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Aware Peterborough

A. All Women
W. Women -By God’s design
A. Alive -In Jesus Christ
R. Renewed –In the Holy Spirit
E. Enriched -For Service
AWARE is a retreat for women of all denominations and ages. It is a weekend of spiritual refreshment and challenge. It is a weekend that includes an excellent speaker, small group discussions, worshipful music, fun and fellowship, or the blissful solitude of sitting beside the lake and listening to the loons.

2023 AWARE Registration is now open.

Register online here:

Aware Dates: Friday May 5th 4:00 p.m. – Sunday May 7th 2:00 p.m.


AWARE2023 Registration Closed


Meet your 2023 speaker

Debbie Laginskie

Debbie Laginskie

Debbie is the pastor of Still Ministries, facilitating its contemplative offerings for still care. She has been married for 43 years to a gentle man I met in a village near Ottawa.

“I have been blessed building a family of 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren.
I have many years experience in the pastoral ministry within the local church and speaking at retreats.
I believe that the ministry of spiritual direction and spiritual practices impact the whole of our lives with healing and freedom to be and do what God has created us for.”

Your AWARE Committee

Behind the scene we work all year to bring you a weekend of faith, food, fun and relaxation.

Debbie Irwin

Debbie Irwin

Raised in Port Hope and lives in Camborne.Mom of 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren !
I love being part of the planning committee and music team as it fills my spiritual fuel tank to serve those who serve others endlessly !
I worship thru song so the music of the weekend is what keeps me coming back year after year !
I am so happy to be back in person with all my AWARE sisters ! I can wait to see all of you in 2023 💕

Nancy Perrault

I have been either Chair or Co-Chair for the past 10 years. I have been going for over 20 years. I started as small group co-ordinator. I recently moved to Prince of Peace parish in Wasaga Beach.

Bev Kelly

It’s been such a privilege to be part of this amazing Committee. I have been coming to Aware since 2011. I started by sitting, listening, sharing and filling my spiritual tank. Today I am secretary to the planning committee, on the music team and in charge of retail for the weekend. Looking forward to seeing everyone in person this year.

Jenn Bailey

Jennifer Bailey

My job as treasurer, is to look after the money and keep a balanced budget.

I have been attending Aware since 2004 and it is where I feel closest to God.

I have made many friendships over the years and always look forward to seeing familiar and new faces every year!

Violet White
Welcome Committee

Violet spends many hours contacting new registrants to make them feel welcome and awnswer any questions they may have to make their experience of the weekend even better. -She addresses any concerns or questions they might have. Liaise with Registrar and/ or Team Leader – Get new registrants phone numbers

Catherine Hawley
Prayer Team

Love living in Peterborough at The Cottage by the Sea , with bichon puppy Thimbleberry.
Also …. flute playing for weekend Masses and at other churches , reading , writing with fountain pens , my camera, wood fires , and having lots of company .
AWARE has been the highlight of over 25 years of my life.

love, catherine


Laurie Robertson

Laurie is our Workshop coordinator and a member of the Music Team. In the world outside AWARE she is a member of the Diocesan Tech Volunteers group and a Licensed Lay Reader at St John the Evangelist, Port Hope. She is a speaker and presenter who takes a leadership role in her parish to develop and facilitate learning opportunities for parishioners. Her passion is to ‘spark people up’ in their faith so as to live out their baptismal promises of serving others and seeing Christ in all people. Laurie’s career in accounting software and finance is where she developed her gifts in technology and in finding ‘out of the box’ ways of using whatever is available to resolve atypical problems.

Gail Priestman
Small Groups

I am a member of Holy Trinity Church Thornhill and was married there almost 52 years ago. I love Christian fellowship and Aware brings that in spades. I have been going to Aware for many years and am the Small Group Facilitator. If you need and want joy in your heart, our Aware weekend will give you all of that and more!

Susan Foote

Hello Aware Ladies! So happy to be in person with you this year. I have been coming to Aware since 2013 when Debbie Irwin and her Mom Marilyn Bailey insisted that I needed to come. I have been on the planning committee since 2014 and did the decoration in the hall for 3 years. I have led a couple of workshops and have been singing on the music team since 2015. This year I am helping Bev Kelly with our Retail sales. I have enjoyed every aspect of the weekend especially the location, the fellowship, the worship and the friendships. And the food is so good too! I am lookng foward to another greak weekend of Aware. 

Blessings! Susan Foote

Donna McLean

I have been attending A.W.A.R.E. conferences in Guelph, Orillia, and Ely (Peterborough) for over 20 years. I love to sing alto with the Praise Team. I sometimes serve as a leader or prayer support for the small groups and recently I have helped on the Committee as a member-at-large. I also have a thing for themed parties so don’t be surprised if my decorations pop up throughout the weekend! These weekends are transformational and I am so happy we are going back to the in-person format. See you there!

Sandy Philps

I’m known as the Banner Lady. My job is to keep track of the banners and to make sure they are returned each year either at Prep Day or brought to AWARE. Working with this group of women is so inspiring that I look forward to our gatherings with anticipation. We pray together, laugh together, eat together and share ideas that bond us as Christian women. I’m a Mother and a grandmother with an interest in painting, fishing, pets and the First Nations’ culture. Our AWARE weekend has come to be a strong focal point in my life where I have met women not only strong in their faith but who open their hearts to others with love as our Saviour has taught us .

Music Team

Aware music team will be back again this year by popular demand this year they will have a new member accompanying them on the piano ! Please Welcome Andrea Manuel to her First Aware.

Heather Gillies

Every year for the past 16 or so years I have had the privilege of acting as your M.C. during our weekend. My job is to try to get the weekend moving smoothly and on time, while providing general and hopefully helpful information from the microphone. I also enjoy bringing stories, or insights from the interactions of our participants, our natural environment, the words of our speaker and the songs in our hearts.

Alexa White-Hawley
Web and Social Media

I have been attending Aware for the past 8 years and have served on the committee for 5 years. I work on the website and social media pages.

Karen Smith
Welcome Committee

Karen Smith and her team spread goodwill to everyone throughout the weekend. If this is your first time at AWARE, Karen and her team will ensure that all your needs are met.

Elim Lodge

Elim Lodge is a Christian facility located in a beautiful country setting that creates a comfortable cottage atmosphere. Meals are excellent and the staff delightful. The rustic accommodations are relaxing, and peaceful, just right for putting up your feet and chatting over a cup of tea in your cabin, room or by the lakeshore. Be prepared to meet new friends. Your fee covers the cost of this lovely facility, all conference activities, five meals, two night’s accommodation, brunch and two snacks. Books and gifts will be available for purchase throughout the weekend.