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Fra nci s c an Spirituality Center

At the Center

Dedicated to anyone seeking wholeness


In this Issue: Intentional Living:

A Pathway to Peace New Faces at the Center Spiritual Direction:

Our Guiding Light 920 Market Street

La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 791-5295

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A pathway to peace


M AY 3 - 4 Intentional Living:


with Marie Dennis Author & Presenter

Schedule at a glance Friday, May 3 • 5-8:30 p.m. Franciscan Spirituality Center • Who Is My Neighbor? with David Vásquez • Coming Down Off the Mountain with Marilyn Pedretti,

FSPA Affiliate

• A Father’s Journey along an Unexpected Path with Mike Desmond • Embracing “Lady Poverty” with Zach Johnson Musical Prayer Service at San Damiano Chapel, Viterbo University • P  rayers for the Healing of the Nations with Tom Witt and Mary Preus from Bread for the Journey

Saturday, May 4 • 9-3:45 p.m. Lunda Center at Western Technical College A day of inspiration with keynote speaker Marie Dennis • Intentional Living: Choices that Bring Peace • P  athway to Peace: Finding Your Voice

At the Center newsletter is published three

times a year on earth-friendly paper with a higher recycled content. You can find us on Facebook and Pinterest.

Franciscan Spirituality Center 920 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601 (608) 791-5295 • Identity

Franciscan Spirituality Center is a sacred place that welcomes everyone. We are rooted in the Gospels and sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Mission

The Franciscan Spirituality Center is dedicated to supporting anyone in their search for God, meaning and wholeness. We live this mission because we believe: • In each of us lives the Sacred. • We need each other to recognize and honor that part of ourselves. • Responding to spiritual hunger is necessary for growth, healing and peace. • As we grow in wholeness, we contribute to the healing of all creation. Core Values

In keeping with the tradition of our Franciscan founders, we hold these core values: Sacredness: Believe that in every person and all creation lives the Sacred. Respect: Acknowledge the dignity, diversity and worth of each person as a unique image of God. Community: Through prayer, empathy and sharing, create a safe, peaceful place. Hospitality: Welcome all with compassion, acceptance and celebration. Professionalism: Commit to competence, quality, trust and personal spiritual development. What We Do

The Franciscan Spirituality Center guides and directs processes for prayer and offers personal presence to anyone on their sacred journey as co-creators of a just and peaceful world. The FSC offers individual and group spiritual direction, guided and preached retreats, day-long programs and workshops. Staff is available for off-site workshops, presentations and programs.

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At the Center V OLUME 21 • NUMB ER 2

Articles 2 Director’s Column 5 Q&A with Marie Dennis 10 New Faces on the FSC Board 12 Spiritual Directors



Outdoor Hiking Retreat

Summer Offerings by Month 4 May: A Pathway to Peace 6 May/June 6 Andre Cirino at Viterbo University 7 June/July 8 July/August News & Happenings 3 Spiritual Living 9 Retreat Options 13 Journey Toward Wholeness


Exploring Art Journaling


Find these new titles: Twenty Poems to Bless your Marriage and One to Save It by Roger Housden Connecting with God by William J. O’Malley Blessings for Leaders by Dan R. Ebener The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo Annual Used Book Sale The Annual Used Book Sale starts on April 19 and runs through May. Please tell your friends and family to come and shop.

Visit our newly redesigned website for the latest updates on future Programs & Retreats at For more information please call (608)791-5295 or email PA G E 1

Food for the soul F R O M


Someone recently we offer,


asked me what we do at the Franciscan Spirituality Center. In response, I talked about the many programs and retreats and the opportunities for people to come for spiritual direction as individuals or as groups. I talked about our Spiritual Direction

Preparation Program, and its long history of forming those who wished to companion others on the spiritual journey. Finally, I talked about our meeting rooms and Sophia bookstore, and the opportunities for local groups to come together in our spirit-filled space.


It seems the depth of our collective spiritual hunger is increasing as we search for answers to the big questions of our day: How do we respond to climate change and our responsibility to be stewards of God’s creation? How do we treat the immigrant as neighbor in the spirit of Franciscan hospitality? How do we protect our children in a world of increasing gun violence? How do we work for the common good to ensure the economic needs of current and future generations are being met? These big and difficult questions do not have easy answers, and I believe they are almost impossible to address without first addressing the deeper questions of meaning and purpose that are the source of our spiritual hunger. For the spiritual journey often leads us on a path of growing awareness (awakening consciousness), to an intention to change (inner transformation), which leads us to make different choices and take action for peace and justice (authentic relationships).



fter the conversation was over, the question stayed with me: What do we really do at the Center? Upon further reflection, the answer became quite clear and simple; we provide food for the soul to spiritually-hungry people. Unlike physical starvation, often the people we serve are not consciously aware of their hunger for deeper spiritual meaning in their lives. They know they are hungry for something, but often can’t articulate it until they come through our doors and a feeling washes over them and they whisper: “This is what I’ve been missing. I want more of this.”

