St. Francis Springs Center Commemorates Anniversary with Fundraiser

Paul Cronin In the Headlines

GREENSBORO, N.C. — St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C., celebrated its second anniversary on Saturday, April 28, with a fundraiser and auction to benefit the center.

The event was attended by 450 supporters of St. Francis Springs who came from all over the north central part of North Carolina and as far away as southern Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.  The evening included a silent and live auction, buffet dinner, a video documentary presentation about the Prayer Center, and the evening ended with attendees singing “Love Changes Everything” from the Broadway show Aspects of Love. 

The event, the first fund-raiser held, generated more than $31,000 in proceeds for the Prayer Center.

The center was opened in February 2005 under the direction of Louis Canino, who said that the vision for the program began more than 15 years earlier, when he was a student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, working on a master’s degree in spirituality.

“I am convinced that St. Francis Springs Prayer Center is God’s plan,” said Louis, shown in photo.  “I could not have had more support from the lay people and the secular Franciscans who have been a tremendous help.”

“The prayer center continues to be a great source of evangelization for our Province and for the Franciscan Order,” he added.  “I am elated to see the dynamics of what happens to individuals and groups who come to  St. Francis Springs — a transformation takes place.”

The mission of the center, a community inspired by the peace witness of St. Francis and St. Clare, is to promote spirituality through contemplative prayer and action. The interfaith retreat center offers programs to both individuals and groups.  Spiritual direction can be provided upon request.

Some of the programs that the center is offering this year include:
May 31 A Day with Mary, the Mother of God
June 2 The Springs Music Fest
July 6 to 8 Justice and Peace Weekend Experience
Oct. 7 St. Francis and St. Clare; Their Message Can Transform Our World

The facility has 19 bedrooms, several conference rooms and a meditation garden on 140 acres.  The center is staffed by two full-time employees, two part-time employees and a corps of more than 130 volunteers who assist with housekeeping and logistical details.

Though the center is in a fairly rural area, many Franciscan programs are available to residents and visitors. Every Wednesday afternoon Fr. Louis celebrates Mass for 60 to 100 people at the the Franciscan Center in Greensboro.

Information about the center’s retreats and programs is available by phone at 336-573-3751.  The center’s Web site will be updated later this year.

— Paul is development coordinator of St. Francis Springs Prayer Center.