Francis House of Prayer

TrenTON DIOCESAN SPIRITUAL CENTER

REJOICE AND BE GLAD
POPE FRANCIS SPEAKS AGAIN
Thursday, September 6          9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Everyone loves Pope Francis. He’s done it again. He has written another Apostolic Exhortation, a letter to the whole Church and to each of us, inviting us to the joy of committed gospel living. There is no better way to start the year at Francis House than with this heartfelt message of encouragement and direction from our Pope. What a lovely and fruitful way to spend a September morning. Donation: $25, includes lunch and book.


MONDAYS WITH MERTON
4 Mondays            9:00 – 11:00 AM


     September 10     October 29
     October 1            November 26

Thomas Merton will be our guide to the contemplative way of life.  In this series, we will use his recorded lectures on this topic and his book, New Seeds of Contemplation.  Time will also be given to experience Lectio Divina and contemplative prayer.   Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $60, includes book.


PERSONAL RETREAT DAYS
Wednesdays     9:30 AM – 2:30 PM


     September 12     December 5     April 3
     October 10         January 16        May 1

     November 7       February 13     June 5
                                 March 20

Not a series.  Take a day away from the busyness of your life to rest a while in the Lord and experience God’s presence. Come to Francis House for silence, personal prayer and optional spiritual direction.  The day begins and ends with a brief prayer together.  Come to as many as you can.  Donation: $10; $40 with spiritual direction.  Please bring a bag lunch.


THE 12 STEPS
A PATH TO RECOVERY
9 Thursdays            8:30 – 10:00 AM


     September 13      December 6        March 7
     October 11           January 10          April 4
     November 8         February 7          May 2

The 12 Steps are for all of us, as we all have attachments and addictions and we all desire freedom from them.  This program will take us through the traditional 12 Steps that teach us to rely on God as our Liberator from our unhealthy habits. We will also use The Recovery Bible and accompanying workbook to help us pray with Scripture related to each Step. Whether you are new to the 12 Steps or are very familiar with them, you are welcome. If you’ve always wanted to do a 12 Step program but just haven’t had the opportunity, please come and give God a chance to set you free. Led by Mary DeJoseph and Deacon Bill Wilson.  Donation: $25 for the books and a Love Offering for each session.


HONORING YOUR CONTEMPLATIVE SOUL
THOMAS KEATING & THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING

9 Thursdays            10:30 AM – 12:30 PM


     September 13     December 6     March 7
     October 11          January 10       April 4
     November 8        February 7       May 2

During this 2-hour session each month, we will combine the teachings of Trappist Monk, Fr. Thomas Keating on contemplation with our discussion of the classic on contemplative prayer, The Cloud of Unknowing.  We will conclude each session with 20 minutes of contemplative prayer.  This program is particularly for those who desire to deepen their practice of contemplative prayer, or centering prayer as we sometimes call it.  Donation: $175, includes The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living by Fr. Keating and The Cloud of Unknowing, translated by Carmen Butcher.  If you can, make a day of it by attending the St. John of the Cross series at 1:30 PM.  


FRIDAY MORNING RETREAT
THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST. IGNATIUS

9 Fridays            9:15 AM – 12:00 PM


     September 14     December 14     March 1
     October 19          January 4           April 5
     November 16      February 1         May 10

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius provide some structure to your prayer time each day. Do you desire a more consistent and focused way to pray?   Does God desire that for you?  Can you give 30 minutes a day to God?  If so, this retreat that meets monthly is for you!  What the world needs most is prayer.  Maybe what you need most is prayer too. The Exercises are life changing. They keep God at the center.  Please come if God is inviting you.  Donation: $225, includes two books.

