MARCH 2020
If Christ deemed us worthy to live in these times, at this hour
- the only hour we have -
we cannot let ourselves be overcome by fear,
nor allow this time to pass without

living it
with joyful fidelity.

(Pope Francis, September 24, 2018)


 (Each Registrant will choose one group on the form. 
Those who choose 'Franciscan Federation' will select one commission meeting they will attend.)
  • FRANCISCAN FEDERATION COMMISSION MEETINGS AND  FULL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS at this Annual Gathering of our members, so as to include  approval of our Annual Report, discussion of proposals, and discernment on our being "CALLED TO THIS HOUR."
  • EXPLORERS GROUP*  Invited Representatives of Franciscan Organizations in the US who will seek ways to plan and witness together to foster Franciscan life for all. (*Franciscan Collaboration Exploration Group)
  • EMERGENT GROUP  Invited Participants who will engage in conversation to foster the emerging possibilities for incarnating (embodying) the Franciscan charism and values.
  • Dr. Bryan Froehle,  a guide for the whole assembly, as well as working with our  EXPLORERS' GROUP  to explore the issues of the future sustainability of our Franciscan organizations, and finding the way to insure that a Franciscan voice responds to issues in our society and our church.
  • Dr. Brian McLaren, an author, speaker, activist and public theologian who advocates working with people of all faiths for the common good.
  • Kerry Robinson, global ambassador of Leadership Roundtable, former member of the national committee for the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development and prize-winning author of “Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy and the Spiritual Call to Service.
  • A PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE led by Patrick Carolan, past director of FAN, who currently serves as the Catholic Outreach Director for Vote Common Good. They will inform, challenge and inspire us.
  • a 'Resource Room' where information about our "Explorer Group" organizations will be available 
  • a variety of Franciscan vendors, artists, publishers - both local and national -
  • liturgical music provided by Cathy Tisel Nelson, an associate of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Rochester, MN, in person, with friends and family
FOLLOW this link:

TO:  The Registration Page for our Conference June 5-8, 2020
     This page also provides the direct link and phone number
     for the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel where we will gather.

     PAY for Registration by Credit Card or Check. 

     WRITE checks out to Franciscan Federation

                                       ATTN:  Franciscan Federation
                                                    P. O. Box 430157
                                                    St. Louis, MO  63143

Sister Mary Francis Lewandowski, CSSF 

for sharing your gifts as an artist

to call us to our 


May Our Lord Bless You and Keep You in His Peace!


Frank Scornaienchi, TOR, Board President


There are many exciting things happening in 2020

for the Franciscan Federation. 

I would like to highlight just three in this article

As you can see,

this is going to be

a fantastic year for us Franciscans. 

Don’t miss out on it. 

Please join us in spreading

the Franciscan message

throughout the world.
First, the Invitational Franciscan Federation Conference set for June 5-8, at the Double Tree by Hilton, Denver, CO, will throw open the doors to all those with a Franciscan worldview and invite the discussion of solutions to pressing issues facing the nation, the Church, and the world.  The Conference is entitled, “Called To This Hour,” and it will focus on the urgency of the Franciscan voice in responding to needs within our nation, Church, and world, as Saints Francis and Clare did in their own time.  The Denver Assembly Planning Group has been working diligently for months planning the Assembly.  Keynote speakers are Brian McLaren and Kerry Robinson.  There will be a Panel Presentation on Climate Change, breakout sessions, enriching table discussion, and closing session to identify collaborative actions going forward.  All to be facilitated by Dr. Bryan Froehle.  Please mark your calendars and plan on attending.  Look for registration information on the Franciscan Federation website (
Second, there is an immediate opening for the position of Treasurer of the Franciscan Federation beginning June 1, 2020.  The duties of the Treasurer can be found on the website.  The Treasurer serves as a voting member of the National Board and it is a volunteer position.  If you are interested in applying please contact Frank Scornaienchi, T.O.R. by email ( by the end of March. 
Third, on February 10-14, 2020, I attended a Third Order Franciscan meeting in Mexico City of Provincials, Formation Directors, and TOR Contemplative Sisters from Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, and United States.  The topic discussed was formation and how can we collaborate.  The topic of collaborating with the Franciscan Federation in the United States was discussed.  There is a way that the Franciscan Federation can be of great assistance to the Latin and South American Franciscans in formation.  We can help in the following ways:
  • If your congregation has any formation material or Franciscan charism material in Spanish and would be willing to share this with them, would you please send it to me either electronically ( or by mail (806 11th Street, Altoona, PA 16602).  I would then forward this on to them.
  • Would you be willing to give a seminar in Spanish to Franciscan Formators and/or those in Formation?  Topics could be the Foundational Values of conversion, prayer, poverty and minority; Franciscan charism, balancing of community life and the ministry; cultural influences which form a healthy anthropology, technology today, and sexuality and affectivity.  Other topics that would be of benefit to Formation can also be included.  If you are interested please contact me.
  • The Franciscan Federation website also has material in Spanish and Portuguese that is helpful.
  • Are there any online seminars in Spanish and Portuguese that your congregation has developed?
If you are willing to assist in this endeavor please contact me.                                        fr Frank TOR


