A variety of Franciscan retreats and programs is being offered in the coming months, many of them in the Northeast. All are open to friars as well as laypeople.
In March, two retreats are being held by the Byzantine Franciscan community of Assumption Province, in Sybertsville, Pa. They are:
- An icon retreat titled “Softener of Evil Hearts” from March 6 to 9. Adults of any skill level will complete an icon of the Virgin Mary.
- A one-day retreat for men titled “Seeking God in a Busy World: A Lenten Day of Prayer and Reflection” is on March 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program includes three short talks by friars and use of the grounds, chapel and retreat house, as well as confession.
Registration information about both programs can be obtained by email email@example.com or by phone 570-788-1212 ext. 402. Driving directions, as well as weekly bulletins, can be found on the website of Holy Dormition Byzantine Franciscan Friary.
Also in Pennsylvania, the St. Francis Retreat House in Easton offers a variety of programs. Themes include “Celtic Spirituality,” “The Power of Retreat — Dorothy Day’s Experience,” “Francis of Assisi – A Wounded Warrior,” and mini-retreats on Monday evenings. Event information, along with photos and news, may be found on the recently-created Facebook page of this more than 50-year-old center near the New Jersey state border.
In Upstate New York, two widely-known Franciscans will lead a five-day “Franciscan Evangelical Life Retreat” this summer at Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls. Fr. Andre Cirino, OFM, of Immaculate Conception Province, which operates the center, and Sr. Ann Bremmer, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, will focus the July 6 to 11 program on several major movements of living the Franciscan evangelical life: conversion, contemplation, fraternities, ministry and mission. Both are experienced speakers and have led many pilgrimages to Franciscan sites.
Interested participants are asked to contact Fr. Roch Ciandella, OFM, to register for the retreat. He can be reached by phone at 845-297-5706 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Franciscan retreats are also offered in other parts of the country. California, for example, has three retreat centers directed by St. Barbara Province:
- Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Mission Renewal Center in Santa Barbara, Calif.
- Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, Calif.
- San Damiano Retreat in Danville, Calif.
— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas