News & Resources >
August 18, 2022
Job Opportunities

Southdown is now accepting applications for the following job opportunities.

Clinical Psychologist and Director of Training

Click here to view this job opportunity.

Saturday and Holiday Kitchen Helper

Click here to view this job opportunity.


August 15, 2022
Covenant Summer 2022
April 7, 2022
Covenant Spring 2022
November 16, 2021
Covenant Fall/Winter 2021
July 27, 2021
Covenant Summer 2021
April 26, 2021
Covenant Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 Edition of Covenant in PDF format:


Inside the Issue:

Emerging from Darkness by Rev. Stephan Kappler, Psy.D., C.Psych., R.Psych.

Did you know?


The Importance of Hope In Seemingly Hopeless Times  by Rev. Bede J. Healey, OSB CAM Ph.D.

Contemplative Theological Reflection by Greta DeLonghi, MA, DSD


October 27, 2020
Covenant Fall/Winter 2020

The Fall/Winter Edition of the Covenant in PDF format:
Southdown Newsletter Fall/Winter 2020

Inside the Issue:

Moving Forward with Faith by Rev. Stephan Kappler, Psy.D., C.Psych., R.Psych.

Mourning Our Grief: A Process In Personal Growth
by Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF, MSW, ACSW, RWS

Did you know . . . Southdown Community Wellness Services

Welcome Fr. Francois Diouf, OSB, Ph.D.

Who Knew Teletherapy is More Valuable Today? 
by Rev. Innocent Okozi, Ph.D.



October 27, 2020
Southdown Community Wellness Services Information

Please click this link Southdown Community Wellness Services 

  • to view our wide selection of online interactive psychoeducation, spirituality and  psychotherapy groups and

  • to register for an upcoming event.



July 20, 2020
Covenant Newsletter - Summer 2020 Special Edition

Covenant – Summer 2020 – Special Edition

The Summer Special Edition of the Covenant in PDF format:
Southdown Newsletter Summer 2020 – Special Edition

Inside the Issue:

Finding God’s Grace in the Midst of Crisis by Rev. Stephan Kappler, Psy.D., C.Psych.

Lessons from the Psychological Impact of Loneliness and Solitude by Rev. Innocent Okozi, PhD

Welcome Fr. Innocent Okozi, PhD

Breathe by Ma. Febe T. Aguirre, M.Ed., CSD

KAIROS Psychology Group




April 1, 2020
COVID-19 Resources


The Southdown Clinical Staff has been working diligently during this time of Covid-19 to provide many useful resources to support you. Please follow this link to connect to Articles, Videos and our Virtual Walk-In Clinic.

March 31, 2020
Covenant Newsletter – Spring 2020

Covenant – Spring 2020

The Spring issue of the Covenant in PDF format: Southdown Newsletter Spring 2020

Inside the Issue:

Staying Well-Grounded in the Storm by Rev. Stephan Kappler, Psy.D., C.Psych.

Grace and Self-Compassion by Carol Cavaliere

Image is (Almost) Everything by  Greta Delonghi

Annual Benefit Dinner 2020 – Update

November 7, 2019
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 7th. A Resilient Life: Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Balance: Conference Presented by Southdown in Los Angeles February 19 2020

Please follow the link for more information: A Resilient Life: Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Balance

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November 7, 2019
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 7th. Effective Leadership in Human Formation: Conference Presented by Southdown in Los Angeles February 17-18 2020

Please follow the link for more information: Effective Leadership in Human Formation:

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November 6, 2019
Covenant Newsletter - Fall/Winter 2019


Read our Fall/Winter Issue of the Covenant newsletter in pdf format: Southdown Newsletter Fall_Winter 2019

Inside the Issue:

Transitions: Dreadful or Grace-Filled Parts of the Journey? by Rev. Stephan Kappler, Psy.D

Resilience: Navigating Acceptance and Change by Eran Talitman, Ph.D., C.Psych

Take a Moment to Breathe by Nadine Crescenzi, Certified WaterArt Instructor, Aquatic Rehab Specialist, Land Instructor

Psychotherapy – The Gift of Accompaniment by Rev. Stephan Kappler, Psy.D.