Sister Lilia Kagendo LSOSF

Co-Executive Director

Footsteps of St. Francis
 “. . . . The hour has come . .. .” John 12:23

What hour is it?  Who is calling us?   Why at this hour?

The time is now! This is the hour that the Lord has made; this is our time.  As Franciscans, we are called to this hour, this time, to enrich each other, to build our communities, our church, our nation and the entire world.  Together, as a Franciscan Family, we are called to share our Franciscan values following the footsteps of St. Francis.  As Fr. Patrick says, “the family that prays together stays together.”  United as followers of St. Francis we stand, we can change our communities, our church, our nation and the entire world.

The call of St. Francis and St. Clare took a long process.  But with time, as each hour went by, they saw the light.  Francis heard a call saying, “rebuild my church.”  At the time, Francis suffered so much trying to rebuild the “physical” church of San Damiano.  He had not yet understood what God meant to tell him about rebuilding the Church.  Francis focused his energy and time in responding to Jesus’ call.  He spent hours and hours rebuilding the church that was in ruins.  

His desire to do God’s will and live the Gospel was unstoppable. He did so in the way he understood best, in its literal form, uncensored.  “I will not call anyone on earth my Father,” he said to his own father, Bernadone, when he renounced his family’s earthly kingdom and possessions.  Starting from this literal meaning and understanding, Francis would enter the inner world and understand the deeper meaning of his call.  He came to understand the call and invitation, “Go, rebuild my church.”  At this time, at this hour, how do we hear those words in our context?  What is the meaning and interpretation of  our “Hour”?

Christ Crucified, the perfect model and mentor for Francis, has revealed to the world that  real authority rests in the ability to hear the Word of God and believe it as it really is.  Our best goal is to enter into a communion with Christ, to share the mystery of his call for us, to hear his voice: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps. 95).  Just like Francis, we each begin somewhere, even in a literal understanding.  Are Franciscans in the world being challenged to let go and surrender to God’s message?  What message do we hear at this time, at this hour?

St. Francis and St. Clare have encountered this kind of inner power, the call. They let go of all their fears of the unknown when they responded to God’s call. They surrendered everything, meaning the need for worldly power and possessions, and entered the real encounter with God.

Suffering, more often than not, does not teach us how to live beyond seeking control, so as to allow God to take control.  St. Francis endeavored to listen to every invitation from God,  to reach out even on difficult and unfamiliar ground, to bring and communicate peace.  He reached out to the Sultan. That encounter, as we know today  is associated with the Damietta Peace Initiative, spreading the message of peace to all people, breaking any possible barriers to communicate peace.

Francis’ highest gift was the true mark of his Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, through the stigmata (the five wounds of Christ in his own body).  Francis lived to accomplish his deepest desire: to live for his Master and perfect mentor Jesus Christ, as he understood Him, from the invisible to the visible.  Francis communicated this mystery to his followers, in simple yet powerful ways.  Even to the point of being accredited with the words,  “when you go out preach the Gospel of Christ, preach by your way of life and, where necessary, use  words.”
For us Franciscans, this is our time; we are of this hour.   How do we communicate the Word of God? Do we need to use more words?  Or does our witness suffice? Do we need only one method?  Or do we need both words and witness? Called into our diverse and rich charism of reaching out to the whole world, do we communicate the beauty of Franciscan Spirituality, the greatest spiritual movement and gift to the Church and the world?

Go out and preach the Good News to the whole world
(Matt. 28:19 -20)
and where necessary use words!
(Francis’ Rule of 1221, Chapter XII).

