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History of Redacres


The Natal Province of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate purchased REDACRES in the 1960’s from a Mr Du Toit, a retired Major in the then SADF. It is a 56 acre property that was run as a simple dairy farm. It is a across the valley from our Scholasticate where we are training our young men to become future Oblate priests and brothers.
 
Fr Albert Danker, who was Vocations Promoter and Chaplain to the Young Christian Workers, organized wonderful weekend retreats. The original stables were converted into dormitories and the milking shed into an ablution facility. The farmhouse was used for meetings and diningroom facilities. These early days hold many dear memories for the young people who spent weekends and school holidays helping in building the chapel and grotto. The chapel, designed by Brian Kearney, was built by a single Zulu bricklayer. Young boys and girls offered their school holidays by accompanying Fr Danker taking bricks up in the boot of his car. The stain-glassed crucifix and windows were made by one of the last great glass artists of Messrs Shaves in Durban. The little stone grotto, built near the farmhouse, was built by Vocation Workshop groups and torchlight processions became one of the beautiful reminders of a stay at Redacres.
The late Emily Soles, our first of many dedicated caretakers, served us with joy for a number of years. She loved Redacres and many will remember her beloved dogs, cats and Martin the parrot, who did not believe in polite or discreet language!
 
In 1976 we managed to begin more serious renovations and extentions due to the generosity of an Associate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Many will remember the Marriage Encounter weekends as a result of the more comfortable cottages and conference room facilities erection.
 
From those early days up until today, Redacres has become a home to many Confirmation retreat groups, conference groups. It has been a place of rest to many including the annual Midmar Mile swimmers. Situated on the Midlands Meander, the new Manager Veronica Young awaits to welcome with a smile in the true spirit of Oblate hospitality.

Retreat and Pilgrimage Ministries :
Oblates are involved in preaching retreats and leading pilgrimages. We work at Lourdes in France. We founded the Shongweni pilgrimage. Today we continue to help animate this diocesan pilgrimage. We have our own retreat centre at Redacres in Kwazulu Natal.
Ministry in Parishes

In 1852 five Oblates arrived in Durban to found the Church in Natal. Today we continue continue to minister in the Archdiocese of Durban in 22 parishes. Our focus is on the poor and marginalised wherever they are. But we are aware that spiritual poverty is found in all communities whatever their socio-economic status. So our ministerial presence includes all strata of society. Read more....