AFC 2019
St. Louis


Last month, almost two hundred Third Order Franciscans and their guests gathered in St. Louis for our Annual Federation Conference.  This year we gathered to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the three volume Franciscan Sources. 

Mary Elizabeth Imler OSF and Michael Blastic OFM used the lens of these writings and the values of the Third Order Rule and Life to approach contemporary issues.  The two speakers addressed taking a contemplative stance to heal the clerical abuse issue in our Church, how to consider our values of poverty and humility to face institutional and material loss in our congregations, and engaging the movement of conversion to confront the divisions of today’s society. Both speakers were enthusiastically received and provided much food for reflection and discussion.

Wayne Hellman OFM Conv was present to represent the two other editors, Regis Armstrong OFM Cap and Bill Short OFM, who could not be present. During the banquet, special awards were given by the Commission for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (CFIT) to Kathleen Moffatt OSF and Lisa Zmuda FSPA for their years of service.

In addition, Patrick Cousins from St. Louis University addressed the assembly on the issues and challenges of conveying the faith to millennials.

During the Business meeting, the assembly approved the JPIC resolution: “Welcoming the Refugees, Immigrants, Asylum Seekers.”  Members were also encouraged to contact their elected representatives regarding this issue.

We welcomed the new members of our National Board – Joyce Shanabarger OSF and Celeste Crine OSF and our new Co-Executive Director Lilia Kagendo LSOSF – and offered sincere thanks to our outgoing members – Karen Lanigan OSF and Louise Hembrecht OSF, as well as outgoing Executive Co-Director Damian Novello OSF.

Margaret Carney OSF laid the groundwork for next year’s conference in Denver. The event, which will take place from June 5-8, will bring together members from all parts of the Franciscan family as well as Franciscan organizations for a mega-event to celebrate our shared vision.

Plan to be with us in Denver !!

AFC - 2020
Save the dates
June 5-8
Denver CO


Region 1 is looking for a new Chairperson.  Anyone interested should contact
Althea Spencer OSF



Lilia Kagendo LSOSF
Co-Executive Director

St. Francis was a lover of all creatures.  Reflecting on the Life of St. Francis, I often ponder on what lead him to want to give up his wealth and lavish lifestyle, instead of using it to do good things.  My reflection always leads me to the contemplation of the virtues of Love and Humility and how God calls us out of our comfort zones and entrusts us with a mission. 

Though his mission was unclear in the beginning, St. Francis was often drawn to contemplate the Love of God while seeking God’s will for him.  St. Francis understood humility and the love of the Son of God and he surrendered all he had for the love of Jesus Christ.  But it is the encounter with the leper that transformed Francis.  He knew that to understand this love of God, Francis had to be meek and humble as our Lord was and therefore, he chose to follow and seek the will of God through the Gospel.  Francis was led by the Holy Spirit and he became obedience to the will of God.

As I reflect on the life of St. Francis, I think of my own story and what God is asking of me at this present moment.  When my Superior asked me if I would like to work with the Franciscan Federation; I found myself pondering this new path and after a long pause on the phone, I said I would try.  Looking back, so many thoughts came to mind as I reflected on what message God was giving me at this time in my life.  I found myself thinking: This is my Franciscan family and furthermore, our community belongs to the Third Order Regular Franciscans.  Since I had never lived in New York, my biggest challenge was to know that the main office is located in downtown Brooklyn and that I would never know how to find my way.  After much reflection, I thought of what St. Francis felt when he had to leave home and embrace Jesus calling.  This brought me to the realization that God had a message for me and this new mission, offering services among my brothers and sisters at the Franciscan Federation, is where God is calling me to do ministry. 
I felt challenged by the “Yes” I said to God and yet I understood that I needed to open my heart to the Holy Spirit to lead me and listen to Jesus calling; as St. Francis opened up to the Holy Spirit that led him from his comfort zone to where God wanted him to be.  Francis gave up everything and said “Yes” to God.

