TAMPA, Fla. – Sr. Anne Dougherty, OSF, was recently named director of the Franciscan Center of Tampa, the interfaith spiritual retreat center that opened in 1970.
Sr. Anne, a Franciscan Sister of Allegany for 33 years, was assigned in 1980 to the Franciscan Center, a non-profit spiritual retreat house. Because of the sisters’ proximity to St. Bonaventure University, where they were founded, and to St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, N.Y., they have long enjoyed a close relationship with Holy Name Province. Andrew Reitz, OFM, of St. Francis of Assisi Church, New York City, served on the board of directors of the center while stationed at Sacred Heart Parish in Tampa.
Over the years, more than a dozen HNP friars have assisted at the Franciscan Center as retreat associates. They include John Anglin, OFM, Justin Bailey, OFM, William Bried, OFM, Anthony Carrozzo, OFM, F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, Stephen Doyle, OFM, James Haggerty, OFM, Thomas Hartle, OFM, James Jones, OFM, Kevin Kriso, OFM, Donan McGovern, OFM, Emmet Murphy, OFM, Seraphim Sullivan, OFM, and Thomas Vigliotta, OFM.
Background of Sr. Anne
Sr. Anne is well known in the Tampa Bay non-profit, education and faith communities for her work in crisis stress management, police chaplaincy, and spiritual direction, according to a news release distributed by the center earlier this month. She was the founding executive director of Francis House, an interfaith center for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, and most recently was the director of graduate support and led the peer-to-peer leadership program at Academy Prep Center of Tampa.
She is the chaplain to the Tampa Police Department and the FBI, Tampa, and is on the Tampa Bay Regional Critical Incident Team. She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and a doctorate in pastoral counseling.
“The Franciscan Center is very fortunate to have someone with Sister Anne’s gifts to guide us into our future. She is a remarkable person who has the ability to lead beyond what has made the center a very special place, while at the same time retaining its core spiritual values,” said Henry Wiley, chair of the board of directors.
“I’m honored to have been appointed director of the Franciscan Center,” Sr. Anne said. “I’m looking forward to helping the center build upon its numerous spiritual programs in order to help people in our community deepen their commitment to live out God’s goodness with joy, enthusiasm and passion.”
Features of the Center
The Franciscan Center is located on eight acres along the eastern banks of the Hillsborough River in an historic West Tampa neighborhood. It offers group programs and private retreats throughout the year to those seeking spiritual renewal, as well as meeting and conference space for groups and organizations, said Scott Taylor, the center’s director of marketing and communications. After Vatican II, the Franciscan Center became a national center for Franciscans, known especially for its annual Franciscan Gathering.
Upcoming events at the center include an evening of discussion called “Is My Activism Well Grounded? Applying Spiritual Principles to My Work for Social Justice” on Jan. 26, and a development day for spiritual directors on Jan. 28.