Rosalie Hooper Thomas, FSPA Affiliate

Spiritual Director

Jeff Dols FSC Director

Audrey Quanrud Associate Director Program Coordinator

Mary Kathryn Fogarty FSPA Spiritual Director

Barb Kruse Spiritual Director

The journey begins with a simple recognition of our hunger, and when that happens, we are here to help you find food for the soul. The Spirit will take care of the rest. Steve Spilde

FSPA Affiliate

Spiritual Director

Jenny Ehlke-Walter Office Manager

Emily Strickler Marketing Communications Coordinator

Mary Knutson Receptionist & Hospitality

Zoua Vue Receptionist & Hospitality


Margaret Cunningham

Linda Kerrigan

Peace and all good,

Spiritual Director

Jeff Dols, FSPA Affiliate

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FSPA Affiliate


FSPA Affiliate



Welcome Steve


ewest staff member Steve Spilde shares his passion and interest for his ministry as spiritual director for the FSC. This Q&A reveals his passion for spiritual direction and his interest in collaborating with churches and organizations for group spiritual direction.

What is your personal experience of group spiritual direction? Steve Spilde: I was challenged as I opened myself up in front of others and explored the truths of my life. It’s humbling, revealing, encouraging and powerful. Learning how God speaks to each of us all the time in different ways makes you more aware of the unknown. There is certainly a vulnerable aspect of group spiritual direction that helps us to trust another as much as ourselves. As I became more vulnerable to the group, I found myself going deeper into my own story. I grew in self-acceptance and became more compassionate to myself and others. What can people expect if they participate in group spiritual direction? SS: Group spiritual direction is a safe place where you can feel respected and honored. The process usually lasts about 90 minutes, depending on the size of the group and meets regularly about once a month, more or less depending upon the needs of the group. The unique advantages of group verses individual spiritual direction is that it is usually more affordable and offers you the opportunity to listen and learn from others. Where can people go to learn more about group spiritual direction? SS: A great place to start is our website’s ( Spiritual Direction page. We also offer an introductory meeting —Is group spiritual direction for me? The next one is June 5 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Call the FSC at (608) 791-5295 or email me directly at to discuss your needs or ideas. For churches that don’t have the time or resources to coordinate group spiritual direction but would like to form a group, please give me a call. As a Lutheran clergy pastor and trained spiritual director, I am excited for the opportunity to share this ministry with our neighborhood churches. 2 0 1 3 S P R I N G / S U M M E R AT T H E C E N T E R

Spiritual Living The Franciscan Spirituality Center is the place for people from all walks of life and spiritual paths to come together to learn more about God and themselves. We hope you will find a place here to find your peace and joy! Community Prayer is every Tuesday from 11:30-Noon. Everyone is welcome to pray as we “listen with the ear of the heart” to the Gospel for the coming Sunday. We pray for the needs of the world, our community and each other. Free and open to the public. Please join us, all are welcome. Evening Contemplative Prayer is on the first and third Tuesday each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. We provide the opportunity to experience prayerful silence in community with others. Free and open to the public, all are welcome. No registration is needed. Group Spiritual Direction is in a group setting in which the members seek God together and explore work, relationships, prayer, and life experiences. Join us for a conversation to decide if Group Spiritual Direction is for you on June 5 at 6:30-7:30 p.m. and August 5 at 5:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday Morning Men’s Group enjoys coffee and muffins while

discussing a current book related to spirituality. Meets the third Saturday of the month from 9-11 a.m. Call Vince Hatt at (608) 386-7551 for information about the book. Depressed Anonymous is a 12-step group where people dealing

with depression can generate positive energies, form friendships and find support. Meets every Monday throughout the year from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Call Vince Hatt at (608) 386-7551 for more information. Enneagram Study Group is a discussion group for those interested in using the Enneagram to explore their spiritual life and relationships with family, friends and co-workers. The group meets May 8 and June 12 from 5:15-7 p.m. Drumming Circle meets the second Thursday of the month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. This group explores drumming as a form of prayer. Interspersed with drumming, we share stories and reflections. Bring your favorite drum. Freewill offering accepted. Eating Poems for Lunch with Marci Madary meets every Friday

from Noon-1 p.m. starting April 5 to May 31, does not meet on April 19. Bring your own brown bag lunch and join in the feast of imagery, memory, alliteration and laughter. Registration is preferred, or $7 at the door. Vinyasa Yoga session four on Mondays starts May 13 at 5:30 p.m.

with Bernice Olson-Pollack. $45/6 weekly sessions ends June 24. Register online or call (608) 791-5295 for more information.

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A pathway to peace


L I V I N G :


2013 Annual Conference • May 3-4, 2013

Full Program: $120 Friday Only: $50 Saturday Only: $75


Prayers for the Healing of the Nations with Tom Witt and Mary Preus from the musical group, Bread for the Journey. Experience contemplative prayer around the cross in the tradition of the Taizé community. Bread for the Journey is a group of singers and instrumentalists who lead worship services, sing-along concerts, and workshops across the country. The group specializes in presenting songs of faith, hope, justice and inclusion from the Christian church near and far. Bread for the Journey is committed to encouraging singing, sharing music with theological integrity, and helping music ministers to inspire the community’s song and serve the community’s prayer.

ife experiences transform your perspective and the ways in which you decide to live. For many, these experiences are so significant that it shifts you into thinking and feeling differently about the world. During this conference, we will listen to stories that will enlighten and inspire us all to find new ways to experience peace. Friday evening workshops include (select one): Who is My Neighbor? with David Vásquez Coming Down Off the Mountain with Marilyn Pedretti, FSPA Affiliate

A Father’s Journey along an Unexpected Path with Mike Desmond Embracing “Lady Poverty” with Zach Johnson Saturday presentations with keynote speaker Marie Dennis: Session One - Intentional Living: Choices that Bring Peace Marie describes her life as a journey, taken one step at a time. Her journey took her from designing nuclear submarines to a growing awareness of poverty and injustices; from rural life as a young wife and mother to co-founding the Assisi Community, an inner city intentional community where she lives in Washington D.C. In this presentation, Marie will discuss her contemplative journey and the transformational choices she faced along the path toward an intentional life of peace. Session Two - Pathway to Peace: Finding Your Voice At a transition point in her life, Marie reflected on a fundamental question: “What is the faithful response of a middle class, white Christian woman living in the United States to the cry of people living in poverty and war?” Today, Marie has the unique vantage point of being at the leading edge of many national and international groups working for peace and justice. In this presentation, Marie will describe some of the ways we personally might choose to respond.