However, my joy was affirmed at the first visit to Franciscan Federation Office in Brooklyn where I met kind and gentle Sister Carol and Brother Damian.  The warm welcome, love and hospitality that they showed to me made me reflect on what our Franciscan family means to one another.  Furthermore, the warm welcome I received from the President, Fr. Frank, and other members of the Franciscan Federation was great and encouraging.  Fr. Frank’s kind words of welcome too affirmed my thoughts that this is all what a Franciscan family means, and perhaps may be this is where God wants me to be to embrace the life of St. Francis more deeply as I offer my services within the Federation. I felt ready to serve as needed as St. Francis did and follow in the footsteps of all our Franciscan family did who have served over the years.

A week after my arrival, the Annual Franciscan Federation conference was in place and I was honoured to attend.  Amazingly and overwhelmed by all the sisters and brothers full of joy, love, kind words and a nice welcome to their Franciscan family was so reassuring.  Again, what the speakers in the AFC shared with us about the lifestyle of St. Francis and our day today life crowned it all.  This is when my deep thoughts sank into my heart and was able to recognise the real true Franciscan family walking through the footstep of St. Francis.

I am Sister Lilia Kagendo, a member of Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi from Kenya. I am happy to be among the Franciscan family to serve as a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Franciscan Federation Office.


Celeste Crine OSF
National Board


Being a newly elected member to the Federation Board, I’ve been asked to introduce myself.
Thomas Merton once wrote: “If you want to identify me, ask not where I live, or what I eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail.”

I will not go into much detail, however, I will give you a brief lens through which I view my life. The lens comes in the form of a quote given to me by my superior in January 1973.

“Taken out of the immediacy of the world as problem and granted the vision of the world as Mystery, I may illumine for others the rhythm of participation and recollection which grants meaning to my life and may create meaning in the lives of those who cross my path.” (author is unknown)

This quote came at a time when I was moving from the classroom to be educated for Formation Ministry.  It resonated deeply with me. I’ve come to experience it as being what Gospel living and particularly, Franciscan Religious life has evolved to mean for me. As a spiritual director and retreat facilitator, this quote continues to be a source of contemplation for me. At this time in history, it speaks to me of the richness we have as Franciscan women and men to live our lives authentically, giving witness to and receiving the beauty, giftedness, and uniqueness of each person we encounter.

For leisure, I enjoy reading, walking alone and with friends, sewing, dabbling with water colors and teaching Tai Chi Chih®. TCC has become a creator of community among those participating.
For those who like more detailed tidbits, I am including a broad stroke of my ministry. Like many of us, I’ve had a variety of ministries these past 50 years as a Sister of St Francis of Philadelphia. I’ve served as elementary school teacher, Formation Director, Pastoral Associate, Vicar for Religious, and Staff member at three Franciscan Retreat Centers. My most recent ministry was as Coordinator of Spirituality /Associate Director at the School of Applied Theology, GTU Berkeley for seven years.  These experiences, together with being co-director of four Federation Summer Renewal Programs at St Bonaventure University, and Assistant Director of seven Franciscan Institute Forums in Colorado Springs have all deepened my gratitude for the richness of our charism.  My MA in spirituality and the numerous workshops and conferences I’ve attended have continued to enrich me and create meaning in the lives of those with whom I minister.

It is a gift and privilege and delights me to be working more closely with the larger Franciscan family at this time. Our Franciscan world not as a problem but as Mystery is new everyday. Praise God!




Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart  

Sisters Judith Plumb, Norma Janssen - Vicaress, Joyce Shanabarger - General Community Leader,
Nancy Roberta Schramm and Christina Fuller

Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn

Brothers Joshua DiMauro, Damian Novello - Asst Superior General, Gabriel O'Brien - Superior General.
David Migliorino and Richard Contino

Image result for relationships


The annual gathering at the AFC of the Commission of Elected Leaders (CEL), was chaired by Sr. Margaret Mary Kimmins with assistance from Fr. Frank Scornaienchi.  Introductions were made and a conversation was held on how we might view the issues presented at the conference through the eyes of leadership.  After the small group conversations, table reports were given.  We were lead into a conversation about our unique role at this time in the history of our church and in religious life.  Addressing the abuse in our church along with addressing the letting go in our communities of properties, and ministries can sometimes be overwhelming.  Stories of how some communities are approaching these issues were shared.  It was obvious that none of us can walk this path alone.  Collaboration and co-operation are essential.  Building relationships was an echo we had heard throughout the conference. This conversation moved into questions about congregations supporting one another and working together toward life plans with a Franciscan flavor.  The body asked the Franciscan Federation about the possibility of facilitating the conversation and creating resources.  There will be further conversation on this topic at ECCEL in the future.
Carl Vacek, TOR and Damian Novello, OSF were elected to fill the open positions on the ECCEL. Joyce Shanabarger, OSF was elected to the National Board representing the CEL.
We are grateful for the years of service on the ECCEL of Edith Wyss, OSF and Joyce Shanabarger, OSF. Their insights and involvement has been a blessing to the ECCEL.
Joyce Shanabarger, OSF
ECCEL member




On Stage (L to R – National Board & Office Staff): Sr. Kathy Warren, OSF, Br. Frank Scornaienchi, TOR, Srs. Lilia Kagendo, LSOSF, Eileen Golby, OSF, Joyce Shanabarger, OSF, Celeste Crine, OSF, Suzanne Kush, CSSF, Carol Woods, SFMA, Front Row (L to R – Executive Committees): Br. Damian Novello, OSF, Srs. Maria Brizuela, OSF, Patricia Mullen, OSF, Jacqueline Motzel, FSM, Ann Lyons, FSSJ, Margaret Carney, OSF, Br. Bernie Tickerhoof, TOR, Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF


Renewed from the Annual Franciscan Conference 2019 where we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Trilogy of our Franciscan Sources and elected new leadership for the Federation, the Commission of Regions is freshly energized to bring forth our Franciscan goodness in new ways.

Our two keynoters focused attention on the Four Core Values of the Third Order Tradition as revealed in the 200 year history of the Early Sources. Br. Michael Blastic explored and compared texts from the three volumes revealing emerging challenges that influenced the original vision of Francis and the early followers, resulting in changes to the way Franciscan life was lived. Sr. Mary Elizabeth’s insights into the relationship of the volumes offered a new clarity about the development of the 2,362 pages! She shared some poignant personal experiences which grounded the four values along with our call to be Saint, Founder and Prophet as we face ecclesial, societal and personal challenges today. Indeed! our church and our world are in grave need of witnessing, of seeing, the Gospel values in which our Way of Life is rooted: contemplation, humility, poverty and conversion. How will we offer it today?

Masterfully presented with much to savor for a long time, it is a gift to have the material available on CDs and DVDs for use in our Regions. I strongly encourage you to consider using this resource for your regional/cluster gatherings during the year.

Our lively Commission business meeting included the election of Executive Committee members and a National Board Representative (see photo). Newly elected members of the COR Executive Committee are:
Sr. Ann Lyons from the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamburg, NY. Ann was also elected chairperson.
Sr. Patricia Millen from the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia
Sr. Maria Brizuela from the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Frankfort, IL
Continuing their terms on the Executive Committee are:
Sr. Jacqueline Motzel from the Franciscan Sisters of Mary of Bridgeton, MO
Sr. Camilla Wolfgram from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity of Manitowoc, WI
Our newly elected representative to the National Board is Sr. Celeste Crine from the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia. Sr. Kathy Warren from the Rochester, MN Franciscans continues her term on the National Board.
May God give us and our world, peace!

Submitted by Sr. Kathy Warren, OSF


Franciscan Action Network

Sister Marie Lucey asked us to share this pamphlet from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
It is entitled "Prepare Your Community for Possible Immigration Enforcement".


