About Our Center
The Franciscan Spiritual 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 is 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.
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Franciscan Spiritual Center
The Franciscan Spiritual Center is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis . It is located in Aston, PA on the property of the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis, adjacent to Neumann University which is also a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis. The Spiritual Center provides a hermitage experience for those interested and there is a small farmhouse on the property adjacent to the hermitages that can be used for small groups. Spiritual Direction is provided at the motherhouse or virtually as needed. Currently all programs and retreats that were done at the Center are now done virtually. We are growing into the ability to provide virtual programs so be patient with us.
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. Since March 2020 the southeast building can no longer be used for retreatants and, therefore, all retreats are done virtually unless someone chooses to use the hermitage or Clare House.