LIVING CONTEMPLATIVELY
9 Saturdays            9:15 AM – 3:30 PM


     September 15     December 15     March 2
     October 20         January 5           April 6
     November 17     February 2          May 11

This program calls out to those who desire to live more contemplatively in the world, to grow in union with God and others, and to become more aware, intentional, and free.  God liberates us and heals us through the practice of contemplative prayer.  Wonderful spiritual reading will support our contemplative prayer throughout the year.  It’s worth a day a month and an hour a day.  Bring a bag lunch.  Tuition: $325


A MENTOR FOR A MONTH
Sunday, September 16          9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

In our Catholic tradition, we have such a rich heritage of holy people.  We call them saints, mystics or mentors.  I’m going to invite you to choose one from among the following spiritual giants as your mentor for the month.  Which one would you like as your companion?  Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Catherine of Siena, Thomas Merton, Ignatius of Loyola, Thérèse of Lisieux, Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi and even Pope Francis?  If your life with God needs just a little lift and you need a little inspiration, please come to this Sunday morning retreat.  Donation: $25, includes book. 


THE ARTIST’S WAY
WALKING IN THIS WORLD

9 Mondays     9:30 – 11:00 AM


     September 17     December 10     March 4
     October 15         January 14         April 1
     November 12      February 4         May 6

Julia Cameron does it again!  For those who have participated in The Artist’s Way, the journey to recovering God’s gift of your creative self continues in Walking in This World.  Donation: $125, includes book.  Led by Jill Snyder.


PERSONAL HEALTH COACHING
JOURNEYING WITH GOD TOWARDS HEALTH

6 Mondays            9:30 – 11:30 AM


     September 17      October 1, 15, 29       November 12, 26

We all know that making healthy changes to our diet and lifestyle can create the vibrant health we want in our lives.  God created our bodies to be healthy, strong, and resilient.  What we may not know, is how to make those changes.  Whatever is going on in your busy, stress-filled life impacts your weight, your health and how you feel about yourself.  This program is a non-diet, God-centered, whole-life approach to making small changes that create lasting results in health and wellness.  Personal health coaching develops connections, gives confidence, and motivates you to develop solutions to meet your health challenges, all while feeling like you are having fun at a social event!  What will next year look like if you start investing in your future health right now?  Program includes materials and phone or email support between sessions.  Presented by Colleen McNally, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.  Limited to 5 persons.  Register early.  Donation: $150. 


ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
FOR CERTIFIED SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS
9 Tuesdays            9:15 – 11:30 AM


     September 18     December 11      March 12
     October 16          January 15         April 9
     November 13      February 12        May 14

Those who care for others need also to care for themselves.  Those who help others pray need also to take time for prayer. This monthly morning retreat will provide just that, time for prayer, sharing and silence to enrich and nourish the gracious listeners who give themselves so generously as spiritual directors. We will use the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as the focus for our prayer.  Donation:  $175, book included.  

FRIENDS OF ST. TERESA OF AVILA
9 Wednesdays            9:00 – 11:00 AM


     September 19     December 12     March 13
     October 17         January 9            April 10
     November 14     February 6          May 8

St. Teresa has the great gift of writing about her relationship with God in such a way that helps us know that intimacy with God is an invitation and gift to us all.  Come join us as Teresa leads us on our journey to full union with God.  This journey is for all of us.  Each session will also include 20 minutes of contemplative prayer and part of a video on Teresa’s Interior Castle.  We will read Tessa Bielecki’s Holy Daring and Falling into the Arms of God by Megan Don between sessions.  Donation: $175, includes both books.  If you can, stay for the program offered after lunch, Following the Mystics Through the Narrow Gate.  I hope you can stay!


THE MATURING OF YOUR SOUL
PILGRIMAGE INTO THE LAST THIRD OF LIFE

4 Fridays               9:30 AM – 1:30 PM


     September 21    October 12    November 2    December 7

To age is to transition into the last period of growth.  The invitation from God in the final years of life is to deeper intimacy, and to living more courageously, consciously and contemplatively from your soul, as you prepare for your eventual transition into new life.  We are offering a 4-part series that meets monthly for the 65+ who are in this most graced season of life.  Come to as many as you can.  No need to attend all four.  Donation: $25 per session, lunch included.  You will receive some reading material for between sessions, and relevant books will be available for you if you wish to purchase them.

Topics throughout the series will include:

  • Facing Aging and Dying

  • Five Spiritual Practices for Aging Well

  • Transforming Loneliness

  • The Art of Life Completion

  • Spiritual Eldering

  • Living with Limitation

  • The Importance of Prayer and Contemplation

  • The Powerlessness of Aging

  • Leaving Your Legacy


THE DIVINE DANCE
Saturday, September 22           9:30 AM – 2:30 PM

This retreat day might change your understanding and experience of our Trinitarian God. Imagine yourself being invited into a Divine Dance with the Trinity!  That might not be your usual image of being in relationship with God.  Richard Rohr, OSF, reminds us in his book The Divine Dance that God is a holy community – Father, Son and Spirit, and that we are created in the image of community, with a deep longing to love and be loved.  This book calls us to be like God, to belong to each other, to be one as God is one, and to refuse to live life in isolation.  Can you give a day to explore your life with God?  Donation:  $40, lunch and book included.

THE BOOK OF JOY
4 Tuesdays            9:30 – 11:00 AM


     October 2     November 27
     October 30     December 18

Do we not all need more joy?  The Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu seem to have the key!  In a light, humorous way, they give us such an overview of how to live life with faith, trusting in God’s goodness and in the beauty of life itself. They both came through very strenuous times and can show us just how to engage in our challenges and difficulties with hope and even joy.  Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $60, includes book.


DELIGHT IN GOD
A MORNING WITH ST. HILDEGARD OF BINGEN

Wednesday, October 3          9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Connect with God through the inspirations of St. Hildegard of Bingen who came to know God deeply through Scripture, nature, music…just to name a few.  This most recent Doctor of the Church offers us simple ways to be more aware of God’s generous love.  Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $20, includes materials and lunch.

CELEBRATE ST. FRANCIS
LORD, MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF YOUR PEACE

Thursday, October 4          9:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Let’s have a wonderful celebration of St. Francis.  We will begin with liturgy in our portiuncula (outdoor chapel) on this great feast and follow with an inspiring film by Bishop Robert Barron on St. Francis.  You will feel like you are in Assisi! We will proceed to spend some time outdoors, weather permitting, to walk the labyrinth and enjoy the beauty of creation as Francis would insist.  We will close with a delicious lunch to continue to celebrate St. Francis at Francis House.  You will receive Murray Bodo’s delightful classic on Francis, The Journey and the Dream, to further your enjoyment of St. Francis.  Donation: $30, includes lunch and book.

THOMAS MERTON ON PRAYER
Friday, October 5          9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

My all-time favorite book about Merton is written by John Higgins, SJ.  Higgins captures the heart of Merton and the depth of his life with God, inviting us into God’s desires for us: union with God, transformation of consciousness, and contemplative prayer. If you like Merton, and are willing to give some time, I would love to share this book with you.  His sections on union with God and transformation will console your struggling soul and bring you hope and peace. Register early.  Limited to 5 persons.  Donation: $30, includes lunch and book.


THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING
Sunday, October 7          9:30 AM – 2:00 PM

I want to introduce you to the Cloud!  Without a doubt, The Cloud of Unknowing is the classic on contemplative prayer. It gets to the heart of your desire for God, and more importantly, God’s desire for you. It speaks of “naked intent toward God,” and God’s overwhelming attraction to you.  It’s user-friendly, not so esoteric that you can’t understand. If you’ve never read it, perhaps now is the time.  Follow the call of God!  Why not? Donation: $30, includes the book.


