Original Indigenous People
The original inhabitants of Bowral and the land on which Hartzer Park is situated, are the Tharawal people. We wish to honor and acknowledge their presence and their history.
Our Centre seeks to develop and nurture a sense of the Sacred... in one's self, in others, and in the beauty of creation.
Hartzer seeks to promote and develop the contemplative and reflective dimension of the whole person. Staff welcome all who visit and seek to make a positive difference by providing opportunities for enrichment and by offering their care and hospitality for all.
Hartzer Park Centre
Hartzer Park is a retreat and conference centre owned and managed by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH). The Sisters are an international Congregation of women ministering and working in twenty-six countries around the world.
The present brick building which is used for conferences, retreats and accommodation was opened in 1963. It was built in a European monastic style, with hundreds of arches and six main cloisters around the central courtyard. The inspiring chapel is in a Romanesque and Byzantine style.
Hartzer Park as a place of rest and a centre for human and spiritual development was opened to the general public in January 1978.
The staff are committed to providing an atmosphere of peace and refreshment where each guest is made to feel at home in the quiet and tranquil surroundings.
History of Hartzer Park
The present 'Hartzer Park' property was purchased in 1947 as a place of training for young women who were joining the Congregation. At the time, the property was known as Eridge Park.
'Hartzer Park' was named after Marie Louise Hartzer, who was the first Superior General of the Congregation of The Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The Congregation was founded in Issoudun, France in 1874 by Fr. Jules Chevalier (M.S.C).
Marie Louise had been a young widow with two sons when she first came into contact with the Congregation in France. She felt drawn to give her life to God and to share her life with others in loving service. After her sons had grown up and were settled, she joined the congregation.
Marie Louise guided the small group of women in the very beginnings of the Congregation and it was through her wise, practical, motherly guidance and skillful leadership that the Congregation spread through Europe and into Oceania.
Marie Louise Hartzer
The sisters' spirituality includes regular contemplation of the heart of Christ in the Gospels and the Eucharist, and a desire to make Jesus known and loved wherever they are. They are called to a special relationship with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and honor her under the title of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
The Sisters endeavor to foster love in the world and work particularly with the poor and disadvantaged, both in Australia and overseas. Collaborating with others in creating and sustaining a just world where all may experience the loving compassion and heart of God.
Eridge Park- Historical Property
The two storey house on the property, also known previously as Eridge Park, was built by Sir Robert Lucas Tooth MLA in 1880. He was a partner in the Kent Brewery and later chairman of the Tooth Company.
The house itself was built from the wood of the malt bins, which were shipped out from England to supply the brewery. In its day it was a very fine house.
The entrance foyer features a very beautiful stained glass window. It comprises of three main panels. In the middle panel is the knight, St George in full armor with sword drawn and on either side are decorative panels featuring the initials of Robert Lucas Tooth and his wife Helen Tooth. Their motto perseverantia palman obtinebit ‘Perseverance will gain the palm’ is inscribed underneath.
The original house boasted its own gas generating plant and its own supply of water from a well nearby.
In the South Eastern corner of the property still to this day there are a number of hawthorn trees which were planted by Sir Robert to provide shade for his children when they played.
The White House
Built by Sir Robert Lucas Tooth.