About Us

North of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, Arizona, lies Canaan in the Desert, the American branch of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary with its Prayer Garden. A sanctuary of peace and blessing … A place to meet with God …

Many stories could be told of the Prayer Garden with its sculptured reliefs depicting Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection: stories of release from despair, marriages restored, lives healed of addictions — all in answer to prayer. Spring is a favourite time for school classes to visit. It’s a little bit like being in Paradise — with birds singing, rabbits scurrying under the nearest bushes and children, hand-in-hand, chattering delightedly, “We’re going to see Jesus!” Many return with their parents. People on their way to work like to stop by before facing another busy day. Retirees enjoy a quiet moment to reflect on their lives, while the bereaved find peace of soul.

Founded by Mother Basilea Schlink in 1968, Canaan in the Desert also serves as a base for our literature, audio/radio and video ministry. Television programs, including the Easter Special No Greater Love (a walk through the Prayer Garden), have been shown all over America. To quote one program director in Rhode Island: “They talk about God and love — and I love it!”

Prayer is a way of life for us, whether trusting God to supply our daily needs, celebrating His redemption, or engaging in intercessory prayer for society and the nation at large. Called by God from various countries to serve in Phoenix, we long to help others enter a closer walk with Jesus, to bring encouragement to those who are hurting, to see a return to God’s directives for living: the Ten Commandments. We seek, in the spirit of repentance, to work for reconciliation, and over the years bonds of love have been formed with Holocaust survivors and members of ethnic minorities such as Native American Indians. We also explore ways of contributing practically to those in need. As prison populations increase and budgets provide nothing for Christian literature, chaplains are thankful for free, faith-inspiring printed messages to encourage prisoners and their families.

Living near an area of such outstanding beauty as the Grand Canyon, we felt led to set up plaques pointing to the Artist, our God and Maker. God touched the hearts of officials to give permission. Meanwhile plaques have also found their way to the Rocky Mountains and other parts of the country. In view of recent natural disasters, books and videos like Nature Out of Control? help those struggling to make sense out of life. As the needs grow, so do the opportunities for sharing the love and comfort of God with others.

RETREATS are held in Colorado and Texas.