Southdown North York Services by Michael Sy, Ph.D., C.Psych. Outpatient Services Team Leader

April 23, 2019
The Southdown Institute Announces New President & Chief Psychologist

Stephan 2

January 8, 2019

The Southdown Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Stephan Kappler, M.Div., Psy.D., C.Psych. (Interim Autonomous Practice) as President and Chief Psychologist of The Southdown Institute, effective February 1, 2019. As part of a planned leadership transition, Fr. Kappler will replace Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF, whose five-year tenure as Chief Executive Officer comes to completion at the end of January.

Fr. Kappler brings to Southdown a wealth of experience in the field of mental health and service within the Church, ministering in various pastoral settings and with diverse populations. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill CA, and his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from the Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley CA. In February 2014, he founded KAIROS Psychology Group in Oakland CA and has served as its Director since that time. He has served as Parochial Vicar and Pastor in the Diocese of Oakland since May 1994, with his most recent ministry as Pastor of St. Jarlath Catholic Church in Oakland. He has facilitated workshops internationally for Religious and Clergy in the area of mental health. He has served on the National Advisory Council (NAC) of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), and has served as a consultant for many dioceses. Fr. Kappler speaks fluent English, Spanish, and German.

Fr. Kappler is well known to the Southdown Community, having completed his post-doctoral fellowship with us. He possesses a deep passion for accompanying fellow Religious and Clergy on their paths of ministry, fulfilling Southdown’s vision of Healthy Ministers for a Healthy Church. We welcome his expertise to continue strengthening the services Southdown provides to the international Church.

March 25, 2019
Covenant newsletter - Spring 2019: Includes an in depth article on The Ripple Effects of Trauma
February 26, 2019
Southdown Annual Benefit Dinner to be held Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Annual Benefit Dinner is held to raise support and awareness of our mission to provide integrated holistic treatment for Religious and Clergy. The event brings together a caring community in support of our vision. Proceeds help to ensure that no one is turned away due to lack of financial resources, that all “might have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

When: Thursday, May 9, 2019                                                                                     6:30 pm — Reception                                                                                                          7:00 pm — Dinner and Program

Where: Columbus Event Centre                                                                                 Sala Caboto Ballroom                                                                                                        40 Playfair Avenue                                                                                                               Toronto ON M6B 2P9                                                                                                        T: 416 789 2113                                                                                                        

For more information please click Annual Benefit Dinner – Toronto, 9 May 2019 or contact Joe Forhan, Chief Administrative Officer, The Southdown Institute T: 905 727 4214, email:, or visit

October 1, 2018
Registration is Open for a Conference in Tucson (AZ) Jan 27-31 2019

CMSM is inviting religious leaders and emerging leaders from their communities to participate in a retreat-style conference in Tucson (AZ), January 27-31, 2019. The conference will include input and reflection time on living a joyful, healthy and resilient life as a member of a religious community.

Registration is open to members of CMSM and CRC, and emerging leaders.

Information and registration are available here.

August 3, 2018
Addiction and Recovery - Watch newly released videos in our Resource Centre.

Visit our Resource Centre for newly released videos with Sr. Elaine Dombi, SSJ, Addictions Counsellor, Southdown. Sr. Elaine speaks about addiction and recovery in three brief videos. Follow this link to see the videos.

July 16, 2018
Register Now for CPI Conference in Toronto!

Critical Personnel Issues Conference
Toronto, 22-24 October 2018

Moving Forward with Wisdom:
Skills and Tools for Intervention

An intervention is an action performed to empower and motivate others to make changes in their lives. These changes may include activities intended to modify behaviours and emotional states. A wide range of intervention strategies exist for various behavioural, emotional and relational issues.

The conference will explore intervention warning signs and offer practical skills and tools.

•    How and when to use an intervention?
•    Who should be involved?
•    What problems can be addressed?
•    How to prepare?
•    How to manage the fallout?

This conference is designed for Leadership Teams, Formation and Vocation Directors, Vicars, Rectors, Pastors, Canons, Personnel Directors and Supervisors. The format will be an adult learning model.