Kerry Robinson, Global Ambassador of Leadership Roundtable 
as you receive   The Bernardin Award on Friday, March 27, 2020
 at 7:00 PM at

The James and Catherine Denny Center at Catholic Theological Union
5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago IL



Damian Novello OSF
Harnessing Our Energies
Unless we are on a perpetual retreat, shielded from any kind of social media or news outlet, we cannot help being exposed to the idea that everything is falling apart.  From health emergencies to political and ecclesiastical fractiousness, from collapsing infrastructures to disenfranchised voting constituencies, it is obvious that things just are not going well!
Being a firm believer that sometimes God lets us sink to the bottom before we find the resolve to jumpstart our engines, I experienced an “Aha” moment while reviewing the Minutes of this month’s ECCEL meeting.  It seems that we, as Franciscans, are finally at the point of beginning to bring our resources together in a response to a society in need.  This confluence will occur this June in Denver, at our conference aptly titled “Called to this Hour.”
At the ECCEL meeting, we discussed how our fifty plus congregations are being asked to sponsor and /or invite their younger members and volunteers to attend the conference.  Some of the Franciscan Vocation Directors plan to meet, as well as representatives from other national Franciscan organizations.  We also discussed further the use of Commissaries – those whom a community would invite to assume leadership when a group could no longer supply someone from within.  Finding Franciscans to take on these responsibilities is another example of pooling our resources to strengthen each other.   Members of other parts of the Franciscan family will also be in attendance, looking at ways to cooperate and best utilize our talents.
The Commission of Elected Leaders is looking for new members to continue our support for this work.  We are truly “Called to this Hour.”  Don’t be left behind!




Jacqueline Motzel OSF

The journey of Lent is personal, communal and global.
It is traveled in faith by Christians around the world and is led by the one who tells us, “I am the way”. 
Together we navigate the twists and turns of life during these 40 days.
It takes courage and trust to faithfully commit to the requisites of the journey and to embrace personal resolves.
Standing on this threshold with holy expectation we steadily receive the gifted fullness of Resurrection grace.   


The COR executive committee met last month by ZOOM.
Current updates were heard on preparations for the AFC and the JPIC Resolution on Climate.
Conversation continues on the use of Webinars to address Regional challenges
due to travel distances, Motherhouse closures and other existing issues.
It is seen as a viable way to connect members, but meaningful processes and details still need to be addressed.  
Positive interest has been received towards further exploration of this possibility.
Region and Cluster chairs will expand the discussion as they join the ECCOR at the March ZOOM meeting.


 Happy Easter to All!                                                                                                                                                  

Featuring  An Event in  REGION 5, in the Saint Louis, MO area: 
Calling all in nearby Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana ... and beyond!


Who:  Speaker: Brother Ralph Parthie, OFM, Province of the Sacred Heart,
currently Director of Friar Life and Secretary of Formation for his community,
                          lives at St. Anthony Friary in St. Louis, MO.  After his solemn in 1973, studies
                          at the Catholic Theological Union and ordination to the priesthood, he served
                          as associate pastor and confessor in parishes.  He also has experience in
                         formation ministry: on the Novitiate Team, Director of Post-novitiate Formation,
                         and more recently as Director of Novices at the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate. 
                         In New Orleans, he lived at Tau House, a Franciscan community in service to those
                         suffering from HIV/AIDS and those alienated from the Church.  In Quincy, IL, he was
                         the Guardian of the friar community, and University Chaplain and Vice President for
                         Mission and Ministry at Quincy University.

What:  Topic: God's Invitation to a Culture of Encounter

                        "... The Word became flesh and dwelt among us"
                              - God's Invitation to a Culture of Encounter -            (Jn 1:1-14) 

When: April 25, 2020:  Registration about 8:30 AM, departure 2:30 PM.

Where: Mother of Perpetual Help Residence,
              Lally Room, in the Cardinal Ritter Senior Complex
             7609 Watson Rd., St. Louis, MO

Registration: $30, includes Morning Treats and Lunch. 
                      All Registrations are due by April 15, 2020

FOR DIRECTIONS   and  TO REGISTER              The sooner, the better!

Email your request for a brochure (either an e-copy or a paper copy)
with the Subject: April 25 Brochure to address  (Arlene Kohut, OSF)

  • The e-copy will come as an email attachment, “.PDF.” or in MS Word or Publisher, if requested.
    You may need to check your “junk email” if you’re using a corporate account. 
  • If you require a paper copy, be sure to Include your mailing address and send this email early. Registrations are due by April 15, but the sooner, the better! 
  • This information will also appear on, Region 5 Calendar.  
Another Event in Region Five:  St. Louis, MO:           

Franciscan Mentors invites you to our 2020 Conference


From Anger to Joy: The Role of Emotions in Franciscan Experiences of Conversion
Our days together will explore the role emotions play in our lives of faith as Franciscans.
  • The caricature of Francis as a sentimental animal lover belies the important role emotions had in Francis’ own on-going conversions throughout his life and hides the rich variety of personalities in the Franciscan family, especially among lay Franciscans.
  • Their gritty stories of ongoing conversions give us ample material to explore our own complex experiences of emotions, conflicts and their resolution, and conversion. 
  • In addition to stories from the tradition, our time together will include experiential meditations, optional gentle meditative yoga, and space for personal reflection and much fellowship.
  • Our presenter will be Darleen Pryds, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego. 
  • In addition to excellent sessions offered by Darleen, the conference will include some practical ways of implementing this knowledge in your ministry, as well as opportunities to share with those who mentor others in the Franciscan life.
Dates:             Tuesday, June 16, 2020 to Thursday, June 18, 2020
Location:         Pallottine Renewal Center
                       15270 Old Halls Ferry Rd, Florissant, MO 63034
Cost:                $395 Early Registration by April 1, 2020
                        $430 Registration due by May 15, 2020
For additional Conference information and registration, please go to our new website:
Registration includes conference, housing, meals and snacks.

