The Franciscan Spirit Center was founded in April, 1997. It is a ministry sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Rooted in Gospel Values and in the prophetic spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi we seek to provide environments, experiences and resources which enable persons to meet God in both stillness and activity. With hospitality simplicity and joy we welcome all as sister and brother.
In the Spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi and with Christ as the center, it our vision as the Franciscan Spiritual Center to be a contemplative place of simple beauty, respectful of creation, and reflective of the Franciscan values of hospitality, mutuality and Gospel living. Our programs are holistic, ecumenical, collaborative in nature and supportive of nonviolence.
The Franciscan Spiritual Center facilities contain:
- 21 bedrooms with private bath
- 10 bedrooms sharing a common bath
- dining room
- large meeting room (seating up to 200 persons) which can be subdivided
- spiritual direction rooms
- prayer room
- multi-purpose rooms which include a lounge, library, listening center, arts and crafts area and exercise corner
- handicapped accessible
- beautiful campus for contemplative space or walking
- only 20 minutes from the Philadelphia airport and Wilmington, DE
- adjacent to Our Lady of Angels Convent and the campus of Neumann University
Before the Franciscan Spiritual Center began in April 1997, we had San Damiano Center here in the mother house, Clare House then known as Clare Renewal Center was run by two sisters as a Renewal Center for our sisters. San Damiano Center was in a wing of the motherhouse and occupied two floors (4th and 5th). It could house about 15 persons and had a meeting area for programs. After the motherhouse was remodeled and those spaces were used for our sisters, San Damiano closed. After the motherhouse renovation was completed, we looked at Spiritual Ministries as a Ministry of the Community and not just a place. Surveys of our Community, persons who attended the Center, and local parishes and groups were completed.
As a result of this the Southeast building which had previously housed classrooms, offices and bedrooms, an auditorium and a gym, was remodeled. A consultant was engaged by the Sponsorship Committee who provided recommendations to the congregation. The expansion and the addition of a full-time staff enabled the center to be fully operational and available for hosting as well as regularly sponsored programs. Programs include retreats, hosting, spiritual direction and more.