St. Francis Springs Prayer Center Hosts Fundraiser

Paul Cronin In the Headlines

STONEVILLE, N.C. — On April 12, 270 guests attended the Third Annual St. Francis Springs Prayer Center Spring Fundraiser at the center here.

This year, the event was held in Stoneville instead of Greensboro, to commemorate the opening of the prayer center in 2005.

The evening began with a silent auction, while guests toured the facility or enjoyed refreshments and fellowship on the terrace. Guests were then treated to a delicious dinner provided at four food stations.

The evening culminated with a drawing for 20 cash prizes totaling $25,000. Tickets for the drawing were purchased for $100. A total of 450 tickets were sold in the weeks leading up to the fundraiser. Fourteen states were represented among the ticket-holders, indicating the far-reaching impact the prayer center has.

The grand prize winners for the evening were Bill and Kathy Cavanaugh from High Point, N.C., who won the final drawing of $5,000. The Cavanaughs are volunteers at the prayer center and often cook for large groups on retreat.

“It was a great celebration for everyone involved.” said Louis J. Canino, OFM, director of the prayer center.  “We had many guests visit us for the first time this evening, and it’s wonderful to see so many familiar faces as well.  But what I’m really excited about is the fact that Kevin Downey, OFM, from St. Mary Church-Friary in Pompton Lakes, N.J., was one of our cash winners this evening.”

St. Francis Springs Prayer Center has hosted more than 14,000 visitors and remains in demand for group and private retreats of all faith traditions. The center is located on 140 acres of wooded property about 40 minutes north of Greensboro.

In the coming months, the center has events planned with a variety of themes.

Three justice and peace weekend experiences are set. In addition, the center is holding a Music Fest on July 5, a workshop titled “Mary, the faith-filled and courageous Mother of Jesus” on Aug. 15, and, for the feast of St. Francis in October, an event called “St. Francis: The Playboy, the Reformer, the Confirmer, the Revolutionist, and the Saint.”

For more information and upcoming programs, visit the center’s Web site at

— Paul Cronin is development and marketing coordinator for the prayer center.