Conference Brochure
Registration Options
Hotel Registration
Travel Information

May 24, 2018
"Witness" - Fr. Thomas Rosica interview with Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit OSF

The “Witness” interview with Southdown’s CEO, Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit OSF, is scheduled to air on Salt and Light Television on Sunday, June 10th at 7 pm and at midnight. It then will repeat the following week on Monday at 12:30 pm, Thursday at 8:00 pm and midnight, and Friday at 12:30 pm.

The video can also be viewed here:

Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit is a member of the Franciscan Sisters, Dubuque, Iowa and is the current Chief Executive Officer for The Southdown Institute. Sr. Dorothy holds her Masters in Social Work from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA and a BSN from Marycrest College in Davenport, IA. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) in the USA, licensed as an Independent Social Worker (LISW) in Iowa, and as a Registered Social Worker (RSW) in Ontario, Canada. Previous ministry experiences include the Office of Family Ministry with Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS, Board membership and chairman for the State Board of Mental Health of Mississippi, Clinical Practice for Religious and Clergy in the Tri-State area of Dubuque, IA, and eight years as Congregational President with the Dubuque Franciscans. Prior to her current position, Sr. Dorothy was the Continuing Care Coordinator for Southdown.

Salt and Light series – “Witness” – presents men and women who are making a difference in both big and small ways. Father Thomas Rosica hosts a series of in-depth interviews with distinguished, high-level religious and civic leaders – people who are contributing significantly to the vibrancy of their Catholic communities. “Witness” provides viewers with theological reflection, as well as personal insight into those who shape society.

May 16, 2018
Moving Forward with Wisdom: Skills and Tools for Intervention. Early Bird registration is open.

CPI 2018 banner

Critical Personnel Issues Conference
Toronto, 22-24 October 2018


  • Early bird discount before Aug 1: 350 CAD / 275 USD (per person)
  • After Aug 1: 380 CAD / 300 USD
  • 10% discount for groups of 3 or more

Conference Brochure
Registration Options
Hotel Registration
Travel Information

May 14, 2018
Legacy & Hope: Sr. Zarowny SSA at Southdown's Benefit Dinner

On May 10, 2018, during our Annual Benefit Dinner, we were honoured to celebrate a Legacy gift from The Sisters of Saint Ann, Pacific Northwest. Sister Marie Zarowny SSA, Province Co-Leader and President, has made a remarkable speech to all the guests: donors, Board members, staff and friends of Southdown:

“Has there ever been a time in history in need of more hope than today? Perhaps every age could look at the dark side and say the same. However, in our time, modern technology makes us acutely and profoundly aware of the darkness, not only in our own cities and country but in every corner of the world. And we don’t just hear or read about it, we see images day after day; we actually hear the cries and weeping of those who suffer. How is it we are not overwhelmed with despair?”

click here to read the speech in its entirety

October 27, 2017
Participate in Our Mission!

Dear Friend,

I entered Southdown in a very broken state…..and 6 months later I departed grateful for the healing and hope that had occurred during that time.  With the continuing care program and making use of what I learned and experienced, I began a new way of living that I celebrate to this day.

– Alumnus 2010 –

This testimony is a tribute to the importance of a place dedicated to preventative and restorative care for Clergy and Vowed Religious. People in our communities face challenges and stressors that become an integral part of the ministry Clergy and Religious women and men provide. These committed men and women are increasingly being asked to provide more services with fewer supports and less time. In addition, their resources, both Diocesan and Congregational, are declining. When ministers need respite and a place to heal, Southdown provides a secure and supportive environment for them. Healers need healing themselves if they are to continue their calling in our time of need. When our ministers are healthy, they are filled with a deep inner joy and compassion that spills over to each of us and benefits the universal Church. These strong and healthy ministers give us hope and encouragement as we face our own personal trials.

Since I have been the CEO of Southdown, the requests for financial assistance have increased each year. I see no lessening of this need for finances. It is important to us that anyone who is desiring treatment and support can access services at Southdown.

Won’t you assist us in providing treatment to these men and women who have dedicated their lives to serve the people of God in all areas of the world? In doing so, you participate in our mission and ministry so “that all may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Thank you for your support and continued prayers for our ministry. Be assured of our prayers for you and your loved ones.

May God’s blessings be yours in abundance,

Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit OSF, MSW, ACSW, RSW
Chief Executive Officer
The Southdown Institute

Ways to give:

Please print and mail this donation form or donate online.

