Peter Canisius House
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Frequently Asked Questions - Peter Canisius House


> Is parking available on site?
There is ample free parking on site.  This can be accessed via Mona Vale Road (if heading towards St Ives) or via our driveway in Ganmain Road.  If on the rare occasion, our visitors’ carpark is full, we advise parking in Ganmain Road, the road at the back of our premises.  Then walk up the drive and around to the front of the building to reception.
> Can I get to PCH using public transport?

Train – If you are happy to walk 15 minutes, alight from the train at Pymble Station and turn left at the top of the station steps.  Cross the road, turn right and walk along Alma Street to join Station Street.  Continue along Station Street and turn right onto Telegraph Road.  From Telegraph Road, continue to a left turn into Ganmain Road.  Our driveway is the 4th on the right.  Walk up drive and around the front of the building to reception.

If you would prefer to pay around $20 for a taxi, alight from the train at Gordon Station and catch a taxi from there. It is difficult to get a taxi from Pymble Station.

Buses leave regularly from Gordon Station to the front of our building  – Alight at Gordon Station, turn left at the top of the station stairs and head straight across the road to the marked bus stop. Forest Coach Line bus 195 runs from Gordon Station to St Ives, 196 and 197 from Gordon Station to Mona Vale.  You can catch any of these. Ask for a ticket to Telegraph Road.

> How do I get to PCH from the airport?

Directly from Sydney Airport:
Whether you are travelling to or from either the Domestic or International Airports, we
recommend you contact Airport Shuttle North West who provide door-to-door service at
competitive rates using local drivers.

Contact Khal on 0418 261 878

via  Train – Catch a train to Central Station.  Change trains.  From Central station, catch a
train to Pymble Station (you will have a 15 minute walk from Pymble Station) or to Gordon
Station (you will pay approximately $20 for a taxi from Gordon Station).

Via Taxi – From the Airport, a taxi may cost in excess of $100.  There are taxis available from Gordon Station if you catch the train to Gordon.  The taxi from Gordon to PCH will take 5-10 minutes and should cost no more than about $20.

> Are there shops close by?

St Ives Shopping Village is a 10 minute flat walk from PCH along Mona Vale Road. Walk out our front gate and turn left.


> Are meal times flexible?

Meal times are set and can only be changed by prior arrangement (which may incur an additional fee).  Meal times are set as follows for our guests:

Morning tea:
Afternoon tea:
7.00 – 9.00am

Please note:  Silent Retreatants are served lunch at 12.00pm and dinner at 7.00pm (summer) or 5.00pm (winter).  Other meal times are the same as for other guests.

> Do you cater for specific dietary requirements?

Our chef caters for vegetarians, vegans and medically diagnosed dietary requirements if we are given at least two weeks notice of these needs

> Can I bring my own food?

No self-catering is permitted.  There are no facilities for storing, heating, cooking or eating food brought from outside the premises.  All catering is provided by our chef.  If you have specific dietary requirements and wish to bring your own cereal or snacks, that is encouraged.

> Are there other "eating out" options nearby?

There are a number of cafes around the St Ives area.  We ask that if you wish to eat elsewhere that you make your own arrangements to do so.

> Do I need to book for meals or can I just "turn up"?

Meals need to be arranged in advance

> Can I see a sample menu?

A sample menu can be arranged.  All meals are buffet style.  As a rough guideline, meals are as follows:

Morning tea:
Afternoon tea:
A continental breakfast: Cereal, toast, fruit, yoghurt, tea & coffee
Tea & coffee, fruit, freshly baked slice / biscuits / scones
Selection of hot meat, fish or chicken; vegetable and salad dishes
Tea & coffee, freshly baked slice / biscuits
Selection of hot meat, fish or chicken; vegetable and salad dishes


> Can I see a Spiritual Director during my stay?

Spiritual Direction is available at PCH.  Please advise at the time of booking if you would like Spiritual Direction and it will be arranged, depending on the directors’ calendars

> Do you have a chapel?

There is a chapel at PCH which is available for use (unless it has been booked by another group).  Public Masses are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5pm, and Sundays at 9.30am.

> Is there Mass daily?

There is no daily Mass.  Mass is held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5pm, and Sundays at 9.30am.

> Can I go to confession?

Confession may be pre-arranged with one of the on-site priests if one is available at the time you require one.

> Can I do a silent retreat?

Yes. PCH offers a quiet, tranquil atmosphere ideal for a silent retreat. There is plenty of space in our manicured gardens to enjoy silence.  Meals are held separately for silent retreatants to assure minimal distraction during the period of silence.