Email [Franciscan Mentors was formerly known as Next Generation Franciscan Mentors].

Committee on Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation

The Intersection Between Sister Water and Migration

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Sister Maryann Mueller CSSF, Chairperson,
On March 22 we commemorate World Water Day.
The theme for World Water Day this year is
'Water and Climate Change.' 
While many people throughout the world need to migrate from their nation of birth
because of violence and political conflict,
every year thousands of people are forced to leave their homes
as a result of climate related changes and the shortage of pure drinking water.

The 2016 World Water Development Report from the United Nations
warns that, by 2050, an estimated 200 million people
could be displaced as a result of water shortage.
Throughout the world, dry seasons are getting longer,
and the lack of water directly impacts agriculture.  
Africa is particularly susceptible since more than 90 per cent of the economy on the continent
depends on a climate-sensitive natural resource like rain-fed, subsistence agriculture.

Meanwhile, in the United States nearly half of the 204 freshwater basins
will not be able to meet the monthly water demand by 2050.
Moreover, as the climate gets warmer,
water will evaporate at a faster rate from reservoirs and streams.  
With little or no freshwater, families that depend on these water sources
are forced to leave their homes and migrate to areas where water is available.

As we commemorate World Water Day this month,
let us do all we can to preserve Sister Water,
which is so very useful and humble and precious and pure.


Please take note of the contact information at the bottom of this flyer.

We thank Friar Julian OFM for this guidance and initiative
through the Migrant Center of NY, Inc.

as a violation of HUMAN RIGHTS! 

And a Call to Care for the Earth and Each Other!

From the United Nations:

From Franciscans International:

From Pope Francis in Laudato Si: Care For Our Common Home:
Thanks to our dedicated authors,Elise Saggau OSF and Kathleen Uhler OSF,
we now hold the story of our last fifty years in our hands... in one book! 

Remember the challenges and graces!  See familiar faces! 
Read about people who have formed and shaped our lives!

This wonderful resource is available for purchase at $15.00 each. 

TO ORDER, send note and payment by check to FRANCISCAN FEDERATION
                                                                                135 Remsen Street
                                                                                 Brooklyn, NY 11201

OR Call or E-mail:   sr Carol at / (929) - 207 - 3653
                                             OR sr Lilia at / (929) - 207 - 3654

May we remember all of our +brothers and +sisters
who have been committed to the values
of our Congregations,
who have accompanied us with love and prayers
on our Spiritual Journeys,
and who have served with us in mercy and compassion
in our Ministries,
and have left our hands
and gone to God
in this year

They have gone, like Saint Clare,
with the One they have known and loved.
to the place they have longed to be!

May our Lord continue to guide us in this life,
and lead us to where they are in the next!
Please see our website calendar, under 'Planning, '  for specific details about scheduled events.


Church of Saint Francis of Assisi
135 West 31st Street
New York, NY

Blessed John Duns Scotus Franciscan Library
125 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10012
"Keeping the Vigil of Mystery" : Clare of Assisi's Incarnational Prayer
Presenter:  Clare A. D'Auria OSF, a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia
April 4, 2020   at   1:00 PM  
All are welcome! 
If you plan to attend, we ask that you RSVP to Siobhan O'Dwyer, OFS:

Center of Renewal
Retreat and Conference Center
4421 Lower River Road
Stella Niagara, NY 14144
(only 10 miles north of Niagara Falls)

(716) 754-7376, Ext. 2

typically meets first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.  Call for details.


3030 North Perry Avenue
Tampa, FL 33603

Centering Prayer Group
Eileen Strawser and Jill Biebel
Tuesdays, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer in which we experience God's presence within us.  This contemplative practice follows Thomas Keating's methods.  The group will meet weekly with Eileen and Jill.  If you have any questions 'and/or' are new to centering prayer, e-mail Eileen Strawser at OR Jill Biebel at  Please e-mail to attend. Donation will be accepted.

