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


     October 1       October 29          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.


SEASON OF CREATION
DAYS OF PRAYER AND REFLECTION

Monday, October 1           1:00 – 2:30 PM
  
Be a part of something which unites Catholics and other Christians around the world as we celebrate the Season of Creation, which begins on September 1st, The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and concludes on October 4th, The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  Join us on these two special days at Francis House to pray and reflect on the gift and grace of creation.  We will use segments of Laudato Sí (“On Care for Our Common Home”) and prayers and reflections from the Global Catholic Climate Movement.  Led by: Jill Snyder.  Donation: Love Offering. 

PERSONAL HEALTH COACHING
JOURNEYING WITH GOD TOWARDS HEALTH

5 Mondays            9:30 – 11:30 AM


     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.   


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.


SEVEN WOMEN MYSTICS
8 Tuesdays            6:30 – 8:00 PM

Are you in need of some inspiration, and consolation?  Might you be up for a study of seven women mystics?  There is a mystic inside each of us, that place where we desire God above and in all, where we desperately need God, and depend on God. Perhaps some good spiritual reading on these mystics might quench your thirst for God and heal your soul of the anxiety and turmoil of our times.  Since this is an evening program, it is available for our mystics-in-the-making who work during the day and need some mystical moments as a treat for their souls.  It’s worth the time and effort.  Donation: $150, includes book.

     October 2         Clare of Assisi
     October 30       Mechthild of Magdeburg
     November 27   Julian of Norwich
     January 29       Catherine of Siena
     February 26     Catherine of Genoa
     March 26          Teresa of Avila
     April 30             Thérèse of Lisieux
     May 21              Summary



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.

TEILHARD READING GROUP
8 Fridays            1:00 – 2:30 PM


     October 5             December 7        March 1
     November 2         January 4            April 5
                                   February 1          May 3

Our study of Teilhard continues this year with the reading of some of Teilhard’s essays from The Heart of Matter, along with Sister Kathy Duffy’s Teilhard’s Mysticism.  Please join our lively discussions about Teilhard’s vision of God’s plan for the ongoing growth and evolution of all creation into full union with God.  Donation: $175, includes books.


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.


CLASSICS ON CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER
9 Tuesdays            6:30 – 8:30 PM


     October 9               January 8         April 2
     November 6           February 5        May 7
     December 4           March 5            June 4
                                 
Grow in the practice of contemplative prayer by coming to these monthly sessions.  The evenings include two 20-minute contemplative prayer periods.  We will also view a 20-minute segment of Fr. Thomas Keating’s DVD series, “Opening to the Presence of God” and engage in good spiritual reading on contemplative prayer between sessions.  This year we will continue to use The Heart of Centering Prayer, by Cynthia Bourgeault until January for our reading between sessions.  We will read The Impact of God, by Iain Matthew, OCD, from February until June. Donation: $175, includes books.

PERSONAL RETREAT DAY
Wednesday, October 10     9:30 AM – 2:30 PM   
   

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.


SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST. IGNATIUS
RETREAT IN EVERYDAY LIFE

8 Wednesdays     3:00 – 4:30 PM


     October 10          December 5       March 20
     November 7        January 16         April 3
                                  February 13       May 1

If you need or desire a retreat but simply cannot get away, please give yourself the gift of this retreat that invites you to pray through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius using two Jesuit resources: The Gift of Spiritual Intimacy by Monty Williams, SJ for our prayer and Stretched for Greater Glory by George Aschenbrenner, SJ as complementary reading.  We will meet monthly for sharing and input on the next month’s prayer.  This is a wonderful way to experience the Spiritual Exercises.  Donation: $200, includes both books.


DISCERNMENT COURSE
8 Wednesdays            5:00 – 6:30 PM


     October 10           January 16               March 20
     November 7         February 13              April 3
     December 5                                            May 1

How can we know what is of God, and what isn’t?  How can we actually live in the peace and joy of God’s Spirit, and not be overwhelmed with the darkness of our times, or our own darkness within?  St. Ignatius teaches us well in his Rules for the Discernment of Spirits. Truly, they are life changing!   This course is a wonderfully comprehensive treatment of Ignatian Discernment. We will further our experience of discernment with the practice of Examen, to enhance our awareness of God’s presence and action in our lives and grow in attentiveness to our daily response in the midst of our busy lives.  Donation: $200, includes 2 books.

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


     October 11            January 10          March 7
     November 8          February 7           April 4
     December 6                                       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
8 Thursdays            10:30 AM – 12:30 PM


     October 11            January 10               March 7
     November 8          February 7               April 4
     December 6                                            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.  

STUDY OF ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
8 Thursdays            1:30 – 3:30 PM


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

John of the Cross is all about love, not asceticism or annihilation as popularly believed.  We continue our study of St. John, the first half of the year enjoying John’s shortest and most intimate work, The Living Flame of Love, followed by his Letters and Special Counsels in the second half of the year.  John is all about God and God’s insatiable desire and pursuit of us.  We end with 20 minutes of centering prayer.  Donation: $175.  If you can, make a day of it by attending the Thomas Keating series at 10:30 AM.


SUPERVISION FOR SPIRITUAL DIRECTORS          
7 Thursdays            4:00 – 5:30 PM


     October 11           January 17            April 4
     November 8         February 14          May 16
                                   March 14  


                                       OR    


8 Tuesdays            12:30 – 2:00 PM


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

We meet monthly for on-going prayer, supervision and support as we continue our ministry of spiritual direction.  Donation: $175, materials included.