About Marie Dennis Marie Dennis is known internationally for her work on behalf of peace and justice, especially with countries in conflict. She is co-president of Pax Christi International, a position she shares with Bishop Kevin Dowling from South Africa. Marie is co-author of St. Francis and the Foolishness of God, the core text for the process of FSPA Affiliation. She recently retired from Maryknoll Catholic Missioners where she headed the Office for Justice and Peace/Global Concerns. Currently, Marie serves on the national board of JustFaith Ministries and is a contributing editor to Sojourners magazine. She has a masters degree in moral theology from Washington Theological Union.

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Q&A with Marie Dennis T

he Franciscan Spirituality Center welcomes Marie Dennis, author, activist and co-president of Pax Christi International, as keynote speaker at the 2013 Annual Conference, Intentional Living: A Pathway to Peace. This conference will inspire and challenge you to think deeply about the ways in which we live today. Marie is known internationally for her work on behalf of peace and justice and lives her life following the teachings of Christ. At this conference, Marie will share her personal story of how Franciscan spirituality led her toward true Gospel living. The Franciscan spirit is very evident today in Marie’s many accomplishments; her life is a brave example to all who seek peace and radical change in the world. The FSC wanted to ask Marie a few questions about intentional living and her path toward peace prior to the conference. Here is what she had to say. FSC: How would you define intentional living in terms of your life journey? Marie Dennis: I think of “intentional living” as the effort to shape the contours of your life— your relationships, your work, how you spend your time, your use of natural resources, and on and on—to match what you claim to believe. For me, that’s the Gospel and the Franciscan tradition.

FSC: What was your inspiration in your journey toward peace? Marie Dennis: Before I focused on peace, I was deeply challenged to work for social justice—to support the struggles for liberation of people oppressed by unjust political, economic and social structures. That was rooted in relationships with people living on the margins even in a pretty prosperous community, by the impetus of Catholic social teaching that was so rich in the years following the Second Vatican Council, by the writing of theologians like Gustavo Gutierrez (Liberation Theology) and Rosemary Radford Reuther (The Radical Kingdom) and by the witness of the Central American martyrs. Ultimately, I realized that social justice and peace were intrinsically interconnected. FSC: How have Franciscan values inspired you in your life choices? Marie Dennis: Francis’ effort to interpret the Gospel in his own times inspires me to try to do the same…to interpret the Gospel into 21st century reality. Francis’ embrace of the leper and effort to live simply—to accompany people living on the margins; his visit to the Sultan and commitment to find peace in very violent times; and his amazing relationships with the natural world describe a way of life that is both enormously challenging and life-giving.

Become a peacemaker!


ranciscan Spirituality Center is excited to present Path to Peace, an interactive public art project that is engaging the global and social community in an exploration of art (photography and poetry) to share the ways we witness peace and action today. This project was spawned to drive awareness of the FSC’s 2013 Annual Conference, Intentional Living: A Pathway to Peace with speaker and peacemaker, Marie Dennis. Path to Peace creates the space for individuals to share poetry and photographs of the simple and everyday ways we see peace in action. We invite you to share the goodness of your life—through a poem or photograph—with others who will be inspired to do the same. By sharing the beauty of the peaceful faces and places you see every day in your life, you are making peace. You are a peacemaker. Be a peacemaker! In the spirit of Saint Francis—known and revered by so many throughout the world as a symbol of peace, reconciliation and brotherhood—Path to Peace will highlight the peacemaking charism of St. Francis and Clare in a world filled with individuals actively engaged in creating, making, sustaining and advocating for peace. Be a peacemaker by creating and cultivating peace by sharing the beauty of your life through art.

FSC: What communities, or people, have supported you in your work for peace? Marie Dennis: The list is very long, beginning with my own family and Assisi Community, plus dear friends in the PAX Community and at the Center for New Creation, Maryknoll, Pax Christi… FSC: What would you say to an average, ordinary person living in the Midwest, who is concerned about peace in our world? Marie Dennis: That’s the hardest question of all to answer because we each have to find the path to peace that makes sense in our own lives. Try to make a fundamental option in your life for peace and social justice—to live that commitment out in all your relationships—personal, interpersonal, social and systemic.

