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(Visit Maria's new Retreat Facebook Page: 'Maria Forde Presents')

As a facilitator I am committed to offering you a retreat experience that is enjoyable, informative, reflective, engaging, safe and entertaining

As a teacher of Catholic Education and a retreat facilitator since 2000, I have worked throughout Australia with primary and secondary staff and leadership groups ranging in size from 10 to 150. I have also been blessed with a wonderful music career with 8 albums and love to bringing the gift of music to retreats by creating moving prayer rituals or by sharing the occasional song.

Below are some of the activities on offer during a staff retreat program:

Possible Themes:

Children and Prayer

Understanding Children's Spirituality

Understanding the Sacraments

Our School Creed

Encountering God

Exploring our Spirituality

Catholic Identity

The Intergenerational Workplace

Transformational Leadership

Celtic Spirituality - Finding God in the Present Moment

Living our Faith as a School Community

A Retreat with our School Founder

Retreat Activities offered:

  1. Fun team building activities
  2. School Pilgrimages
  3. Group discussion opportunities
  4. Indoor and outdoor activities (weather permitting)
  5. Art / craft activities
  6. Meditation / Relaxation
  7. A staff paraliturgy
  8. Group poster presentation activities
  9. Personal reflection activities
  10. Open and closing prayer / ritual
  11. Live music

A retreat experience is tailored to your school's own preferred theme. Past retreats have included Catholic Identity, leadership, team building, exploring Spirituality and Celtic Spirituality.

Bookings now open for 2020

Early Bird Rates available for bookings made before Feb 28th 2020

For more information please call Maria Forde on 0411158593 or email

I wrote the song 'Outstretched Arms' to express the unconditional love and vulnerability Jesus shares with us. With over 47,000 hits I am delighted that it has spoken to so many hearts. Please enjoy.

Maria Forde



Staff Professional Development:

Maria shared her expertise and insight on liturgical and religious music with our Religious Education staff to great effect. Her ability to interweave significant liturgical understanding with extensive experience and consummate musical ability thoroughly engaged our staff, even though it was at the end of a long school day. A most rewarding experience.

Parent Reflection Evening:

Maria led members of our parent and parish communities through an evening reflection on change in our lives. Her use of story, ritual and song invited us into a space which seemed like a warm conversation amongst friends, and the closeness created within the group encouraged a wonderful time of sharing and contemplation. Thankyou so much.

Michael Harrison

Deputy Principal: Mission & Community

‘God has blessed you with so many gifts that nurture your soul and the soul of those who listen and meet you. May God continue to work through you to help others in finding their inner voice, thoughts and journey.’ Maree Holmes Principal and staff of St Francis Xavier, Frankston

'We were lucky enough to experience one of Maria's Staff Retreats. She is an inspirational facilitator who engaged our staff fully in the retreat. Maria's music and voice are an instrument through which Jesus' message is clearly played. I would recommend her to any staff serious about personal development and look forward to have the opportunity to engage Maria's skills again in the future.' Brendon Alexander, APRE, Mother of Good Counsel School, North Cairns

'Thank you for sharing your story with us and helping us along on our own life journeys'. St Agatha's Staff, Cranbourne

'A hundred thousand thank you for being part of our story and spirit; for sharing your remarkable gift with us and for leading us on that ceaseless journey of discovering the giftedness that abounds within' Principal, St Peter Julian Eymard School, Mooroolbark.

'What a special addition to our workshops. Your song, story and spirit lifted our spirits during the conference.' Pastoral Associates Network

'Thank you for guiding us so skillfully through a day where we had tine to stop, reflect and let the spirit stir within us'