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Oldenburg, Summer 2010


Did you know? 3,948 people made a private or group retreat with us this past year!

Women’s Day 2010

A warm reception for Women of Change By Angela Roesler, Indianapolis IN

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” - Proverb


sometimes we feel restrained when we want to take flight. Sometimes changes around us lead us to make changes within us. Over fifty women considered Sometimes changes within us lead these words, guided by Sister Olga us to make changes around us. Wittekind, PhD through an Sometimes... insightful discussion on the Sometimes it seems life is a psychology and reality of change in great series of challenges to grow our lives. in faith and love; sometimes just to Sometimes we choose change, survive. Still, we are called to spin and sometimes it chooses us. our cocoons with patience, to Sometimes we are compelled by accept dormant nights as they fall, the Spirit, challenged to grow as and to allow ourselves to be led by followers of Christ. Sometimes the Spirit to emerge with new life. we find ourselves face to face with In their utterly engaging and some loss that leads us to a new understanding ways, Sister Olga way of living. Sometimes... Wittekind, Sister Patty Campbell, Sometimes we feel pushed to Sister Norma Rocklage, and the move when we’re not ready, and Women’s Day committee

celebrated the diversity of women and the myriad changes we face throughout our lives with a spirit of heartfelt compassion and love. Through details big and small, from the spring flowers and delicious lunch to the wonderful variety of prayers, personal discussions, and abundant moments for quiet contemplation, the Sisters shared the light of their Franciscan experience with women of all ages, helping cast a new light on how God might be calling each of us to grow in peace through change. Most importantly, they reminded us we’re all God’s butterflies and sent us home with wings.


On playing & praying & A space to just BE By W. B. Cricket

Wandering free on floating feet I spy a fallen tree And beckoning sweet It calls to me; Come rest and we’ll just Be!

Be still and know I am God; In quiet and trust lies your healing; When you look, you’ll find me with you; When you look, you’ll find me with you.”

And so it seems This tree still lives And holds me with such love That I could stay and Pass the day Eyes to the skies above. Birdsong blessed With breezes tressed And sun’s soft glowing rays; Through storms hold fast For peace at last; Restoring are His ways. The robins keep me company And splash with such delightO to be like one of them And bathe in heaven’s light! The waters move And in their dance I hear an orchestra As if Handel, Liszt, or Mendelssohn Conducted from Above. So pausing here in Oldenburg At rest for two short days I find myself wrapped in God’s love In sweet, abundant ways.

Photography by Cheryl Blackburn


“Just to be is a blessing, Just to live is holy; Just to Be, Just to live is a Blessing, is Holy.

-Just to Be (words to refrain from Rabbi Abraham Hershel) - shared with retreatants at Women’s Day 2010

Photography by Cheryl Blackburn

On faith & friendship & Fresh perspective By Amy Ruberg, Batesville IN

This year was my first time to attend Women’s Day at Oldenburg. I know I was drawn to the topic of “Women of Change” because of my own journey right now. The gentle spring rains and the welcoming atmosphere provided the perfect opportunity for me to both share with other women and meditate on my own story. The greatest gift to me was the insight provided by Sister Olga Wittekind

that we often find ourselves in the “doorway” of change, the “liminal space” not fully arrived yet not the same, and that this transition can take a long time. We must be patient and respectful with ourselves. She also commented wisely that our family and friends, though loving onlookers, are often unaware of our internal processing and thinking, and only see (and so can be surprised) by our actions. I left with a full heart, new found companions, and the comfort of a delicious lunch and fresh strawberry dessert!

Picturing change: Chrysalis & wings

Wanting more: Honest feedback

Cheryl Blackburn, Cincinnati OH

Ruth Kalin, Bronx NY

I recently attended the workshop on Accepting Change at the Franciscan Center. I was truly blessed as this was the first time I had ever attended a class there. I left realizing the dark times (being in a cocoon) are just as much part of God’s plans for my life as the good times and it’s a growth period for me. I am a photographer, and not long ago I had gone to a butterfly exhibit in Colombus, Ohio and I wanted to share these with someone there. Hopefully they will bless someone! God bless each and every one who shared this day. Love in Christ, Cheryl

Of all the events I’ve gone to at Oldenburg... I found Women’s Day 2010 to be the most valuable. It was a good topic and very good presenters. I came home with a lot to chew on. Thank you... for choosing a topic so relevant to so many people and for putting together such a high quality conference. ...What I would recommend is a longer conference. The interaction with other participants and presenters can be one of the most enriching parts of a conference. [But] it went so fast... I just felt so strongly after the meeting ended that I wanted more.


Reserve Now!!

Finding Joy in Our Lives Saturday July 10 9:00-11:30am $20

How simple it is to live when we open our hearts and invite God deeply into our journey of life! The presenter will share her experience of meeting God and finding joy. She will assist us in finding the joy of knowing the true God of Love and how God loves us so much and wants us to embrace life with joy. Karen Varske is an international motivational speaker from Ohio. She has learned much through her personal challenges in life, as well as through her prayer and meditation. Karen is a mother, grandmother, and friend.

Seven Steps to Wellness Saturday July 17 9:00-11:30am $20

As we walk, we focus on where we are going and from where we have started. When we reach our destination, we know the ground we have covered. Most importantly, we need to know where we are NOW to begin our journey. So it is with our relationship with God, others, and us. S. Patty Campbell, OSF has been a parish life coordinator and currently serves as a retreat director and spiritual director.

The Journey Toward an Undivided Life Saturday August 7 9:30-2:30pm $45 includes lunch

Are you growing in peace? We will look below life’s surface and see what pieces of our lives still need integration. As we move along the process of self-development (Individuation), we will find peace and love from our relationship with God.