At the AFC, the membership affirmed the following letter to be sent to President Trump.  The leadership of our member congregations will be receiving a copy for their members to sign and send to Washington:

President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500        

Dear President Trump,

Statement of Resolution
We, the members of the Franciscan Federation, recognize that we live in a nation at a time when refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers are being turned away from our borders and held in detention centers.  We hold our national leaders accountable for the reprehensible crime of separating children from their parents and placing them in detention.   We are urged to “support [our] neighbor in his [her] weakness as one [sic] would want to be supported were he [she] in a similar situation,” (Franciscan sources).  We are called to support all efforts to ensure that displaced people are treated in a way that is consistent with Catholic Social Teaching.
We remember that St. Francis, who himself identified as a pilgrim and stranger, reached out to all people by noting that “the law of pilgrims [is] to be sheltered under someone else’s roof, to thirst for their homeland, and to travel in peace” (Franciscan sources).  
Pope Francis said “Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity.  They are women and men who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being, more.”
We ask that you especially address the problem of the remaining children who are still separated from their parents.  “Refugee children belong to their parents, not to the government or other institutions,” said San Antonio’s Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller one of the border bishops who were very outspoken against separating the children from their parents.  The Trump administration used as their reason for the separation that it would deter families from coming.  But it did not deter tens of thousands of migrants traveling to the United States, most of whom were escaping violence and poverty in Central America.  Family separation tears at our core values as a nation.  We need to be a beacon of hope instead for families who need to flee their native homes.  
Our request is that you end your persecution of men, women and children who are seeking freedom from persecution in their own country.   This plea is best expressed by Bishop Solis of                                
Salt Lake City who said: “Refusing asylum to women escaping from domestic violence and separating children from parents is an unnecessary and aggressive act against human life, and unfathomable from a country with a heart as strong as ours.”    
We, as Franciscans, stand in defense and in solidarity with our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters.  Many of us have assisted at centers near the border to welcome and show compassion to our suffering brothers and sisters.  We ask you to do the same!

Members of Franciscan Federation 

Also, Sister Jeanne Rollins shared a letter to the mayor of Yuma AZ:

June 18, 2019
Douglas Nicholls
Mayor of Yuma, AZ
Dear Mr. Nicholls,
At the urging of Catholic Charities and my Superior, I arrived in Yuma
on June 8th to help with the border situation.  I left the area on June 16th.
Because of my limited Spanish skills I was assigned to help at the Salvation Army transition center.  I spent much of those eight working
days helping clients learn basic English for their up-coming travels and future days.  In my position I was also able to observe what takes place in other areas of the facility.  Much good is being done there.  Individuals have a roof over their heads, regular meals for the day and are treated with respect.
It is not an easy task to provide this 24/7 care for an ever-changing population in such tight and limited quarters.  It’s also true that not everything works perfectly or “according to schedule” all the time.  However to have such a location in your city is to begin forming a special gem.  And as mayor of Yuma you can take pride in this achievement.
I encourage you to continue to support this work, for as one of our local writers states,  We can…use (y)our obstacles to create (y)our gems”,  a gem which will be the future of Yuma.

Sister Jeanne Rollins, OSF
Cc: Salvation Army




The Franciscan Legacy from the 13th Century to the 21st Assessing the Continuing Significance of St Francis and Franciscan Traditions of Theology, Spirituality, and Action
A Conference in Honour of the 800th Anniversary of St Francis’ Meeting with Sultan Malek Al-Kamil Tues 5 - Thurs 7 November 2019 in Durham, UK

For more information and registration:

The Padua Program announces registration for the Second Cohort.
A new cohort of Padua Program* participants will begin this September at University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois
Workshop I         September 23 - 27, 2019
Workshop II        July 27-31, 2020
Who should attend?
                Mission officers and senior administrators of Franciscan institutions
What is the goal?
                To provide expertise for maintaining  Catholic and Franciscan identity in the workplace
What is the time commitment?
                Two in –person seminars of thee days each and  eight monthly webinars.
                (Mentoring partnerships are optional.)
What is the cost?
                Program cost: $3800.00.(Does not include room costs)
How to register?             
                Contact Margaret Carney OSF/ 716-485-6083
*Sponsored by The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities and the Franciscan Institute


St. Francis University, Joliet IL 
Praise God and serve with great humility!  
Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF
Vice President for Mission  
500 Wilcox Street   Joliet, IL  60435
(815) 740-2622

Online Certificate in Franciscan Studies

This four course certificate program is designed to:

  • Provide a unified understanding of the Franciscan Tradition.

