APRIL 2020


If Christ

deemed us


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


living it fully


joyful fidelity.

Pope Francis, 
September 24, 2018

These words of Pope Francis have inspired
us in our preparation of our ‘Invitational’
Conference planned for June 5 -8, 2020 
in Denver, CO.

These words have taken on different meaning
as our country, and our world, and our ways of
life have been challenged and threatened, as
well as inspired and honored, in these few months.

Our National Board and our Planning Group
have tirelessly proceeded with the necessary
conversations and tasks to carve out a
schedule, plan locations and meals, and
monitor the impact of the Coronavirus
Pandemic on our near future.

We have been working closely with our close
Meeting and Conference Planning colleagues
from NIX every step of the way.  After waiting
out a significant cancellation fee, we plan to
meet with Molly Hackett and Lynn Zoellner
during Easter Week, and our National Board
will meet on Monday, April 20, 2020 to consider
our options and decide what to do.

Over the course of these weeks, and months,
we have experienced the importance of the
program and the process of this planned
‘Invitational’ Conference for 2020 in Denver.  

We confirm that the path we are on, with the
Facilitator and Speakers who are accompany-
ing us, is a ‘call’ that is one to heed, and we
continue to discern the ‘hour’ when it will be
best for us to meet. 

As soon as a decision is reached concerning
the Denver Invitational Conference, we will
inform you.

We count on your prayer and welcome your
comments by e-mail in view of the decisions
we will soon make.  

Carol Woods sfma  / Lilia Kagendo lsosf
Co-Executive Directors, National Office /

Frank Scornaienchi TOR / Suzanne Kush CSSF
National Board, President / Vice President

Margaret Carney OSF / Corrina Thomas FSPA
Co-Chairs, Charism Services Commission


 (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!


LENT OF 2020

 Joyce Shanabarger OSF
      To say that Lent of 2020 has been like none other is an understatement.  I must admit up front that I have never been a fan of Lent. This is mostly because I am not disciplined enough to do anything for 40 days straight. So, having a moving landscape during Lent has not been a concern for me this year. However, watching the disciplines of Lent take on such different and unpredictable paths has had its challenges for all of us, even me.
  • Our fasting
    became being satisfied with whatever happened to be found on very picked-over grocery store shelves or located in the back of the cupboard or the bottom of the freezer. We fasted from hugs and friendly greetings, from co-workers we enjoy and from the traditional Lenten fish fry. For many, there was the fast even from daily Eucharist, the very Bread of Life for us. These are all fasts we might never have chosen for ourselves. Fasting from chocolate or coffee pales in comparison.
  • Our almsgiving
    became very different, too. There were different causes flashing across our TV and computer screens. I had no N95 masks to give, no expertise in healthcare to offer and no PPE at my disposal. Everyone was being asked to stop the spread of the virus with social distancing. Almsgiving for the world meant staying home. It was alms I had never been asked to offer for the world before, and it seemed way too easy to call it Lenten almsgiving—until the days marched on and on.
  • Our prayer
    took on a different flavor this Lent also. No Soup and Stations on Friday night were being held. No Lenten programs to attend, filled with words of wisdom and sharing and greetings. No Holy Week services to stir my imagination with the yearly rituals that remind me of the core of my Christian faith, the paschal mystery. The church bells seemed to ring louder, calling me to silence. The words of Scripture became the real presence in my prayer life, and the sorrow of the world sat on my doorstep, asking me to believe once more that God’s mercies are never all spent.
     Lent is not just Ash Wednesday; it is a season of 40 days. Easter is not just Easter Sunday; it is a season of 50 days and every Sunday of the year. As I write this, I know not when Easter will arrive in 2020.  What I do know is that it will arrive. That is what we believe during Lent and during Easter and during very ordinary days, from death comes new life! Life and love are stronger that death and stronger than any virus.

     We, as Christians, are called to dig deep into our faith experiences and to acclaim with loud voices a message of hope. It is a message that proclaims, “Christ is alive and walks with us this day!”
                                                                                                                          Joyce Shanabarger OSF




Jesus’ words and actions come to mind this Holy Week even as we experience,
and reflect on,  the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Before his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemani at night, Jesus is with a few of his disciples among the olive trees.  In Matthew’s Gospel, He separates himself from them so as to pray: ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’  Then, He returns, and He hopes for their company:  ‘Remain here and keep watch with me.’  He then advances a bit to pray, and returns, three times, to find them asleep. 

These three indications of the need to be alone, and the need to be alone in prayer, and the need to be in touch with others, assures me of the dance that I, too, must do to whatever music life presents us.

The ‘social distancing’ strategy has its positive effects in ‘flattening the curve’ and lowering the spike of a high number of persons infected with the virus.  But staying at home keeps me away from the ‘here’ I feel called to be at with others on any given day.  Another parishioner is in the hospital.  My sister-in-law is returning home from her shift at the hospital in the delivery room.  A friend wishes she could visit her elderly parents in their home.  She also longs to hug her nine-month-old grandson again.  These are all the ‘heres’ that are not to be shared right now.

