STONEVILLE, N.C. — St. Francis Springs Prayer Center here held its fifth annual fundraiser April 17 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in nearby Greensboro. The event, attended by more than 250 guests, raised nearly $35,000.
Festivities included four international cuisines, silent and live auctions, a promotional video about the center and a cash raffle drawing for $10,000 in prizes.
The highlight of the evening came during the live auction when a dinner for eight — hosted and prepared by Fr. John Allen, pastor of St. Paul Church, with assistant chef Louis Canino, OFM, director of St. Francis Springs — raised $1,500 for the center.
The donations will fund the prayer center’s new building project, which will include an outdoor chapel, an expanded meeting space, three hermitages and two cottages.
“This will complete the original vision I had for the prayer center and finalize our original 10-year building plan,” said Louis. “We are so blessed with the number of individuals who are coming to St. Francis Springs to reconnect with their spiritual nature, and this expansion is a response to requests we have received to expand our facilities.”
St. Francis Springs Prayer Center currently hosts up to 10,000 retreatants each year. Ground-breaking for the new construction is scheduled to begin in July.
— Paul Cronin is director of development and marketing at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center. An article in the December 2007 issue of The Anthonian describes the center’s establishment.