  • Prepare students to form Franciscan experiences in their personal and professional lives. 

  • Strengthen students’ relationship with Franciscan history.

  • Discover applications to everyday life situations in today’s world.


    Recommended participants:

    This course is highly recommended for faculty and staff at any of the AFCU partners who wish to feel more at home in the Franciscan lived expression of Gospel spirituality, and the Franciscan intellectual tradition.  Because of the experience of the instructors, it is also applicable for those who are leading Formation Programs for Franciscan Religious Institutes, especially for candidates new to the Franciscan tradition.  This course would also be useful for formation of those in the Franciscan Secular Order or in preparation for a life commitment of associates to religious institutes.  


    Register: or 815 740-2622



 Franciscan Mentors

 We sponsor an annual conference for those who are helping form our next generation of Franciscans.
This conference is for you if you help in the formation of
• Franciscan vowed religious
• Secular Franciscans
• Associates/Affiliates/Co-journers
• High school or university students
• Volunteers in Franciscan-based service programs
• Those with a Franciscan heart


Inter-Franciscan Formation Programs
This program gathers Franciscan men and woman in formation (all levels) twice a year at Graymoor in Garrison, NY.  Workshops are presented on Franciscan themes led by Franciscan men and women.  


Franciscan School of Theology
Franciscan School of Theology



Please note:  All retreats and events are also located on the calendar in the "Planning" section of the new Website

Region 1

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

Blessed John Duns Scotus Library
125 Thompson Street
New York NY 10012

Blessed John Duns Scotus
Loving Over Knowing:
A Heart-centered Approach to Understanding God
Fr. Joe Schwab, OFM

Date:  August 15, 2019, Thursday

 Time: 1:00 PM
Fr. Joe Schwab, OFM, Executive Director of the Franciscan Renewal Center, has a Master of Theology degree from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. He lived in Guatemala City to complete his Master's thesis about education among the impoverished. He holds certifications in Contemporary Spirituality from the Kino Institute, a Theology Update Certification from the International Study Centre at Canterbury, England, and in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Notre Dame. Presently, Fr. Joe is a staff member of Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs and Director of the Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale, AZ.

 All are welcome. If you plan to attend, we ask that you RSVP
 Siobhan O’Dwyer, OFS:

Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center
4421 Lower River Road
Stella Niagara, New York 14144

(Only 10 miles north of Niagara Falls)
(716) 754-7376, Ext. 2






Region 2

Franciscan Center
3010 North Perry Avenue
Tampa FL 33603

Centering Prayer Group 
Eileen Strawser and Jill Biebel
Tuesdays, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us. This contemplative practice follows Thomas Keating methods. The group will meet weekly with Eileen and Jill.  If you have any questions “and/or” are new to centering prayer email Eileen Strawser and Jill Biebel Please email to attend.  Donation will be accepted.

Conscious Contact Mini Retreat: Acceptance Is The Key

Wed., August 21, 5 pm – 8 pm  Sister Cathy Cahill, OSF

We use the word acceptance quite frequently in recovery circles. Tonight we will examine what we mean by that and how to move into a more accepting stance.  

This mini retreat is for anyone interested in 12 Step Spirituality. Come early and enjoy the grounds.

Register with full payment $30 by August 19.

Fee: $30 (includes dinner).

Conscious Contact Women's Retreat: "I Am The Potter, You Are The Clay"

Thursday, October 24 - Sunday, October 27, 2019

With: Sr. Catherine Kanick, RSM

Surrendering our lives to God's protection and care creates the pathway to living freely, soberly and spiritually letting go and living the Steps guides us on the journey to the fullness of life.

This retreat is for women in any 12 Step Program.  Register early with a non-refundable deposit $100.

Fee:  $279/Single, $249/Shared



McGlinn Spirituality and Conference Center
The Canticle Gift Shop
460 St. Bernardine Street
Reading, PA  19607-1737 

484-334-6807     Fax:  484-334-6808
Visit our Website or Facebook for more details.


The Franciscan Spiritual Center
609 S. Convent Rd.
Aston, PA 19014

More information about the following programs can be obtained from our website:

July 14 to 20, 2019, Guided Retreat:  "A Spirituality of Film (Part Two):  Portraits in Holiness", Michael                  Laratonda FMS, $475
July 22-28, 2019, Guided Retreat:  "A Retreat with Thomas Merton and Henry Nouwen", Fr. Anthony Ciorra, $475
August 2 to 8, 2019, Directed Retreat, Mary Walsh OSF, Kathleen Gannon OSF, Marion Lynch OSU,                   Theresa Firenze OSF, $475
August 12-18, 2019, Guided Retreat:  "Once Upon A Time":  Parables of the Magic Kingdom, Clare D'Auria         OSF, $475
August 25 to 30, 2019, T'ai Chi Chih Retreat, Antonia Cooper OSF $425

Centering Prayer – Group Session of Quiet Prayer
3rd Saturday of each month from 10:30 to 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, 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 interested 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

Contemplative Mornings at Clare House 
About the event:


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.

To explore it further or make a reservation call Sr.Donna Roccio, OSF at (610) 558-6157 or email at


Clare House
If you ever wanted to take a 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 farm house in the woods that is part of our Spiritual Center. There are stairs so it is not handicap accessible. 

To explore it further or make a reservation call Sr Jean Ustasiewski at
 (610) 558-5372


St. Francis Center for Renewal
395 Bridle Path Road
Bethlehem PA  18017
Tel: 610-867-8890


Region 3


 Chiara Center 
A Franciscan place of spirituality
        4875 La Verna Road
       Springfield, IL, 62707


Chiara Self-Guided Retreats

Chiara center can help create sacred time away by providing resources from trusted spiritual leaders. Choose your retreat journey at Chiara Center using the audio or DVD series to create your own retreat. Retreat must be a minimum of three days and two nights. Arrival times flexible.
Cost: 3 days, 2 nights:  $240 inclusive of guest room, meals, retreat resources including CD/DVD player. Each additional day is $65 inclusive of meals.
Visit web site for brochure. 


Encountering Clare of Assisi: Her Inspiring Wisdom for Today's Challenges A Conference Retreat

 August 4-9, 2019   
Sr. Kathleen Warren, OSF - Presenter
Cost for this retreat is $600.00 for overnight guests and $380.00 for commuters.
As our culture considers the necessity, value and blessing of the feminine in our world, many are beginning to look anew at Chiara of Assisi with an exciting clarity that befits her name. Even though she humbly referred to herself as the little plant of Francis, new scholarship is revealing an imaginative, committed and powerful woman who worked alongside Saint Francis in the 13th century. Along with Francis, Clare’s words and lived-examples of leadership served to animate a new way of understanding the gospels and how the church might take them to heart with renewed fervor and love. During this conference retreat, we will explore the remarkable life of cofounder of the Franciscan movement, particularly through her own writings and consider her profound relationship with God and Agnes of Prague. Retreatants will leave with a sense of how Clare’s life resulted in a most poignant spirituality that speaks well in our time.