Find the Path to Peace at

Thank you! 2 0 1 3 S P R I N G / S U M M E R AT T H E C E N T E R

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2013 Retreat

and Program Offerings

Sacred Windows to the Divine: Icon Retreat

May 12-18 Sunday, 7 p.m. though Saturday, 10 a.m. Participants choose one icon (St. Nicholas the Bishop or St. Nicholas and the Ship) Investment • Full: $625 (includes retreat, meals & bedroom) • Commuter: $505 (includes retreat & meals) • $150 non-refundable registration fee is required to reserve a place. Space is limited to 20 participants. All supplies are included. Retreat Director Phil Zimmerman & Prayer Leader Joan Weisenbeck, FSPA


aught by Phil Zimmerman, each icon will be written from start to finish guided in a step-by-step process ending with a beautifully completed icon varnished and ready to display. Anyone can enter into this process, expressing through the icon the mystery of the image portrayed. We begin each day by meditating and praying with icons. Phil supplements the workshop with information about the history of Byzantine and Russian iconography. Teaching people how to paint icons has taken Phil Zimmerman, noted iconographer, to many areas throughout the US and Canada, especially as the popularity of icon painting continues to grow and captivate artists from all religions and cultural backgrounds. Icon painting is a spiritually meaningful prayer practice and technical art form that is beautiful and inspiring. Since opening his first studio, Phil has taught over 2,000 students. Icons produced in Phil’s studio are painted according to ancient guidelines and techniques, incorporating modern artist materials. Our prayer leader, Joan Weisenbeck, FSPA, recently retired from the Franciscan Spirituality Center in December 2012 after 12 years of dedicated service. While retirement brings new adventures and opportunities, Sr. Joan will continue to lead prayer meditations each morning during this workshop.

June 3

Blessed John XXIII’s Perspective on Power and Authority to “Rebuild My Church”

Monday, 7-8 p.m. Investment • $10 per person • Collins Auditorium at Viterbo University School of Nursing Presenter Father André Cirino

As a secular member of the Third Order of St. Francis, Pope John XXIII embraced the values of Francis of Assisi in his life. Did these values shape Pope John’s perspective for the aggiornamento of the church in his convening of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago? André Cirino, OFM, a renowned teacher, preacher, author and admirer of this blessed Pope will address this question by examining the notions of “power and authority” that John XXIII espoused, and the potential impact they may have had on the convening and progression of the Council. This timely presentation and discussion comes on the heels of the installation of the new Pope Francis I and during the 50th anniversary of the Council. Father Cirino is a contemporary Franciscan itinerant preacher whose ministerial experience includes parish work, Franciscan formation, high school education and work at the Little Portion Retreat House for the poor in Bronx, New York. He taught at the Franciscan International Study Centre, Canterbury, England. André’s latest publication is The Cross Was Their Book, meditations on St. Francis’ Prayer before a Crucifix. He edited a journal on the writings of Francis, In the Womb of the Cave, and is co-author of several works including Teens Encounter Christ, Franciscan Solitude, The Journey Into God: A Forty-Day Journey into God with St. Bonaventure, and A Pilgrimage through the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.

Like us on Facebook for more information about these upcoming programs and events.

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Fr. Cirino also collaborated on a CD of Franciscan mantras drawn from the writings of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, Love Holding Love. Since 1984 Fr. Cirino has conducted pilgrimages abroad and to the California Missions for Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs (



June 2-6

Holy Presence with Us in the World

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. through Thursday, Noon


Investment • Full: $295 (includes retreat, meals & bedroom) • Commuter: $175 (includes retreat & meals) • Optional per day rate: $75 (includes retreat & lunch) Retreat Director Celesta Day, FSPA



his retreat explores the call each of us has toward the Holy Presence within and without. Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament has been the practice of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for over 134 years, 24 hours and 7 days a week. It has become a regular experience for FSPA Prayer Partners and for many parishes around the country. Types of prayer, what we look for in prayer, various prayer styles and the role of guides through prayer, will all be explored. Also available will be the optional experience of prayer time in the Adoration Chapel and the personal witness of prayer. A quiet atmosphere will surround those who wish to participate in these methods and to examine these practices for a deeper experience. Celesta Day has been a member of the FSPA for over five decades. She has worked for most of her vowed religious life with the sponsored institutions of the FSPA. In recent years she led the FSPA Mission Effectiveness efforts arranging annual conferences, in-service education and Assisi pilgrimages. Educated in ministry, spirituality and healthcare, Sr. Celesta enjoys exploring the spiritual experiences of our forbearers and their inspiring love of God.

June 27-30

Outdoor Hiking Retreat with a Franciscan Twist

Thursday, 1 p.m. through Sunday, 4 p.m.


Investment • Full: $275 (includes retreat, meals & bedroom) • Commuter: $175 (includes retreat & meals) Retreat Directors Rodney Bluml & Jenny Walter

o you connect with spirituality in the great outdoors? Consider this retreat and spend four days hiking the trails in the Coulee Region. Breathe the fresh air and pray while connecting to the teachings of St. Francis who both honored and preached protection of all of creation and Earth. This retreat is ideal for individuals of all ages who can participate at an intermediate level of physical activity. Each day’s activities will include options for various hiking distances, teachings, campfires and solitary prayer time. Activities will be held rain or shine. Please bring your own water bottle. Rodney Bluml is the faith formation director at St. Joseph Church in Marion, Iowa. His masters of divinity in sacramental theology and liturgy from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. has only been enhanced by his 17-year marriage to Bonnie. Life at home with two teenagers makes Rodney eager to share this outdoor retreat. Jenny Walter is the office manager at the FSC. She brings over 35 years of hiking experience to this retreat. Life with her husband Tom and their two cats brings joy to her life.

July 7-13

Christmas in July: Icon Writing Retreat

Sunday, 7 p.m. through Saturday,10 a.m.