September 25, 2017
Addiction and Recovery Among Women Religious

Global Sisters Report, which is a non-profit news organization affiliated with the National Catholic Register recently featured Southdown in an article about women religious and addiction. The article sheds light on this important issue. Click here to read the article.

September 11, 2017
Year at a Glance - Annual Report 2016/17

We are pleased to share the highlights of the last fiscal year in our Annual Report.

AR 2016 cover

Please take a moment to look back to celebrate everything that we accomplished in 2016/17.


August 14, 2017
Check our online Resource Centre

We are pleased to offer a new online Resource Centre available on Southdown website, which provides an easy access to:

  • Covenant newsletter archives (searchable by keyword or category)
  • Videos produced by our staff
  • External resources (web links, books and articles recommended by our staff)
  • Q&A Forum (a place to post a question and get an answer from our staff)

The Resource Centre is in its’ initial stage and our goal is to grow the content based on your inquiries. We will post answers to questions from our readers and website visitors through the Q&A Forum either in a written or video format.

Whether you have a general question about mental health or are seeking information on a specific problem within your community or diocese, we hope to be able to answer. All inquiries are moderated and anonymous. What we often encounter in our practice is that people are not sure what to do when they are presented with a problem and what are the next steps. They may notice a problem but are hesitant to address it due to fear of being judged or simply due to lack of direction. We have over 50 years of experience in addressing questions and concerns around mental health needs and addictions, and we would like to share this knowledge with you. Please do not hesitate to use this Resource Centre and ask your questions! Feel free to email advancement @ or call Katherine Rogalska, Communications Manager at 905 727 4214 ext. 104 if you have any questions on how to use the Q&A Forum or would like to take a tour.

February 10, 2017
Annual Benefit Dinner 2017 News

On behalf of our Board and all who minister at Southdown, we thank all those who attended and supported our Benefit Dinner on May 11, 2017 in Toronto. Your faithful generosity assists in our mission of bringing healthy ministers to a healthy Church. Please accept our gratitude. This has been a year of celebration honouring the founding of Southdown in June of 1965 with the facility opening on December 15, 1966. On May 11th we honoured J.J. Barnicke whose vision and creativity contributed to the success of our organization. J.J. Barnicke’s involvement in establishing and assisting Southdown through its earliest years is a tribute to the generosity and philanthropic spirit of lay people.

Thomas G. McCarthy: Tribute to J.J. Barnicke

Address by guest speaker, Fr. Thomas Rosica CSB, CEO of Salt and Light TV

Extending our gratitude to each of you and our promise of prayer as we continue to service the Church through our mission of healing.

Please visit our event page to learn more about the 2018 Annual Benefit Dinner

January 9, 2017
Thank you for a great conference in the Philippines!

Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the success of the Critical Personnel Issues Conference in Asia: Today’s Challenges and Perspectives, 1-3 April 2017

Southdown staff and KAIROS presented workshops on the following topics:

– Navigating Difficult Personalities
– Comprehensive Mental Health Assessment
– Healthy Sexuality and Boundaries
– Addictions
– Leadership





January 7, 2017
Register Now! Retreat for Women Religious: Toronto, July 24-28

 Spaces are still available!

Listening to the Teacher Within
Retreat Conference for Women Religious in Congregation Leadership

July 24 – 28, 2017
St. John’s Convent and Guest House
233 Cummer Avenue
Toronto, ON M2M 2E8

Please contact us directly if you require a subsidy.

Registration options:

Fees: $850 (CAD) pp
The fee includes room, board, and conference. Please contact us directly if you require subsidy.

On-line registration:

Conference description:

Leadership calls forth the use of many skills and strengths. There are experiences that can surprise us and challenge us at the same time. Taking time to withdraw, step back and review how these experiences are impacting one’s life and spirit is important. Input will include integrating leadership experiences and finding God in the daily routine. This will be a retreat format conference with daily input, time for quiet, for reflection, and for process. The schedule will include group prayer and group sharing. The facilitators will be available for private consultation during the day.


Febe Aguirre MEd, CSD
Dorothy Heiderscheit OSF, MSW, ACSW, RSW


November 28, 2016
Covenant Newsletter - Winter 2016

The Winter issue of Covenant is available on our website and in pdf.