‘Face time,’ phone calls, online liturgies, and concerts all bring us into each others’ ‘heres’ where we are invited to stay for a time.  Facebook contacts’ initiatives to sew masks, reveal scams, renew hope, point out deficiencies, unite hearts, and call to responsibility all contribute to our common ‘here’ in this crisis.  And the Zoom video calls, e-mails, and Ring Central conference calls within the Federation circles bring home the ‘here’ that we are facing together. 

We share the Triduum liturgies this Holy Week.   We experience the Paschal Mystery continuously as we are rooted in Christ’s love and example, in relation to the Father and in response to the Spirit.  May we each always find the ‘here’ where our God is near, whether we are awake or asleep, and where our brothers and sisters seek our presence and prayer.  God bless!
Sister Carol Woods, sfma
Co-Executive Director


                               A philosopher that I appreciate very much, musing on the
                               interruption that society is experiencing by way of COVID19,                 
                               offers this reflection: this interruption is also an opportunity
                               offered our world today — the opportunity to remember who
                               we are: not separated selves, but,

I want to share with you some of his reflections from an essay called Coronation.
“For a long time we, as a collective, have stood helpless in the face of an ever-sickening society. Whether it is declining health, decaying infrastructure, depression, suicide, addiction, ecological degradation, or concentration of wealth, the symptoms of civilizational malaise in the developed world are plain to see, but we have been stuck in the systems and patterns that cause them. Now, Covid has gifted us a reset.”
“All over the world we hear stories of solidarity and healing. One friend described sending $100 each to ten strangers who were in dire need. My son, who until a few days ago worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, said people were tipping at five times the normal rate – and these are working class people, many of them Hispanic truck drivers, who are economically insecure themselves. Doctors, nurses, and “essential workers” in other professions risk their lives to serve the public. Here are some more examples of the love and kindness eruption, courtesy of 

"Perhaps we're in the middle of living into that new story. Imagine Italian airforce using Pavoratti, Spanish military doing acts of service, and street police playing guitars -- to *inspire*.
Corporations giving unexpected wage hikes. Canadians starting "Kindness Mongering."
Six year old in Australia adorably gifting her tooth fairy money, an 8th grader in Japan making 612 masks,
and college kids everywhere buying groceries for elders. Cuba sending an army in "white robes" (doctors) to help Italy.  A landlord allowing tenants to stay without rent, an Irish priest's poem going viral, disabled activists producing hand sanitizer.  Imagine. Sometimes a crisis mirrors our deepest impulse -- that we can always respond with compassion."
“Every act of compassion, kindness, courage,
or generosity heals us from the story of separation.”
This philosopher is Charles Eisenstein ( 
At the heart of so many of his reflections
I find the concept of
— a word coined by the buddist Monk Thich Nhat Hahn. 

More than  interdependence, or interconnectedness,
Interbeing declares, "I am because you are." 

nterbeing is not a word  Francis used,
but it is a practice that he lived
and is nowhere more eloquently expressed
than in the  Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon.

Mary Littel OSF 


Margaret Carney OSF, Co-Chair

We are grateful to all who took part in the survey we conducted in December. You will get a full briefing at the assembly.

In working with early reviews of the survey responses our commission received, we see  certain “threads” emerge clearly. One is the call for engaging more “young” Franciscans. This is not a new theme. It goes back several years as a hope voiced at each assembly. It was –at least in part—the hope that motivated the work done to look at new options for membership just a few years ago.

So, what happens if we try to turn this oft-repeated hope into a strategy?  
What happens is a lot of hard work.

We are doing that right now in preparation for the next national assembly. As we planned for an “invitational” assembly, the question of how to go about making sure “young” Franciscans got that invitation rose up. We asked Sr. Corrina Thomas and Sr. Michelle L’Alier to tackle this question. Together they worked to create a specific letter of invitation and a list of the persons they felt fit the description of a younger person whose life, work, spirituality is based on Franciscan principles. We did three things to make the invitation more appealing. We are offering a separate track of meetings. We are offering specific hosting of this group. We are offering some amount of financial subsidy for those who might need it.

That is what we have done. Now the question remains.

What is it that the members themselves can do?
It seems to me that the most powerful key to this goal is in the hands of the members—particularly those in elected leadership.

If the Federation is to have a future, that future lives in the members of our congregations who are now at an age where they can expect to have another 20, 30, 40  years of Franciscan life and work.
  • Are these the members who are given priority when registration for the Federation opens?
  • Are these members included in budgeting for Federation participation?
  • Are these the members encouraged to join in Federation activity so that creative new ventures can replace old models?
  • Are these the members who will find encouragement, support and inspiration by having a Franciscan community of companions that is nation-wide?
  • Are these the members whose capacity to imagine new futures will preserve the charism into the 21st century?
If the answer to those questions is YES, then these are the members whose participation in creating a shared future is essential.



Sturdy, deep green tulip shoots. 
How did they know it was time to push up through the long-wintered soil?
How did they know it was the moment to resurrect,
while thick layers of stubborn ice
still pressed the bleak ground flat?
But the tulips knew.
They came, rising strongly, a day after the ice died.
 Joyce Rupp / Easter Poem

Like the tulips, we will rise strongly in the coming days.

The COR Executive Committee continues to meet via ZOOM.  At our March meeting we discussed the many challenges related to the 2020 Assembly.   We continued our conversation regarding using technology (Webinars, Zoom) as a means of maintaining contact and sharing information with membership.  Regional / Cluster Chairs joined us in this fruitful conversation. We are pleased to share the following comments, questions and words of wisdom:
  • Regional / Cluster Chairs will find topics of interest and use Zoom to connect with small groups.  Some examples:  prayer and Lectio experiences.
  • Plan topics per year for the entire Federation, using a Zoom conference to present it.  Pope Francis’ presentation “Urbi et Orbi” was truly moving.  Can the Federation present a topic with such effect? 
  • Prepare Webinar and video clips to present rewarding topics and materials unique to Franciscan reality. 
  • Develop our Franciscan Federation Facebook page by posting short clips and encouraging all participants to be active.
  • Consider using the topic of “Synodality” (theme for Synod in 2020) for the development of a Franciscan Forum.  Pope Francis is an advocate of this method.  Basically, it supports mutual listening more than simply hearing.  Synodality is a type of collegiality: “A path of solidarity, a journey together.”
  • In order to break into regional cluster groups via Zoom, we would need an email distribution list.  Does the Federation have a master list of the email names and contacts per cluster?  Can the Federation host a Zoom conference?  
  Pat Millen OSF
- Member, COR Executive Committee


      This year, as Franciscans, we have much to celebrate in April 2020.  Earth Day is celebrating its Golden Jubilee – 50 years in existence.  Fifty years of renewing people’s love of creation and a commitment to care for our common home.  St. Francis was one of the first to intuit the oneness of humans and all creation.  It was St. Francis who prayed in gratitude and praise for our Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Wind, Sister Water, Brother Fire, and Sister Mother Earth.  What a unique understanding of how our world – and the entire universe – works. 

      If St. Francis was present in our world today I think he would have a broken heart. Because of the suffering of Mother Earth and the near-sighted vision of so many of us humans, we continue to pollute with plastic, ignore the removal of government protection of clean water and air and choose convenience rather than acting in ways that would protect Mother Earth for the health and well-being of future generations.  But, as Franciscans, we know we can change - because conversion is basic to our spiritual journey.

       Another celebration in 2020 that has impacted how people see Mother Earth is the 5th Anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical:  Laudato Si:  Care for Our Common Home. Pope Francis states in the encyclical, “This sister (Earth) now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her”. (2)

      The encyclical uses St. Francis as the model of how to relate to creation and how we need to hear the cry of creation and the cry of the poor (the two always go hand in hand).  Pope Francis states:

"I do not want to write this Encyclical without turning to that attractive
and compelling figure, whose name I took as my guide and inspiration
when I was elected Bishop of Rome. I believe that Saint Francis is the
example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral eco-
logy lived out joyfully and authentically.  He is the patron saint of all who
study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much lovedby non -
Christians. He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the
poor and outcast.  He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his gener-
ous self-giving, his openheartedness.  He was a mystic and a pilgrim who
lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with
nature and with himself.  He shows us just how inseparablethe bond is
   een concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society,
and interior peace. "(10)
      During this month of April, as we Franciscans see our Mother Earth come to life, let us renew our personal commitment to keep hope and joy alive as we care for the first book of God’s revelation – our Sister Mother Earth. 
Sister Sharon Goodremote, FSSJ
Member, JPIC Commission


February 10, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

May the Lord give you peace!

At the last Council meeting of IFC-TOR, the Council was able to make more definite plans for the upcoming General Assembly.  We are sending this information now so that you can SAVE THE DATE:



MAY 20-26, 2021 at DOMUS PACIS, ASSISI

We will send the usual convocation, registration materials and other details after our Council meeting in September. This is a notification of the dates so that you put it on your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there.

Pace e bene!
Sister Deborah Lockwood, 

President IFC-TOR


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].

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
all over world,

who have died due to the Coronavirus Pandemic,
who have been committed to the values

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 2020!

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 contact the individual retreat houses for their offerings and/or cancellations at this time.  


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

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

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
 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)

Morning and Evening Program Options
($75 for series with $20 deposit unless otherwise noted)
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
Men’s Spirituality Group Gatherings
Tuesday evenings (Bi-monthly) September, 2019
Facilitator: Fritz Haas Free Will Offering
 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   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

T’ai Chi Chih

Celtic Spirituality

Celebration of the Passover Seder

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

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



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
Presenter:  Sister Marya Grathwohl OSF

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

“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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