Investment • Full: $625 (includes retreat, meals & bedroom) • Commuter: $505 (includes retreat & meals) • $150 non-refundable registration fee is required to reserve a place. Space is limited to 20 participants. All supplies are included. Retreat Director Phil Zimmerman & Prayer Leader Joan Weisenbeck, FSPA

articipants will paint an icon of the Nativity. Each icon will be written from start to finish, guided in a step-by-step gradual process by Phil Zimmerman, ending with a completed icon, varnished and ready to display. All materials and supplies are included. Anyone can enter into this process, expressing through the icon the mystery of the image portrayed. We begin each day by meditating and praying with icons. Sessions are filled with information about the history of Byzantine and Russian iconography. Retreat director is master iconographer, Philip Zimmerman and prayer leader is Joan Weisenbeck, FSPA. Their biographies and photos can be seen on page six.

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July 15

Franciscan Day of Solitude

Monday, 9-4:30 p.m.


Investment • Full: $30 (includes facilitation, lunch & bedroom) Facilitators: FSC Staff

e draw on St. Francis of Assisi’s simple guidance to offer you a day to reflect and pray in silence. It is an opportunity to hear the voice of God more clearly in prayer by withdrawing from the distractions and demands of everyday life. This day includes group prayer, lunch and a private bedroom to dedicate your silent time to rest and solitude in the peaceful environment of the Franciscan Spirituality Center.

July 19-20

Exploring Art Journaling

Friday, 6:30 p.m. through Saturday, 4 p.m.


Investment • Full: $157 (includes retreat, meals & bedroom) • Commuter: $115 (includes retreat & meals) • $50 non-refundable registration fee is required to reserve a place. All supplies are included. Retreat Director Kate Bausch, FSPA Affiliate

ombine all the benefits of traditional journaling, add personal, meaningful images, mix in a large dose of color and playfulness, and what do you have? Art journaling! Let your inner artist come out to play at this therapeutic retreat for folks from all walks of life. No artistic training is needed to enjoy the richness of art journaling. Participants will choose a recycled book, learn how to prepare pages for journaling, explore a wide variety of techniques, materials and supplies and tap into their creative well. We provide the tools and supplies. Kate provides the gentle guidance and hands-on instruction. Kate Bausch is a life-long Wisconsinite currently living in Darlington. She creates expressive paintings in her color-rich style using acrylics, oil pastels and collage. She also enjoys the meditative process of iconography. Art Journaling is a natural outlet for Kate and she is passionate about sharing her craft with people of all ages. Kate became a FSPA Affiliate in December 2011. You can view Kate’s work in the lobby of the Viterbo University School of Nursing and online at:

July 28-August 2

Integrating Energy Centers of the Body

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. through Friday, 1 p.m.


Investment • Full: $425 (includes retreat, meals & bedroom) • Commuter: $265 (includes retreat & meals) • $50 non-refundable registration fee is required to reserve a place. All supplies are included. Retreat Directors Karen Kappell, FSPA & Roselyn Heil, FSPA

evive your spirit by focusing on the seven core energy centers in your body. This retreat will provide conversation, healing, art, music, quiet reflection and prayer. You will learn to go to the Source of God’s healing through meditation, ritual, movement, dialogue and the gentle practice of self-renewal. During these days you will create a set of paintings that span the color spectrum to use in meditation or display in a place of healing or prayer. All materials will be provided and no art experience is necessary. Karen Kappell, FSPA is an artist and teacher who shares her love of art and spiritual guidance to develop people’s personal and creative potential. She ministers at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in Arbor Vitae, Wis. and uses a variety of media for her art in her studio. Roselyn Heil, FSPA brings to her call of healing a background of chaplaincy and years of healing touch. In her practice of Energy Healing Therapy she will attune to all the dynamic energies of color flowing through our bodies. She ministers at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center and with Native Americans at St. Anthony’s in Lac du Flambeau, Wis.

Scholarship Information In the spirit of Francis and Clare, we honor and respect everyone in their search for spiritual healing, growth and renewal and will not turn anyone away because of inability to pay. Since our scholarships are based on need, our guidelines are simple. We give scholarships to anyone who asks for financial assistance for spiritual direction and for any of our programs or retreats, usually without question. For our longer programs and retreats, all that we ask is for you to complete a simple application form to customize a reasonable payment plan. We do not offer Like us on Facebook for more information about these upcoming programs and events.

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scholarships for bedrooms or hermitages. Contact the FSC at (608) 791-5295, email: or online at for more information.


Retreat Options The Franciscan Spirituality Center

has a number of excellent group retreats planned in 2013 which are featured in this newsletter. We also offer

private and directed retreats. All private and directed retreats require a non-refundable deposit applicable to the total fee. Individual retreats can be made in a bedroom at the Franciscan Spirituality Center or in one of our hermitages located in St. Joseph, Wis. about 20 minutes from La Crosse. Private Retreat: • $42/night, bedroom only •$  240/6 nights/7days, bedroom only • $62/night, bedroom & meals •$  50/night, hermitage only or $290/6 nights/7 days, hermitage only Directed Retreat at the FSC (includes the guidance of a spiritual director): • $102/night (4 nights or less) •$  485/5 nights • $92/night (6 or more nights) Directed Retreat at the Solitude Ridge Hermitage (includes the guidance of a spiritual director): • $95/night (4 nights or less) •$  460/5 nightst • $90/night (6 or more nights) Please call (608) 791-5295 or email for availability or additional information regarding bedroom, hermitage or meeting room space.