S. Olga Wittekind, OSF is the Director of Oldenburg Franciscan Center and a retreat and spiritual director. A Jungian psychologist, she enjoys giving workshops on psychology and spirituality.

Beauty, Wonder, and Belonging:

Wisdom Revealed In and Through the Universe

Teilhard de Chardin:

Lessons from a Modern Mystic

Saturday, September 11 9:00-11:30am $20

Weekend Retreat October 22-24

Teilhard de Chardin, SJ (1881-1955) was a modern day mystic. His life can teach Friday 7pm to Sunday 1pm us to hold the world in prayer and to keep our eyes and hearts open to glimmers of $150 Program grace and beauty in the natural world. Includes Speaker, Workshops, Book, His life inspires! Materials, 6 Delicious Meals & Snacks!

Optional Accomodations:

Private: $45 per night Shared: $35 per night per person

The time and place for our living here on this planet is no accident. We recognize that our lives meet with the Divine. Fr. Jim will give us a way to put together “humanity’s emerging vision of the world of beauty, wonder, and belonging” with the happenings of every day life.

S. Barbara Leonard, OSF is a Franciscan Sister who has degrees in Biblical Studies and Christian Spirituality. She is a teacher, spiritual director, and retreat leader with a special interest in the wisdom of great leaders and writers in history.

Earth Walk

Saturday, September 25 9:00-11:30am $20

FR JIM CONLON is the director of the Sophia Center at Holy Names College in Oakland, California. He is As you walk, stroll, or trudge along your a renowned presenter of programs in path, do you ever ask how all the gifts you theology, social justice and see in Creation can help you build a spirituality/culture. He has written deeper relationship with your Creator? several books, the most recent of Seeing God in all things and all things in which is Beauty, Wonder, and God, we can experience the peace that Belonging. surpasses understanding. S. Marya Grathwohl, OSF will be a presenter and weekend facilitator.

How can we teach our children to read? Saturday, August 21 9:00-11:30am $20

Do you know when children begin to read? What books are good to read to children? Where can the best books be found? Parents, teachers, and childcare personnel will find this presentation informative! S. Mary Paul Larson, OSF is an educator. She was on the faculty of the Education Department at Marian (College) University, where she instructed student teachers in the skills needed for teaching children reading, language arts and the fine arts. She also taught on the Crow Reservation in Montana.

S. Karla Barker, OSF is a Franciscan Sister who is a spiritual director and a retreat director. She has a special interest in creation and its impact on us.

Autumn Meditations of God’s Creation Saturday, October 16 9:30-3:30pm $45 includes lunch

Come and participate in prayerful reflection in the beauty of autumn. We will learn contemplative prayer modes that can enhance our connection with God the Creator, and spend a part of our day at Michaela Farm. S. Marya Grathwohl, OSF has a background in Earth literacy studies, Creation Spirituality, and ministering with African-American, Crow and Northern Cheyenne communities. She founded Earth Hope in 1998.


EMAIL US TO REGISTER @ OR CALL US @ 812-933-6437 OR PRINT & MAIL TO: OLDENBURG FRANCISCAN CENTER PO BOX 100 - OLDENBURG, IN 47036 NAME: ________________________________________ ADDRESS: ____________________________________ CITY/ST/ZIP: __________________________________ EMAIL: ________________________________________ HOME PHONE: ________________________________ CELL PHONE: _________________________________

RESERVE MY SPOT FOR BEAUTY, WONDER & BELONGING October 22-24! Number Attending Program Only ____ Number Attending with Private Room ___ Male ___ Female Number Attending with Shared Room ___ Male ___ Female Roommates: ______________________________________ RESERVE MY SPOT FOR THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS: _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: The strength that comes from sharing your faith and hopes with a spiritual director can lift your soul to greater union with God. If you have never tried this before, the opportunity is now. Call us so we can talk.

Make registration checks payable to the Sisters of St Francis

Looking Forward

From the director’s corner By Sister Olga Wittekind, OSF

Women’s Day was such a special event! It was wonderful to just be with all the women who attended, to feel God’s grace inspiring us to take a fresh look at the changes in our lives, and to see friends together, new and old, sharing their journeys with one another. It was such a blessing as we arrived at the closing ceremony to notice the spirit in everyone opening to accept changes in their lives. We have heard from so many of you what the day meant to you personally, and your sharing is so dear to us. It is a blessing to hear the wonderful ways God is touching your lives. Your reflections and feedback are inspiration to us as we look to expand our Franciscan outreach in ways

meaningful to you, our community. Please continue sharing your thoughts with us! Email us at In the same way we are excited to continue growing in service to our community, we are thrilled to announce we have a new marketing committee! Bill Daily, Shawn Holtel, Michael Kruse, Angela Roesler, Jane Ruby, Claire Sherman, Sue Siefert, Jennifer Silvers, and Jane Yorn are offering their creativity to help us change our web site, use Facebook, and make better use of our e-mail connections.  We want to keep spreading the word about our retreats, programs, and hospitality!

You’ll be hearing more from us soon! Look for our e-mails, and spread the word! Share our newsletters and announcements with your friends, and grow with us. Most importantly, remember you’re the reason we’re here! Come visit! Call ahead, or just stop in! Come for a few hours, a day, a weekend.... come and talk... or come and Just Be... let us be a channel of Peace for you... God is waiting!

Profile for Angela Roesler

OFC Newsletter - Summer 2010  

Oldenburg Franciscan Center (Oldenburg, IN). Retreatants share their glowing reflections on Women's Day 2010 themed "Women of Change." Upc...

OFC Newsletter - Summer 2010  

Oldenburg Franciscan Center (Oldenburg, IN). Retreatants share their glowing reflections on Women's Day 2010 themed "Women of Change." Upc...