THE ARTIST’S WAY : DISCOVERING & RECOVERING YOUR CREATIVE SELF
13 Mondays            9:30 – 11:00 AM


     October 8           December 17    March 11
     November 5       January 7          March 25
     November 19     January 28        April 8
     December 3       February 11       April 29
                                February 25

The spiritual path to higher creativity is an exciting journey for those who desire to cooperate with God’s liberation of their creative energies.  Come to know the great dynamic of creativity that is God’s gift to you through our study of Julia Cameron’s classic on creative living, The Artist’s Way.  Donation: $150, includes book.  Led by Jill Snyder.


THE ART OF LETTING GO
DE-CLUTTERING AND DE-STRESSING

Thursday, October 25          9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

The season of Autumn is our teacher.  Life provides many opportunities to let go of our attachment to power and control.  Is God calling you to practice letting go these days, to learn to accept things as they are rather than how you’d like them to be? “What God arranges for us to experience at each moment is the best and holiest thing that could happen to us.”  (Jean-Pierre de Caussade) Do you believe this? Would this belief help you to de-clutter and de-stress?   Donation: $20, lunch included.


THE IGNATIAN WAY
Tuesday, October 30          9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

St. Ignatius too, is a teacher of prayer. He invites us to take our place within the Scripture story in what has come to be called “Ignatian contemplation.” He invites us to gather the graces of the day, in what has come to be called Examen. This morning retreat will help you be more present to God’s presence, both in your prayer and in your life.   Presenter: Ginny Lacata.  Donation: $20, includes lunch.


GRATEFULNESS OF THE HEART
Tuesday, November 20            9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Gratitude heals wounds and sets our spirits free.  I’m hoping that our day on gratefulness of the heart will help each of us let go of negative attitudes and grow in serenity by developing gratefulness as a habit of the mind and practice of the heart.  What a wonderful way to prepare for the great feast of Thanksgiving!  Donation: Love Offering, lunch included.


APPRECIATING DIFFERENCES
Wednesday, November 28            9:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Come and learn more about yourself, and others in your family and life who are important to you.  Join us for a workshop on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator™ (MBTI™) and explore your own personality and preferences, receive some tools which will help you understand and appreciate those who are different from you…and have some fun too!  Presenter: Cheryl Beth Kuchler.  Donation: $75, includes comprehensive materials and lunch.


ADVENT RETREAT DAY
LASTING HAPPINESS IN A CHANGING WORLD

Monday, December 3            9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Advent is such a special season of grace, often lost in the shuffle of the Christmas rush!  We will travel through Advent this year with The Book of Joy.  It is a perfect companion for this busy and stressful season.  It may become first on your list of Christmas gifts for others too.  I am certain that your Advent Season will be greatly enriched by this choice.  I can’t think of a better way to enjoy this holy time!  Donation: $35, includes book and lunch.


BE BORN IN ME
MAKE MY HEART YOUR BETHLEHEM

Wednesday, December 19            9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

This retreat morning will allow you the time and space to celebrate Christmas spiritually, as most of us do not have that opportunity on the day itself.  Spending this time with God makes a huge difference in the final days before Christmas, as you continue your preparation for the feast and will enhance your entire Christmas Season.  “I’ll hold you in the beginning, you will hold me in the end.  Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem.  Be Born in Me.” (Battistelli) Please come.  Donation: $20, lunch included.


END OF THE YEAR RETREAT
Monday, December 31            9:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Since God gives us life and time and is Lord over all, it seems appropriate to end the year in prayer.  Francis House offers time, space and quiet for naming the graces of 2018 and expressing gratitude to God.  The afternoon will focus on our goals, hopes and desires for 2019.    Please bring a bag lunch.  Love Offering.

GIFT CERTIFICATES

Gift Certificates for any amount are always available if you would like to treat someone to a retreat or program at Francis House.  Call if interested, or get one when you come.  A great birthday present!​

REGISTRATION INFORMATION


Please register for all programs by calling 609-877-0509. Be sure to include your full name and PHONE NUMBER and the title of the program on our voice mail. Registering by phone is preferred!


If you wish to register by email, refer to "Contact Us."

Morning Programs