Inside This Issue:

Addiction. Pornography. Internet – By Elaine Dombi, SSJ, MA, ICADC

Spiritual Direction: Finding the Transcendent in Life’s Struggles – By Ma. Febe T. Aquirre, M.Ed., CSD

From My Desk to Yours – By Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF, MSW, ACSW, RSW

Welcome Connie to Our Staff!

Save the Date!

October 11, 2016
Interview in The Catholic Register

An interview with Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit OSF reveals how At Southdown, religious learn to take care of themselves before taking care of others (read below, or in October 10 issue of The Catholic Register).

At Southdown, religious learn to take care of themselves before taking care of others


  • October 10, 2016

When residents first enter the Southdown Institute in the small township of East Gwillimbury, Ont., north of Toronto, they are usually lethargic and depressed. They are religious or clergy who have been sent there by the leaders of their diocese or their community, to be treated for addictions and mental health issues.

Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit is the first and last contact residents have with Southdown’s programming. She said there are many who don’t like to look her in the eye when they first meet during the orientation meeting, but after 14 weeks in the program, it’s a new person she sees.

“As they prepare to leave residency, their steps are lighter, they walk with a sense of freedom or new life, more relaxed, more playful, happier, have found the joy in their life,” she said. “It is the most rewarding part of my job. It gives me a clear picture of what the needs are that we’re addressing and serving.”

As the Chief Executive Officer of Southdown, Heiderscheit said it is her duty and privilege to create personal connections with all the religious and clergy the institute serves. Each individual has unique needs, but all treatments and services must lead to holistic healing. This is the measure she uses to evaluate the success of the program.

“When people come here, one of the things they’re faced with is the anxiety and the fear of looking inward,” said Heiderscheit.

“It’s a common human challenge.”

After seven years working at Southdown, beginning as a continuing care co-ordinator, Heiderscheit has seen it all. The most common challenge residents face is slowing down and focusing on self-care.

“They’re all ministers. They’re all serving people,” she said. “Coming here, they have to quiet down and take a look at what’s going on inside. They have to reflect of where God is in their life.”

There are several prongs that contribute to a client’s mental, psychological and spiritual health, but many residents also share a common problem.

Heiderscheit said with an aging clergy and religious community, they are often spread too thin. Their work will often take precedence over their own personal needs.

The first obstacle is to confront the stigma of mental health care. Like the rest of the mental health care system, new residents of Southdown must conquer the negative attitude towards mental illness.

“It’s a stigma in society very definitely and religious and clergy minister are no different,” said Heiderscheit.

“The additional distress, I think, is they’re in such high-profile positions. To feel that they may not be perfect enough… What are people going to think of me if I have to have some help.”

Heiderscheit said they often fear how the time away from their ministry will affect their work when they return. And priests often worry how their parish community will see them after their treatment.

“The churches that these individuals belong to would be no different than the general society,” said Heiderscheit. “Society might have an image of if they’re my pastor or my mental health counsellor… how would they feel safe and secure in coming to them with their problems, if they themselves have problems?”

But Heiderscheit said it is important to remind the religious and clergy that come to Southdown that they are human. Although they have committed their life to serving others, they must also take the time to care for their own wellbeing.

Heiderscheit takes pride in the comprehensive and holistic service Southdown provides for its residents.

As the institute continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the staff is working to expand the services provided.

Heiderscheit said the priority right now is to expand the subsidization program.

“Our greatest need is to build up and sustain a subsidy so we can assist those who do not have sufficient funds for residency,” she said.

“Many of our people come from communities and dioceses in mission areas and they provide services in areas and to people who have limited resources. It is costly to provide quality residential care.”

For information on how to support Southdown Institute, visit

October 9, 2016
Salt and Light TV - Watch on November 10, 9:30 pm or November 11, 2 pm

We are pleased to announce that Southdown video will be aired on  Salt and Light TV network with a special introduction by Rev. Thomas Rosica, CSB.

Watch live at

  • November 6 at 9:00 pm
  • November 10 at 9:30 pm
  • November 11 at 2 pm

(the video is also available on Southdown’s website and You Tube Channel).