609 S. Convent Road
Aston, PA 19014

Visit our websiteat

We offer 3 registration options:
(US mail, Credit Card on or drop registration off at the Spiritual Center).
Deposit with registration form needed at time of registration.
Weekend Programs
Friday, 7:00 p.m. to Sunday, 11:00 a.m.
Unless otherwise indicated $190 residents (overnight accommodations)/ $140 commuters, $50 deposit


“Come Apart and Rest Awhile”: The Landscape of Prayer A Lenten Retreat Weekend
March 13-15, 2020 Clare D’Auria OSF
Standing at the Edge of Holy Week
April 3-5, 2020 Chris Koellhoffer IHM
Meeting Our Foremothers: Celebrating the Wisdom Women in our Lives
April 24-26, 2020 Mercedes Rojo OSF
Directed Retreat Weekend
May 1-3, 2020 Julia Keegan OSF Kathleen Gannon OSF, Mary Walsh OSF
Day Program 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. $40 (includes lunch) $10 deposit

Learning to be Empty and fully Present to God’s Grace
March 11, 2020 Julia Keegan OSF
World Contemplative Spiritualties
April 28, 2020 Mini Wolf 9:00 am-4:00 pm
 Professional Day for Spiritual Directors: Nurturing a Discerning Heart:
Gifts and Capacities for Spiritual Discernment

May 1, 2020 Karen Doyle SSJ $50 (includes Lunch) $20 deposit
Weekday Retreats for Seniors 7:00 p.m. first night; 11:00 a.m. last day $80 ($10 deposit)
The Art of Forgiveness
April 21-23, 2020 Rose Mary Eve Holter OSF
Morning and Evening Program Options
($75 for series with $20 deposit unless otherwise noted)

BioSpiritual Focusing I: Inner Listening
March 4, 11, 18, 25, 2020 9:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mary Walsh OSF
Bio Spiritual Focusing II: Inner Listening
May 7, 14, 21, 28, 2020 9:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.—8:30 p.m. Mary Walsh OSF
Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Programs
Women’s Awareness Salon: Seeing the Sacred in the Ordinary
February 6, March 5, April 2, 2020 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. —
$15 each session Facilitators: Marge Richards, Renee Eells Guest Presenters
Men’s Spirituality Group Gatherings
Tuesday evenings (Bi-monthly) September, 2019
Facilitator: Fritz Haas Free Will Offering
March 2, 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 2020 7:00 p.m.—8:30 p.m.
Maryanne Williams $75 ($25 deposit) each series
“Dancing With the Spirit”: The Seven Joys of Our Lady Morning Series
2nd Tuesday of the month  February 11, March 10, April 14, May 12, 2020 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
Clare D’Auria OSF $15 Each Session
Centering Prayer Group
Third Saturday of each month Beginning September 21, 2019 through August 15, 2020
10:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. Julia Keegan OSF, Free Will Offering
Taize Prayer
Lenten Theme: March 19, 2020 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Andrea Likovich OSF Free Will Offering
T’ai Chi Chih
Eight weekly sessions beginning Tuesday, March 3, 2020 6:30 p.m.—7:45 p.m.
Christa Marie Thompson OSF $75 (series) $25 deposit
Celtic Spirituality
March 9, 2020 Carmel Boyle $40 (includes dinner @ 5:15 pm) $30 (program only, @ 6:30) If attending Day of Prayer, March 9 and Evening Program (with dinner) $65
Celebration of the Passover Seder
March 26, 2020 6:30 p.m.—7:30 p.m Presenter: Rabbi Nathan Martin Free Will Offering
Longer Retreats $475 (unless otherwise noted) $75 deposit
Triduum Retreat
April 9-12, 2020 $175 ($50 deposit)
Preached Retreat: TBA
May 18 to 24, 2020 Fr. Tom Hartle OFM
Preached Retreat: “Our God Tells Stories
June 12-18, 2020 Fr. Anthony Ciorra
Franciscan Solitude Extended Experience (at Clare House and the Hermitages)
June 12 to 18, 2020 Jean Ustasiewski OSF
Guided Retreat “A Spirituality on Film (Part 3): Creation of God’s Redemptive Love”
July 13 to 19, 2020 Michael Laratonda FMS
Directed Retreat
July 25-31, 2020 Mary Walsh OSF, Kathleen Gannon OSF, Theresa Firenze OSF
Guided Retreat “The Four-Fold Way”:
A Woman’s path to Wisdom Following in the Footprints of Jesus

August 22 to 28, 2020 Clare D’Auria OSF
T’ai Chi Chih
 Retreat August 16 to 21, 2020 Antonia Cooper OSF $425
Clare House Opportunities

