Are you a young male looking to move to Montreal to study at university? Or are you currently living in Montreal but looking for a place to hang out or looking to receive some personal guidance in the many aspects of your everyday life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Riverview is the right place for you.
Located at the corner of Avenue du Docteur-Penfield and Avenue Du Musée, Riverview Centre has served the needs of young men since it opened in 1968.
Riverview is a university residence in affiliation with the order of Opus Dei, an institution within the Catholic Church which has the primary goal of “sanctifying ordinary work.” It is a 5-10 minute walk from both Concordia University and McGill University, making it very accessible to both schools, as well as the downtown core.
Accommodations, meals, laundry, and access to the facilities of the residence are available to students seeking refuge in the centre.
“These are essential so people can feel at home here,” explains Fran Gonzalez, the assistant director at Riverview.
“Besides that, there are mentoring programs for university and high school students, geared towards their making the most of this stage of their lives.”
There is also one-on-one personal guidance and spiritual activities offered by the Chaplain of the residence.
“A great joy is counselling students and guiding them in their challenges during this important time of their life. These are one-on-one conversations where I can listen, encourage, but also challenge them to really become the best version of themselves,” said Father Eric Nicolai, the Chaplain of the residence.
“I try not to be too abstract or theoretical, but give students real practical goals that they can apply during the week.”
“Riverview fosters, encourages and provides opportunities for students to grow as a whole person,” said JR Bugarin, a current resident of Riverview.
One of the most pressing questions people have asked about Riverview is whether or not you have to be a Catholic, since the residence is affiliated with the Church.
“You don’t need to. In fact, through the years we’ve had Protestant, Muslim and Hindu scholars, and also those who did not profess any faith,” explains Salvador Rego, the director at Riverview. “Talks about how to lead a Christian life, daily Mass and personal spiritual direction are available for those interested.”
John Chrobak, a university student and Montreal resident attends Riverview for the activities and guidance that it offers.
“Riverview is religious at heart and while religious activities are encouraged, they are never forced and over the years I have met many at Riverview with varying degrees of religious devotion,” he said.
“I find [Riverside] very beneficial for my personal life, the activities are interesting and informative, I enjoy spending time and strengthening my relationships with those at Riverview, and the food is always delicious.”
Chrobak is not the only one who attends Riverview on a regular basis despite not being a resident.
“Most of the friends I’ve introduced to Riverview later told me that there’s something about it that makes them feel reassuringly at peace, the same aspect which first drew me,” said a current student at McGill University.
“It allows me to detach myself from the world if only for an hour and to feel peace from all the stressing [about] midterm or essay deadlines, to think of the things that really matter in life.”
The Riverview Residence Centre is among many university residences accepting applications for the fall 2014 semester.