourselves ill. At such times we can feel lost. But all we need to do is put one foot in front of the other and allow ourselves to be led by the path. The labyrinth is much like the embrace of God: where ever we are in it, whatever we are feeling, we are always held in the embrace of God. It is a wonderful path on which to pray through our life situations, and has great synergy with the Spiritual Exercises.
Built speedily in time to relocate and accommodate the young scholastics studying theology in Ireland, what we know now as Canisius Hall was then a classroom, and our Downey Room was a Recreation Room, and our 46 bedrooms were packed with young scholastics. According to Daven Day SJ, the grounds extended far beyond the current five acres including a large rugby oval that was shared with the resident cows. The cows came up to Peter Canisius House for morning milking then back to the oval for grazing until rugby time then back up they came.
The beautiful chapel was designed by architect Joseph Fowell who is renowned for his ecclesiastical inter-war Romanesque style which can be seen in the architecture of 40 churches across NSW and VIC including St Mary’s North Sydney. Pat Stanley tended to wildflower gardens at Peter Canisius House and became a leading authority on the subject. We have him to thank for the neighbouring suburb of St Ives’ wildflower gardens. The Jesuit Brothers resided in the rooms we know as the Drury Wing, looking over the front gardens towards Mona Vale Road.
Thanks to Sandra Cary from JISA National Bookings for gathering and writing these snippets, we hope to bring you more soon.