Oldenburg Franciscan Center



 Portiuncula Center for Prayer

9263 West St. Francis Road
Frankfort, IL  60423  815.464.3880 to register and for program details.


Sisters of St. Francis

St. Francis Spirituality Center
200 St. Francis Ave
Tiffin OH 44883
Ph. 419-443-1485

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

Eucharist:  Diamond in our Midst  
July 14-20, 2019 (Sunday 4 PM – Saturday 1 PM)
Director:  Sr. Edna Michel, OSF  
Cost: $490;  Commuter: $350. 
Drawing from the experiences of human life, this retreat will focus on various facets of the Eucharist.  Two conferences daily, time for reflection and optional sharing times. 


Regina Spirituality and Conference Center
Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania
6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania, OH  43560
For more information contact:

Sister Joan Jurski, 419.824.3528,

Seeking the perfect setting for solitude, prayer, individual or directed retreats?
In the spirit of Francis and Clare our lovely campus provides indoor space and gardens for spiritual experiences on 89 peaceful wooded acres.
21 Overnight Rooms
Two 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 Art & Gifts! Or visit us online at


Tau Center
26W171 Roosevent Road
Wheaton, IL 60187


Region 4
Rochester MN Franciscans
Assisi Heights

1001 14th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
507-280-2195 or email:


 Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls
116 Eighth Avenue Southeast
 Little Falls, MN  56345          


God's Women Challenge Us
Monday, August 12 (9:30 am) - Friday, August 16 (12:30 PM)
Presenter - Sr. Carol Perry
Sister Carol Perry leads this retreat on the women of the Bible. Despite a lowered status in society, these extraordinary women managed to live with courage and faith, serving as role models for us today. During this retreat we will examine our faith journeys and perhaps adjust our steps to theirs; come and meet some of them!
            Perry has spent her life in the field of education, above all making the Bible user-friendly to adults on their spiritual journey. An author of two books, Waiting for Our Souls to Catch Up, and Among Women were published in 2014 and 2016 respectively. In 2017, after retiring from teaching adult Bible classes for 37 years, she went on to lecture and currently leads retreats across the country with an emphasis on the Bible and the role of women in religious life today.
            For more information, retreat price and to register by July 29, please contact (320)632-0668 or;

Mysticism in an Evolving Universe—How do we participate?
4-day retreat, Thursday,
October 17 (7 p.m.) – Sunday, October 20 (noon)
7-day retreat, Thursday,
October 17 (7 p.m.) – Wednesday, October 23 (noon).
Sister Ade Kroll, OSF and Tricia McMahon, DMin, retreat presenters, will help us discover how the mystic in us is nurtured and how it might become threatened. Together we will explore cosmologies, stories and examples of various mystics to reveal that each person has a unique personal mystical path.
            For more information, retreat price and to register by October 2, please contact (320)632-0668 or;
Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center

3560 Hwy 51 North
Arbor Vitae, WI 54568

For more information on these retreats see


Shalom Spirituality Center
(formerly Shalom Retreat Center)
1001 Davis Street
Dubuque, Iowa 52001

Call: 563-582-3592
Monthly Writer’s Feedback Group

Facilitator: Mary Potter Kenyon

Tuesday, July 30, 6:30PM-8:00PM
Continues on Tuesdays, 6:30-8PM: August 20, September 17, October 15, November 19

Have you always wanted to write for publication? Is it your dream to someday see your byline in a magazine or your name on the cover of a book? This monthly writer’s meet-up group allows time for you to share up to two pages of your writing with opportunities for feedback and critique from other writers.

Join this a monthly support and critique group for writers to share and get feedback on their writing.

Writers of all levels and genres are welcome to attend this monthly writing group.

Meetings will include:
Honest, constructive critique within a positive framework.
Members can be a source for ideas and encouragement.
Learn from each other’s strengths as well as share information about contests, conferences, workshops and calls for submissions.
Network with fellow writers and share the unique joys and challenge of a writing life. Celebrate each other’s success!

If you have writing you’d like to share at a meeting, please keep it under two double-spaced pages, though you can bring more in case time permits. We want everyone to have the opportunity to share. If you’d like to have copies to pass out for everyone, e-mail Mary at with your document and she will print out copies.