September 1, 2016
Annual Report

Southdown’s new Annual Report for the fiscal year 2015-16 is now available on our website: Annual Report 2015-16.

June 1, 2016
Why Southdown? Why Now?

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, addictions, burnout, or other psychological stress, give us a call. Consultations are free and strictly confidential. Whether you are in a leadership position dealing with a difficult situation or find yourself personally experiencing difficulties our expert clinical staff can listen and offer clarity and or direction.

• 14-week residential stay: goal oriented program allows for shorter stay with the same results as a standard six-month program

• Client-focused: customised flexible programing for each resident allows for accommodating various presenting issues and concerns of the referral source

Research based clinical approach addressing the needs of today’s church ministers

• Assessment Plus: time-limited residential stay offers support to a former resident or to assess a developing complex psychological process. Particularly appropriate and effective for medication management and developing cognitive issues

• Continuing Care:  1support for residents continues for a minimum of 18 months to consolidate the skills obtained while in residency. This process includes regular contact through technology and Connections workshops at Southdown during the continuing care phase

• New facility: recently constructed accessible facility facilitates a community centered treatment program, where residents are living and working through issues in a communal setting

• Spiritual integration: regular spiritual counseling assisting with the integration of the inner psychological work with interior life of prayer and contemplation

• Leadership collaboration: leadership inclusion throughout the assessment and the residential stay improves the potential for a successful treatment outcome. Clear and achievable goals are communicated early in the process with mid-treatment dialogue between resident, therapist, and leader

• Subsidy: assistance for those with limited resources is possible because of the generosity of our donors so that no one in need is denied services

• Canadian dollar exchange rate: decrease in the value of the Canadian dollar significantly reduces the residential cost for The United States and International users

Southdown has provided expert mental-health treatment to religious and clergy since 1966 with Gratitude, Compassion and Care.

For additional information or to discuss individual needs or concerns, please call us at:
905 727 4214 or email us.

May 17, 2016
Thank You for Your Support!

Thank you to all our donors and guests who attended our 2016 Benefit Dinner. Your assistance in raising support and awareness of our mission to provide integrated holistic treatment for Religious and Clergy is greatly appreciated.

Save the date for the 2017 Benefit Dinner !

Thursday, May 11, 2017
6:15 pm Reception
7:00 pm Dinner and Programme
Where: Columbus Event Centre (Sala Caboto Ballroom)
40 Playfair Avenue, Toronto, ON M6B 2P9

Detailed map with parking and directions

Please visit our event web page for more information.

March 1, 2016
Covenant Spring 2016
In This Issue:
  • From My Desk to Yours, by Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF, MSW, ACSW, RSW
  • Looking at 50 Years of Religious Life, by Miriam D. Ukeritis, CSJ, PhD
  • Developments and Changes in Clinical Program, by Michael Sy, PhD, C Psych
  • Upcoming Events
December 6, 2015
Wishing You peace during this Christmas...

Southdown 2015 Christmas

September 18, 2015
Covenant Fall 2015
The new issue of our newsletter Covenant is now available in pdf Fall 2015 or you can view it on our website.
The Prodigal Son & Mindfulness by Benjamin Williams, PhD
God’s Presence in Human Impasse by Barry Lynch, CFC, MA, MPS
Spirituality and Psychology: Gifts and Opportunities by Michael Sy, PhD
April 15, 2015
Covenant - Spring 2015

Covenant Heading

The new issue of Southdown’s newsletter Covenant is now available:
February 25, 2015
Warm Welcome in Oakland


Warm Welcome in Oakland!

Southdown and KAIROS Psychology Group had a privilege to host Healthy Leaders for a Healthy Church conference in Oakland, CA for clergy and religious leaders from the West Coast area. This one-day conference was specifically designed to provide a forum to explore challenging issues that affect the work of clergy and religious personnel directors, vocations directors, and directors of formation programs.

Over 70 participants attended workshops which explored topics in personality disorders, diversity, aging and healthy sexuality. The conference provided education and insight, and a space to share/process each other’s experience. The discussion of practical strategies for fostering health and well-being was very well received by all participants. Southdown and KAIROS would like to thank all participants for attending the conference and for their insightful comments. Thank you for warm welcome and for making this conference a rewarding experience.