Contemplative Mornings
Second Wednesdays, through May 13, 2020 Jean Ustasiewski OSF $20 (due with registration)
Directed Retreat Weekends
April 24-26, 2020 Mary Walsh $190 ($30 deposit)
Guided Retreat Weekends
May 8-10, 2020 Jean Ustasiewski OSF $180 Weekend, ($30 deposit) $120 overnight $60 Day only
Mary Walsh, OSF Call 610-558-5310 for more information
Have you always wanted to make an extended retreat but cannot get away from home and/or job? God’s love is unconditional, merciful, personal and intimate. This retreat enables you to make the Spiritual Exercises as compiled by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the midst of your everyday life. You will be invited to open yourself more completely to the experience of God’s personal love for you. Extending over a six to eight month period, the retreatant meets once a week with the director and commits to one hour of prayer each day. Those interested must already be in spiritual direction for one year. An Advent and/or Lenten Retreat Series can be a part of the Retreat in Everyday Life.

Centering Prayer - Group Session of Quiet Prayer
3rd Saturday of each month from 10:30 - 11:30 AM  Cost:  Free will offering
A group gathering for those who have been practicing centering prayer.
In the space of one hour, there is a short reading or instruction, a 30 minute period of quiet centering prayer, a 10 minute walking meditation, and a 20 minute concluding quiet centering prayer.  We close with the Our Father. Prior to, or after this hour, there can be time for supportive discussion and encouragement around centering prayer for those who wish.  For those who have never experienced centering prayer,
the Franciscan Spiritual Center offers a Fall and a Spring one-day introduction to Centering Prayer.

Facilitator:  Julia Keegan OSF

Clare House
If you ever wanted to take as small group (not more than 6) away to a quiet space, surrounded by woods, for a nice retreat experience, you might want to explore Clare House.  It's a little fam house in the woods that is part of our Spiritual Center.  There are stairs, so it is not handicapped accessible.
To explore it further, or to make a reservation, call Sr Jean Ustasiewski at (610)558-5372.

If you are looking for a quiet place for reflection, you might want to consider booking one of our hermitages for a few days.  They are comfortable and right on the edge of the woods, so you can truly be one with nature.

The Canticle Gift Shop

460  St. Bernardine Street
Reading, PA 19607-1737

484-334-6807 / Fax: 484-334-6808

Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace:  Reflections on the Peace Prayer
A Silent Retreat with Fr. JohnPaul Cafiero, OFM

June 21-27, 2020
Sunday 4:30 pm through Saturday am Liturgy
Private Rooms with Bath
$500.00 for Bernardine Franciscans / $525.00 for Other Congregations

395 Bridal Path Road
Bethlehem, PA 18017

Tel: 610-867-8890


A Franciscan Place of Spirituality
4875 La Verna Road
Springfield, IL 62707


9263 West St. Francis Road
Frankfort, IL 60423       815-464-3880

St Francis Spirituality Center

200 St Francis Avenue
Tiffin OH 44883

Phone:  419-443-1485
Note:  Private retreat or individually directed retreats can be scheduled for 1-8 days in length. For more information regarding available directors, accommo-dations, or cost, contact St Francis Spirituality Center. Meditation classes and day-long retreats are also periodically available.  See the website for current offerings.

Sisters of St Francis of Sylvania
6832 Convent Boulevard, Sylvania, OH 43560

For more information, contact:  Sister Joan Jurski, 419-824-3528,
e-mail:  web:
Seeking the perfect setting for solitude, individual or directed retreat?
In the spirit of Francis and Clare, our lovely campus provides indoor space
and gardens for spiritual experiences on 89 peaceful wooded acres.
22 Overnight Rooms
2 Hermitages - reserve for a day, a weekend, or a week
Daily Liturgy at Queen of Peace Chapel
The Portiuncula Shrine Chapel, Grotto, and several other shrines
While on campus, visit All Good Things Gift Shop!

Oldenburg, IN


Lenten Series:  Holy Women Visionaries for Today
February 27, 2020 - March 19, 2020  6:30 pm - 8:00 pm    $15 per session/$55 for all

March 12th - Anne Buening (Pastoral Minister)
Sr. Madeleva Wolff
Sister M. Madeleva Wolff, C.S.C was a teacher, essayist, poet, and college administrator.  Through her creative ability and innovative practices, she made major contributions to Catholic education in her lifetime.  Her most significant legacy, the Graduate School of Theology at St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indian, allowed the laity and religious women to study theology.  Come and be inspired by her life!

March 19th - Christy Wesselman (Retreat Facilitator & Spiritual Director
Mirabai Starr
Mirabai Starr is a writer, teacher, and bereavment counselor who seeks to honor all the world's faith's traditions and contemplation.  Mirabai's first book, a translation of St. John of the Cross' Dark Night of the Soul  was released the same day her youngest daughter was killed in a car accident.  This experience and the connection between loss and longing for God is the ground of her spiritual life!