Private retreats—for any time length—are always offered at the Franciscan Spirituality Center and at our Solitude Ridge Hermitages to deepen your relationship with God and self. A private retreat is simply personal time, in solitude, to reflect and pray in silence. This form of a retreat does not include time with a trained FSC spiritual director. This sacred retreat experience is a wonderful opportunity for individual healing and growth. Directed retreats are individually guided retreats with the support and

guidance of a FSC spiritual director. It offers you time to reflect, pray and listen to God’s voice from within or through the Word of God and the Scriptures. This experience offers you the opportunity to share your prayer experience with a spiritual director who will meet with you daily on your retreat journey. A directed retreat may be made at any time, limited only by staff and space and is awesome if you are looking for structure, support and guidance during your time in solitude and prayer. The FSC bedrooms are comfortable and have either a private or a shared bathroom, a twin or full bed, an easy chair, and a desk and chair. Bath and bed linens are provided. Meals can be arranged at the Front Desk for dining at the St. Rose Convent. The Solitude Ridge Hermitages are a group of three individual hermitages built on the edge of woodland and provide the peace and quiet of a rural setting. They were designed to provide a space for the silence and solitude necessary for a deeper experience with God.

These one-room cabins offer rustic simplicity with some modern amenities including electric heat and fireplace. Each hermitage has a small stove and refrigerator, microwave, twin bed, comfortable chair, desk, and small dining table and chair. Bath and bed linens are provided, however you supply your own food to prepare your own meals. Enjoy and relax into a peaceful prayer experience away from the every day stresses in your life. Meeting Rooms at the FSC The Franciscan Spirituality Center offers a wide variety of rooms to fit the needs of your meetings, retreats and training sessions. We offer five meeting rooms to accommodate groups from 2-72 participants. Each room is bright, attractive, comfortable, and quiet and can be tailored to meet the needs of your group. In addition, we provide a broad range of audio visual equipment. Refreshments and catering are also available. To enhance your visit, your group will be provided personal care by FSC staff that exceeds expectations of professionalism, flexibility, courtesy and hospitality. This service includes assisting you with everything right down to welcoming your group upon arrival to helping with last minute details that will insure your visit is pleasant and enjoyable. Organize your group for a single or multi-day retreat with, or without, staff facilitation. Let us help you bring your team together for community and fellowship. Blend prayer, movement, solitude, conversation, rest, good food and fun to create a sacred experience that will nourish and renew your team’s energy and spirit. 2 0 1 3 S P R I N G / S U M M E R AT T H E C E N T E R

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New faces at the Center T

his will be an unusual year for the FSC operating board as we say goodbye to four longserving members who have completed their eight years of faithful board service. We bid farewell to Brad Sturm, Margaret Grenisen, Marla Lang, FSPA and Steve Tanke. In Brad’s eight-year term, he served as chair of the FSC board and finance committee. Margaret headed-up the personnel committee and has been a great representative for our partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System | Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse. Sr. Marla served on the finance committee and has been a great source of sharing best practices from her role at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in Arbor Vitae, Wis. Steve brought many new fundraising innovations in his service on the development committee. Brad, Margaret, Sr. Marla and Steve are great friends of the Center and will be dearly missed by all who served along with them. We thank them for their time and their dedication in making the FSC what it is today. Please welcome new—and familiar—faces to the FSC board. These members will begin their work this spring. We thank them for their commitment and time. Introducing Emilio Alvarez, Joan Weisenbeck, FSPA, Ken Ford and Steve Titus.

Emilio Alvarez

Franciscan Spirituality Center, and Viterbo, has helped him love those affected by his Emilio holds responsibility ministry in a deep and profound way. He’s for the coordination and inspired by this wonderful community and promotion of Campus Ministry hopes that he can truly affect the lives of at Viterbo University. He was others. Emilio gives thanksgiving to God most recently employed as a servant leadership for the opportunity to be present and living team member and as wilderness program within the Franciscan Tradition of the Roman camp counselor at Camp Gray Catholic Catholic Church in his role at Viterbo and on Camp in Reedsburg, Wis. He also served as the board of the FSC. a campus ministry core team co-coordinator, retreat director and resident assistant at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Emilio holds a Joan Weisenbeck, FSPA bachelors degree from Loras College. At Loras College, he studied Religious Studies and Sister Joan is a Franciscan Philosophy and minored in Catholic Studies. Sister of Perpetual Adoration from La Crosse, Wis. She has In college, Emilio walked in the footsteps of ministered at the Franciscan St. Clare and St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. It was Spirituality Center since January 2001 where during this experience that the power of God’s she led retreats, was a spiritual director, mercy, joy, and love became truly present. He and facilitated workshops and retreats on a connected with God in a deeper way through variety of topics. She recently retired after the works of St. Francis. It was a way that 12 years. Her interests in spirituality are inspired simplicity, joy, excitement, reverence, broad and include the mystical journey, contemplation, wonder, peacefulness, gratitude, mandalas, painting icons, prayer and worthiness and liveliness. Though brief, his meditation, women in Scripture, the labyrinth, encounter with God, through St. Francis, was beauty, and all things Franciscan. Her most an encounter that forever changed his life, recent degree includes a masters in pastoral ministry and vocation. studies from Loyola University in Chicago, As the assistant director of Campus Ministry with a focus on spirituality and human at Viterbo University, Emilio is stimulated development. Beauty and creativity nourishes by a vibrant Franciscan Tradition. Having Joan’s spirit. She has a passion for “writing” St. Francis present—through the Friars, the icons and always has one in process. Sr. Joan is Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, the presently working on her 30th icon. PA G E 1 0

