BLESSINGS, KINDNESS & TRUTH:  Devotion-by-Distance Insights (1/22/21)

As we are well into the first month of 2021 with countless changes in our country, let us use this time to pause to consider our many blessings and what we can each do to ensure blessings based on kindness and truth.  What can we do in our lives that will lead us to Jesus by serving others and helping them meet their needs as we face the many challenges facing us at this time?

" Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.  Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven.  The Lord himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase.  Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps." (Adapted from Psalms 85:8 and 10, 11-12, 13-14). 




(Please share your comments and ideas for "Devotion-by-Distance Insights" via email [email protected] or call 716/754-7376, Ext. 1.)


NEW BOOK CLUB IN FEBRUARY! Stella Niagara's 2nd Devotion-by-Distance Book Club forming to start in February.


Our first book club, part of our inaugural “Devotion-by-Distance” programs offered by Stella Niagara’s Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center, has been meeting weekly since January 5th. The Devotion-by-Distance programs are designed to feature various types of retreat programming based on adult distance learning principles and will include discussion groups, online retreats, and courses.

Since the first Zoom-based book club is meeting on Tuesday afternoons, we have been asked to perhaps form an evening or Saturday book club.  So we will be offering the same book as January plus selecting another book for the Tuesday 2:00-3:00 PM time-frame. 

All book clubs will feature members sharing insights of the written word with fellow book lovers. All book club participants will receive a discounted copy of each book to be discussed.

Stella Niagara’s “Devotion-by-Distance” Book Club initially featured “Making Room for God: Decluttering and the Spiritual Life” by Mary Elizabeth Sperry, an ideal book topic to begin the 2021 New Year with a purpose.  This will be repeated in February during an evening time.  Space is limited and advance paid reservations of $20 per person are required by Jan. 28, 2021 to allow adequate time for receipt of the book and other related materials.

Each book club’s Zoom sessions will be one hour per week for four weeks, with the day and time to be determined separately for each book club.  It is expected the author herself will be joining one or more of the February Zoom sessions, as she will be in late January for the current book club, to further enhance the distance learning experience.

Gift certificates for any current or future retreat center programming, including the new “Devotion-by-Distance” programs, are also available. To register or for more information, call the Center of Renewal at 716-754-7376, ext. 1, 2 or 4, or visit the website,



Unfortunately, due to the increased rise of the COVID-19 virus in Western New York, the Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center has had to temporarily suspend any daytime or overnight guest visits, meetings, or retreats until at least mid-February 2021. We will be making decisions on an ongoing basis for upcoming bookings, all depending upon current and projected COVID-19 rates in our area.

TO CONTACT OUR STAFF:  Please call us at (716) 754-7376 to make reservations for future dates from 2021 through December 2024.  Our offices are staffed on a flexible basis, and phone messages are retrieved daily.  We look forward to welcoming you in the near future to the Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara. 

In the meantime, please return frequently to our website for "Devotions-by-Distance Insights", i.e., periodic inspirational thoughts and readings such as our Blessings above on our homepage, other distance learning retreat options, and more. 