Attend as many or few meetings as you wish. Newcomers are always welcomed!

Mary Potter Kenyon is Program Coordinator at Shalom. She graduated from UNI and is a certified grief counselor. Mary is widely published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including eight Chicken Soup books. She is the author of seven books, including a book on creativity that will be released in 2020.

Offering: Freewill Donation
Registration Is Appreciated, But Not Required
Light refreshments will be served.

Centering Prayer
Monday, July 15, 7:00PM-8:00PM
Facilitator: Marilyn Dansart

Monthly Centering Prayer gatherings at Shalom begin with 20 minutes of quiet, wordless prayer together. We then read together a short 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. Centering Prayer is much more about what God can do in us than what we can do for God. Centering Prayer calls us to a spirit of openness and receptivity to God.

Newcomers to the Centering Prayer Group are always welcomed!

Marilyn Dansart completed a 3-year Spiritual Direction Preparation at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI
No Fee To Attend
Pre-Registration Not Required

Jesus And The Women Of The Gospels: Traveling Together On The Path Of Discipleship
Sunday, July 14, 5:30PM—Friday, July 19, 9:00AM
Director: Sr. Wendy Cotter, CSJ

This retreat focuses on the significance of Jesus’ encounters with women in various accounts of the gospels, as well as when they are featured in Jesus’ parables and wisdom sayings. The retreat will conclude with the special place women disciples hold in the Resurrection narratives, their mandate to proclaim Him as risen, and what this holds for our role today!

Sr. Wendy Cotter, CSJ, PhD is a Sister of St. Joseph from London, Ontario, Canada, and also an American citizen. She has been a full professor of New Testament in the Theology Department of Loyola University, and is now Emerita since her retirement in 2016. She began teaching in elementary schools. Then, following four years of pastoral work with her community in Peru, she returned and earned her doctorate in New Testament from St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Canada. She has published two books, The Miracles in Greco Roman Antiquity (1999), and The Christ of the Miracle Stories: Portrait Through Encounter (2010). She considers directing retreats the greatest source of joy and grace.

Overnight Offering: $455. Includes 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 suppers.
Commuter Offering: $400. Includes 4 lunches, 5 suppers.
$75 nonrefundable deposit required!
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 8th

Christ, The Living Heart Of The Cosmos
Sunday, July 28, 5:30PM-—Friday, August 2, 9:00AM
Director: Sr. Mary Frohlich, RSCJ

“Were not our hearts burning within us as he spoke to us on the road?” Jesus walks with us on our everyday journeys, day by day awakening our hearts to glimpses of the holy fire that permeates all creation. He is the living Heart of the cosmos, motivating and molding its evolutionary movement toward the fullness of glory and love. Retreatants will be offered both reflections and practices for deepened participation in this ecospiritual movement of the Heart.

Sr. Mary Frohlich, RSCJ, is a Religious of the Sacred Heart. She teaches Spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and also offers workshops and retreats in a variety of venues. Areas of expertise include Carmelite spirituality, ecospirituality, spiritual companioning, and other forms of spirituality as an academic discipline.
Overnight Offering: $455. Includes 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 suppers.
Commuter Offering: $400. Includes 4 lunches, 5 suppers.
$75 nonrefundable deposit required!
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 22nd

St. Anthony Spirituality Center
300 E Fourth Street
Marathon, WI 54448

The Franciscan Spirituality Center
920 Market Street,
La Crosse, WI 54601



Region 5

Il Ritiro
Franciscan Retreat Center
P.O. Box 38 ~ 7935 St. Francis Ln.
Dittmer, MO  63023


Tau  Center
Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

335 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis MO 63122

Region 6

Franciscan Spiritual Center
2512 SE Monroe Street
Milwaukee, OR 97222
Ph. 503-794-8542 Fx. 503-794-8556

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

Franciscan Renewal Center
5802 E. Lincoln Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Make the Franciscan Renewal Center 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.


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