Prior to coming to the FSC, Sr. Joan was the spiritual development coordinator for nine years in a large suburban parish outside Chicago. While there, she helped create a large outdoor labyrinth surrounded by a four season garden. Other ministries include 30 years in teaching, parish ministry and leadership in the FSPA community. Significant experiences in Sr. Joan’s life include teaching in Guam, where she survived a typhoon, and helping the American Red Cross with processing Vietnamese after the war. She taught the art of iconography in Slovakia, Hungary and Romania and has enjoyed pilgrimages and retreats in Assisi, Italy and the Holy Land. Sr. Joan has considerable experience serving on boards and committees, both within FSPA and other institutions. These include: Viterbo University Board of Directors; Franciscan Center for Wholistic Living (Woman Well) in St. Paul, Minn.; Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago; Franciscan Federation, Region 3 (Illinois), Steering Committee and Treasurer; and Leadership Council of Women Religious, Wisconsin Region 9, Treasurer. She cares very much about the future of the FSC and is honored to serve on the board. Ken Ford

Ken’s spiritual journey has spanned a lifetime in which God has demonstrated His love and presence at every turn. Born and raised in Chicago as a Roman Catholic, Ken spent 15 years attending a non-denominational evangelical church, but recently found a home at English Lutheran Church in La Crosse. It is here where Ken has experienced a lively, vibrant, authentic community. Currently involved in leadership of small group and prayer ministries, Ken discovered a place where he can work alongside others in social justice causes, like the warming center and as a hospice volunteer at a local health care institution. In 2013 Ken will complete the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program (SDPP) at the Franciscan Spirituality Center. Ken feels called to become part of an organization that desires to be peacemakers and bridge builders within the community, FRANCISCAN SPIRITUALITY CENTER

especially within our rich Christian tradition. Ken believes the FSC can be such a place that fosters listening to others and that he can be the person to connect people of various denominations together. Ken says, “The FSC can become a safe place for all sides of the political, religious and social divide too, where all can come together for understanding.”

Franciscan Day of Solitude Reflect and Pray in Silence

Ken graduated from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1978 with a BS in Pharmacy. He is the owner/pharmacist of the Medicine Shoppe and Cass Street Pharmacy since 1988. He served for four years on the board of directors of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, the state’s professional organization. Ken and wife Cathy have two adult children, Jackie and Erin, and two grandchildren. His hobbies include gardening and yoga. Steve Titus

Steve is passionate about the tasks of leadership and is called to the ongoing formation and sustainability of leaders. He is a seasoned higher education leader holding executive roles at Gustavus Adolphus College, Pacific Lutheran University and Midland Lutheran College, where he served as president and distinguished professor of leadership and change from 2002-07. Steve currently serves Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota as senior vice president. He is a long-time student of Ignatian Spirituality and practitioner of the Spiritual Exercises, and is currently enrolled in the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program at the Franciscan Spirituality Center. Steve is co-founder and co-director of the Thrivent Fellows Program, an executive development fellowship for faith-based leaders. He is a U.S. Army veteran and holds a BS in business administration from Southwest Minnesota State University, JD from Marquette University Law School, and PhD in higher education and strategic leadership from the University of Virginia. He is a professionally certified executive coach through The Coaches Training Institute, a certified facilitator with The Leadership Circle and a member of Spiritual Directors International. Steve and his wife, Sara, live in Winona, Minnesota with their two daughters. 2 0 1 3 S P R I N G / S U M M E R AT T H E C E N T E R

July 15, 2013

9-4 p.m.

Seek out this sacred place of solitude and commune with God in silence.

Sophia Bookstore Tucked away inside the Franciscan Spirituality Center, the Sophia Bookstore is a treasure waiting for your discovery. Full of books, gifts and interesting conversation, it is a wonderful, quiet place to sit and enjoy the quiet buzz of life and energy inside. The room has three tables and additional seating is available. Free wi-fi as well for those of you who want internet connection with your complimentary coffee. Open Monday-Friday from 8-5 p.m.

Please stop by to browse!

Solitude Ridge Hermitages Three individual hermitages are built on the edge of a woodland and provide the peace and quiet of a rural setting. These small buildings were designed to provide a space for the silence and solitude necessary for a deeper experience with God. Hermitages are $50 per night. Email or call the FSC to make your reservations today. Telephone: (608) 791-5295

Where to find us Franciscan Spirituality Center is just west of Mayo Health System-Franciscan Heathcare and one block north of Viterbo University at 920 Market Street. The Franciscan Spirituality Center shares the building with St. Rose Convent.

Telephone: (608) 791-5295 • Email: • On the web:

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Our guiding light Spiritual direction helps you become more aware of God’s presence and opens your heart to all the goodness in your life. It can also be a time for you to sort through life’s difficulties. Spiritual direction centers on God, prayer, meditation and the holiness of everyday life. It helps you to connect faith and spirituality and can be a sacred time for you to reflect and grow in greater understanding of the Spirit within.