Stella Niagara's Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center provides the ideal location for your next retreat ... or perhaps your first one.  We have been sharing our interfaith hospitality for over 46 years in retreat center ministry here in Western New York.  Only 10 miles north of majestic Niagara Falls, New York, Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara is a community of service. In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, we provide hospitality, promote spiritual growth, and foster the development of people. Individuals and groups are welcome to this environment of peace and beauty.
Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center at Stella Niagara (COR) is a welcoming interfaith retreat center sponsored by Sisters of St. Francis of Penance & Christian Charity, Holy Name Province.
Able to house up to approximately 50 guests and multiple groups applying COVID-19 safety limitations in our overnight faith-based facility, Center of Renewal is located on the grounds of Stella Niagara, two miles north of the Village of Lewiston, New York and only ten miles north of majestic Niagara Falls, an easy drive on the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Currently in our 46th anniversary of retreat center ministry, COR officially opened in July 1974 and has operated year-round since then. 
The retreat center offers sponsored retreats, faith-based workshops, values-based programs, excursions & adventures, plus hospitality for retreats and meetings of varying types of organized groups and not-for-profit organizations.  New offerings in late summer 2020 will include various online programs in spiritual growth and wellness provided in a variety of formats. 
Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara provides a wide variety of spiritual enrichment and learning opportunities for adults seeking growth, relaxation, reflection, study, and healing.
A quiet, peaceful site, Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara offers:
  • Retreats (single days, evenings, overnights)
  • Reflective, contemplative times and locations on property including outdoor labyrinth, nature trails, Peace Garden, riverside chapel, Stations of the Cross and more
  • Arts and crafts (by advance arrangements)
  • Music (piano in Main Lounge and organ in COR Chapel meeting room)
  • Spiritual directors available by advanced appointment for private or group retreatants
  • Various sponsored and group programs
  • On-site professional group facilitator plus spiritual directors available for customized retreats and workshops on various topics and themes  
  • Events include private or group retreats, workshops, spiritual and wellness events, excursions & adventures, and more
  • Located immediately across the road from Stella Niagara Preserve (leading to the Lower Niagara River), owned and operated by the Western New York Land Conservancy
As an option to further enhance your group day and overnight retreats and meetings, our executive director is a certified master trainer and facilitator who is available to deploy programs, workshops, and retreats on multiple customized topics for your group.

Call us today to schedule your upcoming retreat, workshop, program, gathering, or meeting (716) 754-7376, Ext. 1 or 2.  We look forward to welcoming you to the Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara!


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Upcoming Events


See also our many sponsored retreats, excursions, and adventures listed below and under "PROGRAMS".

  • DEVOTION-BY-DISTANCE BOOK CLUB, featuring "Making Room for God: Decluttering and the Spiritual Life" by Mary Elizabeth Sperry, is currently being held on Tuesdays in January from 2-3 PM.  The author herself will be joining our Zoom book club session on January, and she also hopes to come post-pandemic for an in-person weekend retreat later in 2021. Call Center of Renewal at 716-754-7376 for more information on a repeat of this book plus other books in 2021.
  • NEW OFFERINGS! DEVOTION-BY-DISTANCE ONLINE RETREATS, VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB, RETREATS-ON-DEMAND, and more (via Zoom & Podcasts) are now being formed. Enjoy learning more about a myriad of spiritually-based topics, including exploring Bible basics for Catholics, creating a stress-less home through de-cluttered strategies, or just appreciating the joy in life through books. Many sessions will be moderated to balance the discussion and engage all participants, while others will be structured for individualized learning and enjoyment. To join and/or for more information, simply send an email to [email protected] or call us at (716) 754-7376, Ext. 1.  We look forward to sharing insights together!
  • 2021 HOLY WEEK  EASTER TRIDUUM RETREAT:  Three-night overnight retreat will be held concurrently with a Directed Retreat Week in 2021.  The Easter Triduum retreat will begin with Wednesday evening dinner on March 31 through Saturday lunch on April 3, 2021 (three nights and four days).  Plan now to experience Holy Week and the Easter Triduum from a new perspective.  Call Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara (716-754-7376, Ext. 1 for more information).   
  • 2021 ANNUAL DIRECTED RETREAT WEEK will be held duringl Holy Week in 2021 concurrently with a Holy Week Easter Triduum Retreat.  The Directed Retreat will be held during Holy Week from Monday evening dinner through Saturday, March 29 through Saturday lunch, April 3, 2021 (five nights and six days during Holy Week). Spiritual directors will be posted as confirmed.. Call us at 716-754-7376, Ext. 1 or 2 to receive information later this fall..

  • CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER GROUP is scheduled to resume meeting in February.  The group meets the 1st Tuesday evening of each month (with periodic exceptions during holidays and summer). For further information, call us at 716-754-7376, Ext. 1 or 2.



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