Francis House of Prayer

TrenTON DIOCESAN SPIRITUAL CENTER

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."

BE BORN IN ME
MAKE MY HEART YOUR BETHLEHEM
           

   Wednesday, December 20        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
           

   Sunday, 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 2017 and expressing gratitude to God.  The afternoon will focus on our goals, hopes and desires for 2018.  We will bring the day to a close with a celebration of our Sunday Liturgy.  Please bring a bag lunch.  Love Offering.


PERSONAL RETREAT DAYS

   Wednesdays                    9:30 AM – 2:30 PM

   January 10            March 7      May 9

   February 7            April 11      June 6

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.  Donation: $10; $40 with spiritual direction.  Please bring a bag lunch.

SETTING THE DIRECTION FOR 2018

   Tuesday, January 2             9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

What better way to spend this holiday!  Start out the year with a morning retreat to set the direction for your year.  Well begun is half done, they say, and establishing a direction is essential for the journey.  Where am I going in 2018?  What is the desire of my heart, and God’s as I begin again? What difference will 2018 make for the world?  Donation: $20, includes lunch.

UNCEASING PRAYER
THE WAY OF THE PILGRIM


   Wednesday, January 3              9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Life is above all, a pilgrimage!  Most of us find ourselves praying on the run, pleading for help as we move about from one urgent task to the next.  During this retreat we will follow the advice of the pilgrim in the classic “The Way of the Pilgrim” whose mastery of the Jesus Prayer fulfilled his desire for unceasing prayer.  I am hoping that this retreat experience will quench our thirst for prayer and help each of us on our 2018 pilgrimage to peace, healing and union with God. A great way to begin a new year!  Donation: $30, includes book and lunch.

BE STILL MY SOUL
FINDING SERENITY IN STRESS


   Thursday, January 4                9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Is stress to be banished or befriended?  Can I be serene and stressful simultaneously?   Can I find the serene place within me which can embrace my stressful soul and let me live more peacefully?  A great goal for 2018. Donation: $20, includes lunch.

REVELATIONS OF DIVINE LOVE
AN AFTERNOON WITH JULIAN OF NORWICH

   Sunday, January 7               1:00 – 4:00 PM

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.  Julian of Norwich had many “epiphanies” of Jesus which she called “Showings.”  We will become acquainted with some of them to see how Julian’s experience of God touches your own.  Julian’s writing is so very consoling and much needed as we begin a new year.  Is God drawing you closer these days?  Maybe Julian can lead you. I myself am making her my friend and mentor for the year 2018.  I hope you will too.  Donation: $30, includes Julian’s book. 


POPE FRANCIS AND TEILHARD
PERFECT TOGETHER


   Friday, January 12         9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Both lovers of Christ and the Gospel.  Both Jesuit priests, with great minds and all-inclusive hearts.  Both dedicated to finding God in all things. Won’t it be delightful to listen to them together.  We will use excerpts from their writings and enjoy their compatibility in wisdom.   Donation: $20, includes materials and lunch.

ASH WEDNESDAY RETREAT
THE IMPACT OF GOD


   Wednesday, February 14         9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

We love beginning Lent together with this retreat at Francis House because it provides a gentle structure for the six-week journey ahead. This year we will use Iain Matthew’s, The Impact of God  as the focus of our Lenten retreat and the inspiration for our practices of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. Make this Lent a special time of grace for you!  Liturgy is also included with the reception of ashes within it.  Donation: $35, includes lunch and book for your 6-week Lenten journey.

MAKING ROOM FOR GOD
THE BEAUTY OF THE DESERT


   Friday, February 16          9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Blessed Charles De Foucauld is best known for his heartfelt “Prayer of Abandonment.” His prayer will become ours as will his heart’s desire to live a life hidden in Christ from the desert dryness of his soul, the cave of the heart where God alone dwells, even while serving others.  We will view a short DVD of his life and receive Hidden in God: Discovering the Desert Vision of Charles De Foucauld. Charles has so much to say to us about God’s presence in the desert. There the house of your soul is swept clean to make room for God. This gnawing emptiness is precisely the place of God’s consolation. Is this a desert time for you? Please come. What a perfect Lenten retreat! Donation: $35, includes lunch and book for your Lenten journey.

CAN YOU DRINK THIS CUP?