1001 Davis Street, Dubuque, IA

To register, call 563-582-3592

Centering Prayer
Monday, Third Week, please call to confirm.
Quiet, wordless prayer together followed by reading a piece related to contemplative prayer, contemplative worship, or other topics on contemplative living, which is followed with time to share our thoughts and reflections regarding the reading.
Facilitator:  Marilyn Dansart,
who completed a 3-year Spiritual Direction Preparation at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in LaCrosse, WI
Newcomers to the Centering Prayer Group are always welcomed!
No Offering Required  To Attend.  Donations Welcomed.

Monthly Writer's Group
Tuesday, Third Week, please call to confirm.
Facilitator:  Mary Potter Kenyonis Program Coordinator at Shalom. 
She graduated from UNI and is a certified grief counselor.  
Monthly writers’ support and critique group allows time to share up to two pages of writing with an opportunity for feedback and critique from other members.
Offering:  Donations Accepted
Registration is Appreciated, But Not Required.
Franciscan Way of Life
Fourth Tuesdays, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Meets at Mt. St. Francis, 3390 Windsor Avenue, Dubuque, IA
Facilitators:  sr Carol Hemesath OSF & Sr Marci Blum OSF
This is a two-year program available to men and women of all faiths, religions, and traditions who want to learn more about Franciscan Gospel values and how to incorporate those values into daily life.  In the first year, participants learn about the lives of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, in medieval Italy, as well as the Franciscan values of conversion, poverty, and contemplation.  In the second year, the focus of the program is on the integrity of creation, peacemaking, the development of the Franciscan community, and the history of the Dubuque Franciscans.
For more information, contact Sr Marci by email: or phone: 563-663-3829.

116 Eighth Avenue Southeast
Little Falls, MN 56345

(320) 632-2981

3560 Highway 51 North
Arbor Vitae, WI 54568


300 E Fourth Street
Marathon, WI 54448



1001 14th Street, NW

Congregational Retreats:  Register by April 15, 2020

$450 per person (meals and lodging) OR $250 per person (commuter discount rate) per person per retreat
Questions: 507-280-2195 or

Redemptive Presence   Presenter: Joseph P. Chinnici OFM
Sunday, May 24 (6:30 PM) - Saturday, May 30, 2020 (12:00 PM)
Using the spiritual and experiential approaches of the Franciscan tradition, the retreat will focus on particular challenges that are given to us in today's world.  In this light, we are asked to embody God's presence in our midst and our correlative mission to be a redemptive presence in the world and with each other.  Consideration will be given not only to the context but also to the holy operations of God in ourselves, in creation, in others, in the saints, in all people, and in the Church.  We as followers of Christ and Francis are called to make that experienced presence of the Risen Lord alive and redemptive in the world of today.
Joseph P. Chinnici, OFM is President emeritus of the Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego.  He is currently professor of history and tries to be useful in teaching, writing, giving retreats, and daily life.  Joe has authored multiple books on the history of the Church in the United States and numerous articles on the evangelical roots of Franciscan spirituality.  He has been teaching since 1976, served in provincial administration for eighteen years, and chaired the Secretariat for the Retreival of the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition for ten years.  Today, he is trying to slow down and reflect.

Pilgrims Along the Way of the Canticle:  New Stories and Lessons from Our Brothers and Sisters
Sunday, June 14 (6:30 PM) - Saturday, June 20, 2020 (12:00 PM)
We cherish Francis' Canticle of Creation as a window into his soul and song from his heart.  We have prayed and pondered it for years.  During this retreat, we will tenderly follow the footprints of our sisters and brothers, many of whom suffer from Earth's degradation, climate chaos and war.  We will listen anew to the Universe, to the elements, to our sister, Mother Earth, to the communion of all life, to vulnerable people, to our own good hearts.  We explore new stories and discover the Holy Spirit's dynamic and challenging movement in our lives and times.  What fresh lessons and renewal of energy does the Canticle offer us today?  The ever evolving mystery of God's love unfolds!
Sister Marya Grathwohl, OSF, served on the Leadership Team of her congregation for eight years.  In 1998, she founded Earth Hope, which provides programs and retreats to "Care, Protect, and Restore Earth."  She is currently writing a book that connects faith and spirituality with her passion for care of Earth, our common home.  It will be published by Riverhead/Penguin/Random House Books.  Marya earned a certificate of spiritual direction from the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction, Tucson AZ.  She enjoys hiking, bird watching and visiting wildflower meadows in Montana with friends.
920 Market Street
La Crosse, WI 54601



