Community Retreats at Assisi Heights

Ten days ago Father Marlin John Connole flew in from Southern California to offer spiritual retreats to the Franciscan Sisters and their Cojourners, those lay men and women who are affiliated with the Sisters. Of course the Poor Clares were also invited to participate in the daily spiritual conferences offered by Father Marlin.  His presence and teachings were delightfully appreciated by all. 

During the retreats Carol Quest drove down from the Cities on two nights to be with us in our prayerful sharing of centering prayer.  Carol is a long time practitioner and is an excellent teacher of this sacred form of life and prayer that follows the ancient teachings of the Churches and made available in our times through the work of Father Thomas Keating. 


Pentecost on the 3rd floor at Assisi Heights

Its Pentecost and our chapel is on fire with red, the color of Love.

Tuesday last during Pentecost, there was a wild storm brewing around Assisi Heights on the hill.  The electricity was out and the water was coming down with such force, it was impossible to see outside the windows.  All was dark and wet.  Inside our Centering Prayer venue, two of our wonderful Centering Prayer teachers were with us having braved the storm.  They were the only outsiders that came that night.  But we were not lacking in those ready to join us in prayer as the Franciscan Sisters were sponsoring a retreat here at the mother house. Many women Cojourners who were retreating with the Sisters joined us for Centering Prayer that special night.

For those of you who are not familiar with Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating is one of the beloved teachers of Centering Prayer. He has returned to God and his many books and writings remain to inspire many of us.


Easter 2024 – Holy Thursday – The Last Supper by Bohdan Piaseck

This is the Last Supper painted by Polish artist Bohdan Piaseck. A Roman Catholic group called ‘Brothers and Sisters in Christ’ commissioned this artwork in 1998.

Bohdan painted this scene of the women, men and children celebrating the Passover together, as Jesus ate his last supper. Each of the 22 figures are clothed in traditional Palestinian garb, rather than the Italian Renaissance gear seen in one of the world’s most recognizable paintings, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

These beautiful plants and flowers were gifts from our friends who wished to share the holy days of Easter with us over the distance.


News of our friends

Jeff Brede has kept in touch with us over the years since he has migrated to Indiana to be with his mother in her later years. 

Our dear friends Aaron, Krista and Doug Westendorp went on a trip by car this spring heading toward the western states.  Here they are in San Francisco on their way to Santa Cruz, California.  A state we hear alot about since it is Beth’s home state.

Their trip was an amazing adventure. We hope to hear about it during their next visit to Assisi Heights.

Right before they left on their amazing trip by car, Doug finished a different type of adventure story with a published book called Brother Samuel’s Journal.  It is the story of a dozen itinerant hermit monks and nuns who gather together in a very special place to pray for the world in the face of a coming apocalypse.



Easter Greetings 2024

Dear friends,

“Peace be with you!”

This is the message we want to share with you – the peace of Jesus among us. Jesus’ outstretched arms in His Resurrection appearances is expressing His desire that together we may live in peace. We pray that our planet and all peoples might know this precious gift.


Icon of the SAVIOR by Rublev

This beautiful image of Christ the Savior painted by Andrei Rublev in the 1420s is companioning us in our small chapel during our Lenten Journey to Holy week.


Centering Prayer with Mommies and Daddies from St Francis Church.

While the children of various ages and stages in their Catholic Christian life were busy with their teachers, the adults came together in their large chapel to learn about and practice centering prayer.


Epiphany 2024

On the day after the Kings came to see the Child that was born in Bethlehem, we had the Westendorp extended family visit us. We shared in the Holy Mass and gathered in the large dining room at Assisi Heights for dinner followed by a tour of the rooms decorated for the season. We wrapped up our time together finding a room where we shared stories and fond memories.


Our Christmas Card for you…


Friar Vince – October

October 4th, its the feast of St Francis, richly important for Franciscans of all ilk over the whole planet.  There are 3rd order Franciscans including women, men, and young people called Franciscan Tertiaries.  There are 3rd order regular sisters and brothers who carry on missionary activities and service to the poor including working in hospitals, schools and serving parishes.

2nd order are the Franciscan Poor Clares, or the Sisters of St Clare who live the Franciscan and Clare charism in community in their monasteries. 

The 1st order are the Friar’s minor, the little brothers.  And there are many versions.  In the United States, the Friars minor have just consolidated 6 of their provinces into one in order to served the people in a more effective manner.

St. Francis has inspired all of these people to offer their lives in service in many ways.  Born in Assisi (Italy) in 1181 or 1182; died nearby on 3 October 1226. The carefree son of a wealthy merchant who gave up his inheritance to embrace utter poverty. Under a simple gospel rule, he and his Friars Minor were authorized to be mendicant preachers. His “Canticle of the Sun” captures his lyrical spirit and sense of oneness with all creatures. An outstanding example of the beatitude “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” At the end of his life he bore in his flesh the marks of Christ’s suffering.