   Tuesday, February 20              9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

This question – one that Jesus asked his friends James and John, has the power to crack open the hardened heart and lay bare the desires deep within. Using the cup as a metaphor, we will reflect on three images: holding, lifting and drinking, to articulate the basics of the spiritual life and help us respond to the Lenten call to conversion and transformation into Christ. What cup are you being asked to drink?  Can you?  Donation:  $35, includes lunch and book for your Lenten journey.

SOUL SEARCHING
THE JOURNEY OF THOMAS MERTON


   Wednesday, February 21           1:00 – 3:00 PM

We all love and learn so much from Thomas Merton, especially during Lent when our own souls are searching for light and truth.  This brief afternoon program will be just enough to nourish your soul and enhance your Lenten Journey. Led by Jill Snyder. Donation: Love Offering.

LETTERS FROM THE DESERT

   Thursday, February 22          9:30 AM – 2:00 PM

The Desert Fathers of the East, the Church’s first monks and hermits, left the tumult of the cities for the silence of uninhabited spaces.  But it wasn’t solitude per se that they sought. It was a place – in the world and in their interior life – where they could practice prayer with focus and discipline.  Their ultimate goal, and ours: intimacy with God. Are you looking for a short Lenten retreat that could influence the rest of your Lenten journey?  This is it!  We will actually take time to read this short book of excerpts from our desert fathers.  It will be restful, inspiring and encouraging for your soul. Donation:  $35, includes lunch and book.

RESPONDING TO SUFFERING
WALKING WITH JESUS TO THE CROSS


   Friday, February 23             9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

So many ask, “Why is there suffering?”  or, “Why am I suffering?" Answers abound, but none are likely to suffice or satisfy.  A far more helpful question might be, “How can I respond to suffering?”  The answer to that question can be found by looking closely at the Passion of Jesus.  With the help of Gary Jansen’s book, Station to Station, we will pray through the Stations with the hope of gradually learning to respond to suffering as Jesus did and see how Christ’s character in the midst of suffering can, with time and prayer, become ours as well. Donation:  $35, includes lunch and book.

ART JOURNALING

   Monday, February 26            12:00 – 2:00 PM

This Lenten retreat will help you express the content of your prayer in color.  You will be surprised as you journal with color, rather than words.  God is the greatest artist who expresses his loving creation in color.  Come and do the same.  Learn a new way to express your experience of God.  Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $20, materials included.

CONTEMPLATING CHRIST CRUCIFIED

   Wednesday, February 28          9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Art and beauty have long been able to deepen our life with God.  By contemplating selected works of art, we are invited to follow step by step into the downward path of the Crucified Christ, who configures us in his glorious transfiguration.  Contemplating Jesus Crucified helps us find the meaning and the beauty in the suffering of our lives.  Donation:  $35, includes lunch and book for continuing your Lenten prayer.

THE FIVE THINGS WE CANNOT CHANGE
THE HAPPINESS WE FIND BY EMBRACING THEM


   Thursday, March 1               9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

There are certain facts in life we cannot change, the unavoidable “givens” of human existence. We will look at some of these: everything changes and ends, things do not always go according to plan, pain is a part of life, people are not loving and loyal all the time, to name a few. When we see these in the light of Christ’s Passion, God can help us drop our deep-seated resistance to these “givens” in order to be truly free to discover the deep richness that life in Christ has to offer. Does this sound like a good Lenten retreat for you?  Donation:  $25, includes lunch and materials.

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES


   Friday, March 9             6:00 – 8:30 PM

You may have viewed this film years ago, or seen the play.  It is a wonderful Lenten choice about true discipleship and the courage needed to follow our Lord closely, and imitate his courage.  St. Thomas More speaks to our hearts and our times as we travel through Lent….and life.   The evening begins with pizza at 6 PM, movie at 6:30.  Donation: $20.

KEEPING THE SABBATH HOLY
FINDING GOD IN THE DEPTHS OF SILENCE


   Sunday, March 11            9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Is your soul longing for some much needed quiet to heal your scattered life?  We will enjoy a Sunday morning of silence.  Silence helps us encounter God who offers us peace, compassion for ourselves and others and wholeness of being.  You will receive Silent Compassion, a short book by Richard Rohr, to enhance your Lenten journey. Donation: $25, includes book.