THE MATURING OF YOUR SOUL
PILGRIMAGE INTO THE LAST THIRD OF LIFE
3 Fridays               9:30 AM – 1:30 PM


     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 INTERIOR CASTLE
Sunday, October 14          1:00 – 4:00 PM

St. Teresa is the master teacher of the spiritual life.  She takes us through the seven mansions of our soul as we journey into full union with God.  This journey is for all of us.  We will become acquainted with each of the seven mansions so that we can more easily recognize and follow the path as God leads us through the rooms in the castle into full union with God, the desire of our heart. The Interior Castle is a classic.  It is not hard to read or understand.  It is true nourishment for your soul!   Donation: $35, includes the book.


THE ARTIST’S WAY
WALKING IN THIS WORLD
8 Mondays     9:30 – 11:00 AM


     October 15            January 14           March 4
     November 12        February 4           April 1
     December 10                                      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.


CHRIST’S PRESENCE IN ALL
THE COSMIC CHRIST
8 Mondays            7:00 – 8:30 PM


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

Enjoy discovering Christ who is at the center of our lives and who permeates all creation throughout the universe.  Ilia Delio, OSF, draws on mystics, saints and theologians to show how the love of God is at the heart of everything in the cosmos.  Led by: Jill Snyder.  Donation: $150, includes book.


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


     October 16             January 15           March 12
     November 13         February 12          April 9
     December 11                                        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.


THE GOD-GIVEN POWER OF WHOLE FOOD
2 Tuesdays          6:30 – 8:00 PM


   October 16           November 13

With all the talk about diet plans, fad foods, superfoods, GMOs, and gluten that we hear about, it’s no wonder we’re confused about what to eat!  Come learn about the best food to eat – real food that heals and nourishes us…simple, fresh, delicious, nutrient-packed foods that are easy to cook, food that comes from nature, not a factory.  Everything else is fake food that depletes energy and health.  Find out how to eat real, whole food made by God, treating your body and mind with the care that God intended.  Please come to both sessions if you can, as one builds on the other.  Presenter: Colleen McNally, Certified Integrative Health Coach.  Donation: $10 each session.


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


     October 17             January 9            March 13
     November 14         February 6           April 10
      December 12                                      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!



FOLLOWING THE MYSTICS 
​THROUGH THE NARROW GATE
8 Wednesdays            1:00 – 2:30 PM


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

God made us with a longing that only God can satisfy.  How can we access that place within where we know we are one with God, where there is a peace beyond our making?  Can we learn to live our mystical lives, experiencing God’s Presence in all things?  James Finley and Richard Rohr will lead us in their video series, first by helping us understand that we are all capable of a life of union with God and others.  God made us for this and gives us that gift.  They touch a place within us that is hard to find on our own. James Finley particularly touches my soul. We will read An Invitation to the Contemplative Life, by Thomas Merton between sessions throughout the year.  Donation: $150, includes book.


FRIDAY MORNING RETREAT
THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST. IGNATIUS
8 Fridays            9:15 AM – 12:00 PM


     October 19               January 4                March 1
     November 16            February 1              April 5
     December 14                                            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.

FRIDAYS WITH JULIAN OF NORWICH
THE DRAWING OF THIS LOVE

8 Fridays            4:30 – 6:00 PM


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

This program and time is in response to a special request from some lovers of Julian.  Julian of Norwich is one of those women mystics whose message has lasted over the centuries.  She is best known for her quote, “All shall be well; all manner of things shall be well.”  Julian offers confidence in confusion, calm in chaos, and soothing for the soul, because she is utterly focused on Jesus and his healing for us all.  She is easy to understand and surprisingly relevant to our times.  I’m looking forward to a great year under Julian’s care.  If this Friday time works for you, please come.  Donation: $175, includes books.


SPIRITUAL READING GROUP
8 Fridays            6:30 – 8:30 PM


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

Good spiritual reading is a must for spiritual growth. Companions on the journey help with the practice of this spiritual exercise.  This will be fun as well as fruitful.  Can you devote one Friday night a month to this pursuit?  As usual, we will feast on a variety of spiritual gems.  Donation: $225, includes all books.
   In God’s Holy Light....................................Joan Chittister, OSB
   Sacred Fire..................................................Ronald Rolheiser, OMI
   Radical Spirit...............................................Joan Chittister, OSB
   Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World....Joanna Weaver
   Can You Drink This Cup?...........................Henri Nouwen


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


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


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.

SILENT DIRECTED RETREAT WEEKEND
     7:00 PM Friday to 1:00 PM Sunday    
     

     October 26 – 28     

Due to the frantic pace of contemporary life, it is essential for our spiritual and physical health to take time to pray.  A weekend directed retreat offers you the opportunity to experience the graced rhythm of life in which silence and rest restore your body and God revives your soul.  Litrgy, spiritual direction and optional contemplative prayer periods are included.  Please register early.  These fill quickly. Donation: $130/$50 non-refundable deposit with registration.


SSJ ASSOCIATES
Sundays            2:00 – 4:00 PM


       October 28        January 20        April 28
       December 9       March 10           May 19

All SSJ Associates please come!  We will continue our study of SSJ Spirituality to take the charism of unity and reconciliation into our beloved world, which is in such great need of love.  Come to as many as you can.


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.

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."

October 2018

Francis House of Prayer

TrenTON DIOCESAN SPIRITUAL CENTER