Il Ritiro
Franciscan Retreat Center

P.O. Box 38 - 7935 St Francis Lane
Dittmer, MO 63023

 "Let Go.  Let Flow     …..   Opening to the Holy Spirit"         
This Retreat is presented twice: Presenter:   Sr. Cecelia Loomer, S.F.C.C.
March 14, 2020 (Saturday) 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Unrefundable Registration Fee $30. (presentation & lunch)
March 17, 2020 (Tuesday)10:30 am – 2:30 pm Unrefundable Registration Fee $20. (presentation & lunch)

Registrations are Due by March 6, 2020.
To Register please call 636-274-0554 or email us at  Visit us at  Overnight accommodations are available for retreat attendees at $25 per night. (Limited space available.)
The Holy Spirit has often been called the forgotten member of the Holy Trinity.
The Holy spirit can seem elusive until one sees and experiences the Holy Spirit in
action and in everyday life.  This retreat day will plunge us right into that with stories and experiential prayer.  If the Holy Spirit can do wonders in the lives of 7th and 8th graders, what of ours?  Let the Holy Spirit come alive and be real in our lives, too.
Sr. Cecelia is the director of Tree House Healing Ministry, now in its 33rd year.  Over 50,000 people have attended its programs in 10 states.  Cecelia‘s passion is the restoration of life and truth in every person-- that each know their self-worth, loveableness, and goodness.  Only then can they recover the wholeness with which they were created.  Sr. Cecelia has led hundreds of retreats especially focusing on inner healing. She is a graduate of Marillac College in St. Louis, MO and holds a Masters’ degree in theology from St. Thomas University in Houston, Texas.  

“Exploring the Wisdom of Thomas Merton”
April 28, 2020 – April 30, 2020

The presenter is Fr. Patrick Collins, a Jesuit priest who is an author whohas presented Retreats around the world.
This Retreat Experience includes 4 Presentations: 
  • The Journey from the false self to the true self
  • Contemplation
  • Prayer
  • The Desert:  Solitude & Silence
Retreat Schedule:
Tues.  2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Arrival                             2:30 pm. “Prayer”

            6:00       Dinner                                             6:00         Dinner
            7:00       “The Journey from the                  7:00         Discussion (Optional)
            False Self toward the True Self.”      Thur. 7:30 am Mass (Optional)
Wed.  7:30 am Mass (Optional)                               8:00        Breakfast
            8:00       Breakfast                                        9:30        “The Desert: Solitude
            9:30       “Contemplation”                                            and Silence”
           12:00     Lunch                                              12:00      Closes with a Lunch                  
Overnight Registration Fee is $210 ($50 non-refundable) per person and
includes 4 Presentations,   7 meals and 2 overnights with private rooms.
Commuter Registration Fee is $120 ($30 non-refundable) and
includes 4 Presentations and 7 meals.  

"The Four Commandments of Contentment"
May 9, 2020     9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Presenter:  Father Ed Shea, OFM

Do you want to be happy for the rest of your life?  Do these four things. 
If you're not happy ever in life, I bet you're not doing these four things. 
Want to know what they are?  Come, listen to Fr. Ed Shea share some
stories, songs, and reflections on thse keys to happiness in life.
Registration Fee is $30 for Presentation and Lunch.  Registrations are due by May 1, 2020.
Registration is non-refundable.  To register, please call 636-274-0554 or email us at
Visit  us at   Overnight accommodations are available for retreat attendees at $25 per night in a designated Hospitality House.  (Limited space available.)

Tau Center
Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

335 S. Kirkwood Road
St Louis, MO 63122


Franciscan Spiritual Center
2512 SE Monroe Street
Milwaukee, OR 97222

Phone: 503-794-8542   FAX: 503-794-8556

St. Clare's Retreat
2381 Laurel Glen Road
Soquel CA 95073 

San Damiano Retreat
710 Highland Drive
Danville, CA 94526


Franciscan Renewal Center
5802 E. Lincoln Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ

Sabbaticals:  Make the Franciscan Renewal Cener a part of your sabbatical.
Spend time in an atmosphere of quiet beauty and a space to develop a stronger sense of spiritual self-awareness and consciousness.
Rest and take time for reflection;  create your own program from our many workshops, courses and retreats.
We are happy to offer you a wide variety of options to nourish your mind, body and spirit.
Call 480-948-7460 to plan your stay.

Franciscan Federation of the Sisters and Brothers
of the Third Order Regular of the United States
135 Remsen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Telephone:  (929) - 207 - 3653 OR (929) - 207 - 3654
Email: /
Copyright © 2020 Franciscan Federation, All rights reserved.

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