TAIZÉ CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER MORNING

   Wednesday, March 14              9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

“Stay with me, remain with me, watch and pray.” Come spend a quiet morning of prayer resting in the rhythm of song, scripture and silence as we gather for a sacred Lenten prayer service around the cross.  Let us lay our burdens down in prayer and heed the invitation to pray for the needs of our world, united in song.  No musical experience is necessary. Led by Joann Caramanico.  Donation: Love Offering, includes lunch.

FINDING GOD IN CREATION
WIND: THE BREATH OF GOD


   Friday, March 16               9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Join us as we experience the wind as the breath of God.  We will pray with Scriptures and use the writings of St. Francis of Assisi to lead us to a greater awareness of God’s care for us.  Time will be spent both indoors and outdoors.  We will use: Water, Wind, Earth and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements by Christine Valters Paintner as a guide.  Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $30, includes book.

HOMECOMING
THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON


   Friday, March 23               9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

The compassion and mercy of God often takes us by surprise! As we contemplate Rembrandt’s classic painting and use parts of Henri Nouwen’s book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, we will visit the themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation as a means of healing the old wounds of loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger.  Opening to the challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will give our Holy Week this year a different, and very graced-filled perspective.  Donation: $35, lunch and book included.


LOVERS OF JULIAN

   Tuesday, April 17                  6:30 – 8:30 PM

I have recently found Julian of Norwich again, after many years of laying her aside.  She has so much to tell us about God’s unwavering desire and attraction to us. Her experience of God as a tender mother speaks to us even today. Her writings are balm for the searching soul and hope for the drooping spirit.  Can you come for this one night and witness her intense love for Jesus and let that same love overtake you too?  Donation: $15, includes reading materials.



FINDING GOD IN CREATION
EARTH: THE WOMB OF GOD


   Friday, April 20               9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Join us as we explore God’s love and nurturing revealed to us throughout Earth.  We will pray with Scriptures and use the writings of St. Hildegard of Bingen and Thomas Merton to lead us to a closer relationship with God and a greater understanding of how we are interconnected with all of creation.  Time will be spent both indoors and outdoors.  We will use Water, Wind, Earth and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements by Christine Valters Paintner as a guide.  Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $30, includes book, or $15 without book.

CHANTING
A SACRED PRAYER PRACTICE


   Wednesday, May 2           9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Let us come together to listen, learn, explore and engage in the rich practice of sacred chant.  No need to be a musician to chant/intone simple prayers and praise to God.  Chant/mantra is not something you simply utter.  It is something, together with your longing, you desire to become! We will come to know deeply the truth of St. Paul’s words, "It is no longer I but Christ who lives in me." Led by Joann Caramanico.  Donation: $25, includes lunch.

FINDING GOD IN CREATION
FIRE: THE LOVE OF GOD


   Monday, May 7                9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Join us as we explore the fire of God’s love.  We will pray with Scriptures and use the writings of Teilhard de Chardin to lead us to a greater awareness of God’s desire for us to be filled with the fire of His love.  Time will be spent both indoors and outdoors.  We will use Water, Wind, Earth and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements by Christine Valters Paintner as a guide.  Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $30, includes book, or $15 without book.

MOTHER’S DAY MORNING RETREAT
REMEMBERING OUR MOTHERS

   Sunday, May 13          9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Mother’s Day can be especially painful after the recent or even not so recent death of your mother.   Please bring a picture of her as we honor her life and celebrate the eternal life of the one who knew you best. We will share memories, and let the healing grace of God flow over us like a gentle spring shower. Donation: Love Offering.

FINDING GOD IN CREATION
THE LIVING WATER


   Wednesday, May 23             9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Join us as we explore God’s love and blessings through the source of life – water and through the source of eternal life, “Christ, the living water.”  We will pray with Scriptures and use the writings of St. Hildegard of Bingen and Thomas Merton.  Time will be spent both indoors and outdoors.  We will use Water, Wind, Earth and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements by Christine Valters Paintner as a guide.  Led by Jill Snyder.  Donation: $30, includes book or $15 without book.

ANNUAL CLEANING PARTY

   Friday, May 25    9:00 AM – Noon  or 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Please come and help us clean Francis House.  Bring your favorite cleaning supplies.   Please choose a 3-hour shift that is convenient for you and call 609-877-0509 with your choice. Actually, it’s fun!  Thanks so much.  Breakfast & lunch provided.

One Day Programs