St. Francis
Retreat Center
October Offerings
"The spiritual life does not remove us from the world
but leads us deeper into it." Henri J.M. Nouwen
Online Retreats
Suggested donation is listed on retreat description;
Don't let financial hardship keep you from participating.
If you need a partial or full scholarship,
please email to register.

an online retreat with Christopher Pramuk
October 2-3, 2020
includes lecture
Friday, October 2 7:00-8:30PM EST

Saturday sessions October 3
10:00 - Noon and 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST
Suggested donation $60

Christopher Pramuk lives with his wife Lauri, a pediatrician, and their children in the Denver area, where Chris serves as University Chair of Ignatian Thought and Imagination, and Associate Professor of Theology, at Regis University. Chris is the author of six books, including Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line (2013), a sustained meditation on race relations in society and church, and two award-winning studies of Thomas Merton: At Play in Creation: Merton’s Awakening to the Feminine Divine (2015), and Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton (2009), recipient of the International Thomas Merton Society’s 2011 “Thomas Merton Award,” a.k.a., “The Louie,” its highest honor.Two of Chris’s four children were adopted from post-earthquake Haiti, one of the many experiences of cross-cultural encounter he writes about in Hope Sings, So Beautiful. A lifelong musician and student of African American history and spirituality, Chris spoke on racial justice, resurrection faith, and the legacy of the slave songs and spirituals for the national assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in Orlando. He blogs regularly and posts resources on spirituality, culture, and racial justice at

Mepkin Speaker Series
October 2, 5, & 9
7:00-8:30 PM Eastern Time Zone

Suggested Donation: $45
includes all speakers' presentations

Session One: October 2

"Hope Sings,
So Beautiful -
Graced Encounters
Across the Color Line"
with Christopher Pramuk

Session Two: Monday, October 5

"Poverty & Prayer: My Journey
from Hollywood to Haiti"
with Gerard Thomas Straub

Gerard Thomas Straub is a documentary filmmaker and the Founder and President of Pax et Bonum Communications, which produces films focused on the plight of the poor. The goal of his ministry is to put the power of film at the service of the poor. He has written and directed 25 documentary films in such poverty-stricken nations as India, Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica, Haiti, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and The Philippines. Three of those films aired on PBS. Gerry also is an accomplished photographer; a film featuring his photography was narrated by Martin Sheen.

Since 2015, Gerry has essentially lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where he established a home for 68 abandoned kids called The Santa Chiara Children’s Center. He has a small apartment in Fort Pierce, Florida which he uses for occasional breaks from the pressures and demands of his work with impoverished children in Haiti. Gerry has two adopted Haitian daughters, Bency and Judeline, and an adopted son, Peter Francis.

Session Three:
Friday, October 9

"Intergenerational Spirituality"
with Br. Don Bisson, FMS

(Included in the Intergenerational Wisdom Retreat)

Brother Don Bisson, FMS is, first and foremost, a spiritual director and is widely respected as a specialist in the training, formation and supervision of spiritual directors. A Marist brother based in Esopus, New York, he has graduate degrees in liturgy, spirituality, and transpersonal psychology, and earned his Doctor of Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion specializing in Spiritual Direction and Jungian Psychology. With more than 90 live audio recordings available, Brother Bisson is internationally recognized for his lectures, workshops, and retreats on the interrelationship of Christian spirituality and Jungian psychology. He is a man committed to “walking the talk.” 

Intergenerational Wisdom Retreat

for Elders & Young Adults
October 9-11, 2020
Suggested Donation: $60
Partial and Full Scholarships Available
includes October 9 lecture with Br. Don Bisson

Join Br. Don Bisson, Fr. Guerric Heckel,
& the Intergenerational Wisdom Team
for a conversation between generations about finding wisdom and commitment
in uncertain times.

Contemplating Our Sacred Story:
Intimacy, Integration and Transformation 

With Douglas Hertler

October 12-15, 2020

suggested donation $100

Douglas Hertler, aka Doug Lory, is a professional actor, playwright, retreat leader and NYC tour guide. He also works at Fordham University School of Law as an actor/educator. His one-man play Merton and Me, A Living Trinity, debuted in the fall of 2018 for the Corpus Christi Chapter of the International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS) in NYC, of which Doug is a member. Merton and Me explores the dynamics of the false self and depicts Doug’s unexpected and life-changing encounter with the writings of Thomas Merton, whose spirit journeys with Doug throughout the show. A universal search for meaning and identity, Merton and Me creates a synergy of spirit and psyche that serves as a mirror into the soul. 
Doug was also recently invited to serve on the board of the American Teilhard Association (ATA), grateful to play some small part in bringing the explosive, mystical vision of the renowned Jesuit paleontologist/geologist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to a new generation of spiritual seekers.
Doug holds a BA in Speech/Communication/Theatre from Monmouth University and is currently writing a book with the working title, “God’s Manhattan Project, the Ultimate Human Experiment,” inspired by Teilhard’s hopeful vision that humanity will someday “harness the energies of love.” Perhaps the extraordinary complexity, diversity, and strength found on an island in NYC might offer a foundation of unity and hope for the future of common humanity. His website is

Call to Discipleship –
Reflecting on Your Own Unique Calling

Caroline Stratton, International Presenter
October 16-17, 2020
Suggested Donation $60

“Vocation does not come
from a voice out there calling me
to be something I am not.
It comes from a voice in here calling me
to be the person I was born to be
 to fulfill the original selfhood
given me at birth by God.”
― Thomas Merton

Caroline Stratton is a graduate of the National University of Ireland Maynooth and The Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin. She obtained First Class Honours in her Master’s in Spirituality (2011) and a Higher Diploma in Theology (2009). On completion of her studies she felt a strong desire to move into the ministry of spiritual accompaniment where she trained in the Ignatian tradition and qualified in 2013. Drawn to the Called & Gifted program run by the St Catherine of Siena Institute in Colorado, she took part in a joint initiative between a number of Dioceses in Northern Ireland and the Society of African Missions (SMA) where she trained as a teacher and presented at a number of conferences. Now a practising spiritual companion, she meets with directees on a regular basis and is involved in giving retreats and workshops. Caroline is a member of the All Ireland Spiritual Guidance Association (AISGA) and works fulltime as the Head of Finance in a busy Dublin hospital, living out the call to bring about the Kingdom of God in the day to day challenges of daily life.
Poetry, Protest, Prayer -
The Spirituality of Lament
An Online Retreat
with Rev. William Hal Strong

Friday, Oct. 30th
7:00 – 8:30 PM Eastern Time

Saturday, Oct. 31st
10:00 – 11:30 AM ET &
2:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Suggested Donation $60

Rev. William Hal Strong
A country preacher and (very) minor poet, Rev. William Hal Strong is ordained in the United Church of Christ and serves two rural congregations in Southside Virginia.

Rev. Strong holds an M.Div from Union Presbyterian Seminary, a certificate in short term crisis counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Patient Counseling, and is a graduate of the RUAH School of Spiritual Guidance in Richmond, VA.

The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto
& St. Columba's Inverness is offering:

A Critical Study of the Book of Revelation
In a Time of Pandemic
An Online Self-Paced Course
with The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, Ph.D.