January 30, 2015
Read about us in The Catholic Register

The Southdown Institute and an interview with Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF was featured in the September 14th issue of The Catholic Register. Please read the full article on-line on The Catholic Register web site.

January 30, 2015
Opening Celebration

On September 6, 2014, the Southdown community celebrated the official Opening of its’ new home in Holland Landing.  His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto blessed Southdown Chapel.  We welcomed local politicians including Mayor of East Gwillimbury, Virginia Hackson and Councillor, Tara Roy-DiClemente.  Lois Brown MP Newmarket Aurora, Julia Munro MPP York-Simcoe and Peter Van Loan MPP York-Simcoe were also present during the official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  We were also blessed with the presence of our committed Board members and former staff.  Several members of religious communities and their Leadership enjoyed tours of the new facility led by Southdown’s staff.  We received numerous congratulatory notes and best wishes.  We are very thankful for all the kind words and continuous support.

Since 1966, Southdown’s goal has been to provide high quality residential treatment for men and women committed to ministry and religious life in an environment conducive to healing.  With this goal in mind, our new facility was designed to include the functional and spiritual design elements to accommodate the changing needs of today’s residents.

Please visit our photo gallery to view pictures from the event and to see some new photos of our beautiful new home.

January 30, 2015
Southdown receives High Commendation from the International Academy for Health and Design


The Southdown Institute’s new building, designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects received High Commendation from the International Academy for Health and Design in the category of Mental Health Design.  The awards were presented during the 10th Design & Health World Congress & Exhibition at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, on July 12, 2014.  Close to 100 submissions in various categories were reviewed by an international panel of judges.

According to their web site, The Design & Health International Academy Awards is the world’s leading advocacy programme, recognising professional excellence in the research and practice of designing healthy environments.  The annual awards programme has a significant influence on the global design of salutogenic environments that support health, wellbeing and quality of life, reflecting important aspects of the exceptional work undertaken by researchers and practitioners at the forefront of the field of design and health.

Southdown’s building was designed with intention to promote healing and spiritual reflection.  The landscape and pastoral surroundings are central to the design concept.

files/pdfMontgomery and Sisam Press Kit

January 30, 2015
Our New Home

On December 6, 2013 we have moved to our new home in Holland Landing, which is in the township of East Gwillimbury, just north of Toronto.  We are located at:

18798 Old Yonge Street
Holland Landing, ON L9N 0L1  

Since 1966, Southdown’s goal has been to provide high quality residential treatment for men and women committed to ministry and religious life in an environment conducive to healing.  With this goal in mind, our new facility was designed to include the functional and spiritual design elements to accommodate the changing needs of today’s residents. Our new home is located just 10 kilometers north of our original site in Aurora.

Southdown’s new building features:

  • privacy and pastoral setting conducive to healing
  • chapel and meditation space
  • 22 comfortable ensuite bedrooms, including 4 fully accessible rooms
  • elevator
  • dedicated group therapy rooms
  • spacious fi tness room
  • art therapy and pottery room
  • easy access to needed services and off -ground activities
  • modern and eco-friendly design

files/pdfNew Building Flyer

January 30, 2015
CEO Appointment

Appointment of the new CEO

October 16, 2013

The Southdown Institute’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF for the role of the CEO.  The Board Chair, Kevin Yousie expressed complete confidence in Sr. Dorothy’s abilities and belief that under her leadership Southdown will continue to play an important role in serving the Church.  Sr. Dorothy’s term as CEO will commence effective January 1st, 2014.

The Board also thanked Miriam Ukeritis, CSJ for her outstanding leadership during a very challenging period at the Southdown Institute.  Her strength and skill as a leader has put the organization in a much stronger position, and well-positioned Southdown for the future.  She leaves Southdown to join four other members of her congregation as they take up their responsibilities on the newly elected Congregational Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

About Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF

Dorothy Heiderscheit, OSF is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa.  Dorothy holds her Masters in Social Work from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA and a BSN from Marycrest College in Davenport, IA.  She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) in the USA, licensed as an Independent Social Worker (LISW) in Iowa, and as a Registered Social Worker (RSW) in Ontario, Canada.  Her previous ministry experiences include the Office of Family Ministry with Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS, Board membership and Chairperson for the State Board of Mental Health of Mississippi, Clinical Practice for Religious and Clergy in the Tri-State area of Dubuque, IA, and eight years of Congregational leadership with the Dubuque Franciscans.  In her most recent position, Sr. Dorothy was the Continuing Care Coordinator for Southdown Institute.