With time and reflection, spiritual directors will help you discover your inner wisdom. Our spiritual directors don’t seek to solve problems or provide solutions, however we want you to discover for yourself where you are being led by God and the Spirit within.

Individual Spiritual Direction

Individual spiritual direction involves a meeting of you and a spiritual director, usually once a month for one hour. The session usually begins in silent prayer to create peaceful space for the presence of God. You will share all that is important to you and anything that is going on in your life. Your spiritual director may suggest a reading or guided meditation together to explore God’s invitation for deeper meaning and understanding. Group Spiritual Direction

Group spiritual direction is as confidential as individual direction, except it is practiced in the presence of others. Small group sharing helps to form a community that unites with the guidance of a spiritual director. The director has everyone in the group agree to the guidelines to ensure mutual respect and trust, allowing everyone to share openly with honesty. The group intently listens to everyone’s sacred stories, honoring the unique paths that may be quite different from your own for a deeply moving experience. Group direction is a less expensive option and can be a transformative process to trust and share openly with others.

has held professional positions in higher education and medical settings. She credits her affiliation status with the Franciscan community as a means of being grounded and inspired by goodness. She resides in La Crescent and shares an empty nest with her husband and a cute, but willful Scottie terrier.

Mary Kathryn Fogarty, FSPA

Mary Kathryn is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. She has been a member of her community for over 50 years. She has worked at the Franciscan Spirituality Center for 16 years, 12 years as the director. Her ministry today is primarily as a spiritual guide, mentor and supervisor for participants in the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program. She enjoys reading, movies and any type of puzzles including jigsaw and Sudoku and likes to garden during the summer. Linda Kerrigan, FSPA Affiliate

Linda is on staff at Franciscan Spirituality Center offering individual and group spiritual direction, coordinating volunteers, supervising spiritual direction trainees and providing hospitality. She is co-director of the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program. Linda earned a masters degree in rehabilitation counseling from Minnesota State University at Mankato. She

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Barb Kruse

Barb is co-director of the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program and offers workshops on compassionate communication. Barb has been a member of the Place of Grace Catholic Worker House core community for 14 years and serves on several boards that help support the underserved and home-bound in the La Crosse area. Barb joined the staff of the FSC in 2007 and is a registered dietitian with a masters degree in servant leadership. She is a wife and mother of four sons and enjoys the outdoors, exercising, cooking, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Rosalie Hooper Thomas, FSPA Affiliate

Rosalie is a facilitator, Enneagram presenter and spiritual mentor. She leads discussions on change, personal transformation and effective communication.

With these experiences she helps people discover their own truths and develop skills to participate in a creative community. Rosalie joined the staff in 2002 after over 25 years of experience in marketing, sales and customer relations. She is an organizational development consultant with a masters in human development from St. Mary’s University. Rosalie lives with her husband Stan and one cat in the country, where she draws on nature to nurture and teach her in the ways of harmony and peace. Steve Spilde

Steve has been a grateful participant in many of the Center’s offerings, including the Spiritual Director Preparation Program. For the past several years he has served as a stay-at-home parent, helping his daughter overcome challenges related to autism. He is excited to begin spiritual direction with groups and individuals. Steve has an undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University and graduate degrees from Washington State University and Luther Seminary. He has served as pastor to Lutheran (ELCA) congregations in Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin. His wife, Jeannette, is a physician at the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center and they live in Onalaska.





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ourney Jtoward Wholeness The 2013-14 Journey Toward Wholeness program explores four key aspects of Franciscan spirituality in our world: • A Christ-centered spirituality • Creation and incarnation • Humility and goodness • Contemplation and action.

Requires a one-year commitment and four weekends: October 18-20 2013 November 15-17, 2013 January 17-19, 2014 March 21-23, 2014

Online registration opens June 1

Fra nci s c an Spirituality Center (608) 791-5295 • Email: • On the web:

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Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage P A I D La Crosse, WI Permit No. 535

Fra nci s c an Spirituality Center FSPA • 912 Market Street La Crosse, WI 54601




September 27-28, 2013

Faithfulness Beyond Boundaries facilitated by David Vásquez, Luther College campus minister. October 4-5, 2013

Discover your Inner Leader with Kristy Walz. Claim and honor your authentic self in the many ways you are called to lead at home, at work, and in the community. October 25-26, 2013

Dream Retreat with Janet Mallak, SSND. September 13-15, 2013

November 1-2, 2013

Drum Making with Wayne Manthey and Rosalie Hooper Thomas, FSPA Affiliate. This year’s retreat will include making a rattle.

The Enneagram Basics with Rosalie Hooper Thomas and Marci Madary, FSPA Affiliates. The first of three Enneagram programs next year, this session will introduce you to the basics of a fascinating tool for understanding yourself and others.

September 20-22, 2013

Beginner’s Eye with Thomas Roberts. Based on the Zen notion of “beginner’s mind,” this contemplative retreat uses photography to see the world in new ways.

Friday, November 22-23, 2013

Dear Widows Retreat with Marci Madary, FSPA Affiliate. In anticipation of the holidays, a hopeful and healing gathering for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

At the Center Summer 2013 - Franciscan Spirituality Center  

The Franciscan Spirituality Center is a sacred place of simplicity and hospitality for those seeking spiritual renewal, healing and deeper s...

At the Center Summer 2013 - Franciscan Spirituality Center  

The Franciscan Spirituality Center is a sacred place of simplicity and hospitality for those seeking spiritual renewal, healing and deeper s...