> How many people can I bring to stay overnight?

We have 47 bedrooms and can sleep up to 100 guests

> How many people can I bring during the daytime?

Our Hall can seat up to 200 people

> Do you take individual bookings or only groups?

Individual bookings and groups are both welcome

> Will there be other groups there at the same time?

Unless an additional fee is paid to obtain “exclusive use”, there may be more than one group staying at a time

> Will my group share facilities such as the dining room and bathrooms with other groups?

Yes, this is usually the case for the dining room. Exceptions are when one group is on “silence” and another is talking; or when we choose to stagger meal times due to large numbers on site at any one time.
Bathrooms are also shared, however we do try to allocate bedrooms for each group close together, which generally removes the need to share bathrooms with members from other groups.

> Do I have to pay a deposit to secure a booking?

A minimum deposit of 20% of your estimated final booking fee is required to secure your booking.

> Can I pay the balance of my invoice before I leave?

The balance of your invoice is required 14 days before your arrival

> If the size of my group is unknown, can I change my booking?

At time of booking, it is wise to realistically estimate your group size.  If you overestimate by more than 10% of final numbers, a fee of 50% of our revenue lost will be incurred.  If you underestimate, there is a chance we will not have bedrooms available for your additional guests.

> Can I change the date of my booking?  Is there a fee for this?

To secure your booking requires a deposit, which is neither refundable nor transferrable to other dates.  This means we cannot transfer that deposit to different dates as other potential bookings are turned away once we receive your deposit.  If you wish to transfer dates, another deposit will be required to secure the new dates and your original deposit will not be refunded or transferred.

> Can we bring children to PCH?

Children are welcome at PCH, however it is your responsibility to ensure your children are quietly respectful of our other guests. Parents will need to provide adequate bedding (eg portable cot), childcare, supervision and entertainment/activities for children during their stay.

> Do you have a room to accommodate a family?

We have a family suite which consists of two bedrooms, an ensuite and a sitting room.  This can sleep up to 7 people

> Are you open over Christmas and New Year?

PCH is open 365 days each year

> I am coming as part of a group booking.  Can I extend my stay?

Subject to availability, guests are welcome to arrive earlier or depart later than their group booking.  Please advise at the time of booking.  Our normal daily rate would apply to any extra days

> Can I book accommodation with no meals?

No.  A complimentary breakfast is supplied for all overnight guests. Our minimum booking rate is for bed and breakfast. There is no discount if breakfast is not required

> Can I smoke at PCH?

Our site is a non-smoking campus and we ask that you respect the expectations of residents and guests in this regard. If you must smoke, kindly move at least 20 metres away from any buildings and do not leave cigarette butts on the ground.


> Are there any ensuite bathrooms?

PCH has 8 ensuite bathrooms

> How many people can sleep in each room?

Most rooms are twin share, however it is possible to cater for up to four persons in some bedrooms on request

> Are the shared rooms dormitory-style rooms?

We do not have dormitory-style rooms or bunk beds.. Shared rooms have single or double beds.

> Will I have to share a room with somebody I don’t know?

Only if you come as part of a group and your group organiser has agreed to this. If guests are required to share rooms, room allocations are completed by your group organiser so you will be aware of sharing arrangements.  PCH never asks individual guests to share with somebody they do not know


> Where do I go when I arrive?

Your group’s organiser will arrive prior to the group members to facilitate their arrival and check-in.  If you are staying on an individual retreat, please report to reception at the front of the building for checking-in.

> What do I do if I arrive outside office hours?

If you have planned to arrive outside of office hours you will have agreed on an arrival plan with our administration prior to check-in and should follow this plan

> Who do I contact if I am delayed and will arrive later than planned?

At the time of booking, an out-of-hours mobile number will be provided.  Please call to confirm and/or change arrangements. If you are delayed it is essential that you inform us as we do not operate like a hotel and reception will only be attended during normal office hours or by prior arrangement.

> What time can I check in / check out?

Check in is after 2pm.  We ask that all guests vacate their rooms by 11am. It may be possible to alter these times, however a fee is charged if you wish to arrive early or depart late.  Arrangements can be made to store luggage if required.



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© 2016 Peter Canisius House

102 Mona Vale Road
Pymble NSW 2073 Australia
Phone: (02) 9488 4524

Useful Links

•   Centre of Ignatian Spirituality
•   Australian Jesuits