Prayer Center Offers More Retreats, Reaches More People

Paul Cronin Features

STONEVILLE, N.C. — St. Francis Springs Prayer Center here experienced an increase in program participation this year. The increase is attributed, in part, to more programs geared for the general public, according to Louis Canino, OFM, director. 

The most significant of these retreats have been the justice and peace weekend experiences. 

Four weekend retreats since February have focused on justice and peace issues and the role of Catholic social teaching in addressing these concerns. Thanks, in part, to a generous grant from the Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province benevolence trust, the center could offer a substantial discount to retreatants. Approximately 100 people attended the weekends, and the center plans to continue the program in 2009.

In September, Sister Josita Marks, SCC, from Mendham, N.J., facilitated two weekend retreats focusing on justice and peace issues, with God’s call for each person to be a conduit of peace. The weekends included reflection and discussion on the writings of Father John Dear, SJ.

StFrancisSprings900Other upcoming programs include:

  • Oct.  5 — “St. Francis: The Playboy, The Reformer, The Conformer, The Revolutionist, and The Saint.”  A program of prayer, song, dance, and art for gaining new insights into St. Francis.
  • Nov. 13 to 19 — Immersion Experience in El Salvador
  • Dec. 7 — Afternoon of Taize Music & Prayer. An annual tradition at St. Francis Springs to usher in the Advent season.
  • Dec. 7 to 9 or Dec. 10 to 12 — “Christmas at the Springs.” Discover how to keep Christ in Christmas and throughout the New Year.
  • Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve Celebration. As the year draws to a close, the center offers the opportunity to reflect, pray, and celebrate the Eucharist. Guests are treated to a midnight brunch following Mass and a champagne breakfast on New Year’s Day.

 Paul Cronin is development and marketing coordinator of the prayer center.