January 30, 2015
Southdown awarded Accreditation with Exemplary Status!

On May 22, 2013, Southdown received Accreditation with Commendation for its commitment to providing safe and high quality health services. In October, after reviewing our updated submission, the Accreditation Canada awarded Southdown an Accreditation with Exemplary Status.

As part of the accreditation process, Southdown has undergone a rigorous evaluation process.  Following a comprehensive self-assessment, external peer surveyors conducted an on-site review during which they assessed Southdown’s leadership, governance, clinical programs and services against Accreditation Canada requirements for quality and safety.  These requirements include national standards of excellence; required safety practices to reduce potential harm; and questionnaires to assess the work environment, patient safety culture, governance functioning and client experience.  In result, Southdown has surpassed the fundamental requirements of the Qmentum accreditation program.

The accreditation process has been very rewarding for Southdown’s team who learned about their strengths and opportunities for improvements.  The surveyors stated in their final report:

There is a well-established and shared values base, inherent in all that Southdown espouses to be in terms of its mission and vision. Furthermore, those values are expressed and visible in day-to-day interactions between staff and residents, which is a testimony to the leadership of the organization and the staff they recruit and retain.

January 30, 2015
New Building Preview

Since 1966, Southdown’s goal was to provide a much needed resource for church ministers and religious men and women in the best environment conducive to healing. With this goal in mind we are building a new facility in East Gwillimbury (just 10 km North of our current location in Aurora), which includes the functional and spiritual design elements to accommodate the changing needs of our clients. Through economic analysis and functional planning, we have learned that repairing or adding to our existing structure would be unmanageable and a poor exercise of stewardship. Building a new structure would also allow us to continue our services uninterrupted.

The construction of the new building is already underway with planned completion by the end of 2013.  The new building will provide:

  • the privacy and pastoral setting conducive to healing
  • chapel with Southdown’s stained glass window
  • 4 fully accessible bedrooms
  • accessible elevator
  • 22 comfortable and newly furnished bedrooms with en suite
  • dedicated group therapy rooms
  • spacious fitness room
  • art therapy and pottery room
  • easy access to needed services and off-ground activities
  • modern and eco-friendly building infrastructure

Please visit our Photo Gallery to see the construction progress of our new building and architect renderings.

January 30, 2015
Southdown's New Home


Over these many years in Aurora, our physical surroundings have gone through significant change and urban growth, leading us to address issues of privacy and the need for an environment conducive to healing.  Through economic analysis and functional planning, we have learned that rebuilding, repairing and /or adding to our existing structure would be unmanageable and a poor exercise of stewardship. We therefore engaged the assistance of professionals and collaborated with neighboring landowners. Simultaneously, we sought a suitable site at which we might continue our mission.

At the Board’s final meeting of fiscal 2011-12, Southdown’s Directors voted to go forward with the relocation and development of our centre. We have sold our property in Aurora and purchased land in East Gwillimbury (about 10 kilometers north of our current location). We will continue to offer the excellent and professional services that have marked our first 47 years in a new facility that includes functional and spiritual design elements in keeping with our mission.  The new building will meet accessibility needs of our clients and visitors. The surrounding area will provide the privacy and pastoral setting that has been so conducive to a healing environment, yet with easy access to needed services and off-grounds activities. With construction already underway, the completion is planned for the end of 2013.  The new building will be located just 10 kilometers north of our current location and it will provide:

  • the privacy and pastoral setting conducive to healing
  • chapel with Southdown’s stained glass window
  • 4 fully accessible bedrooms
  • accessible elevator
  • 22 comfortable and newly furnished bedrooms with en suite
  • dedicated group therapy rooms
  • spacious fitness room
  • art therapy and pottery room
  • easy access to needed services and off-ground activities
  • modern and eco-friendly building infrastructure
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