Program is free but if you would like to donate to the Franciscan Center, here is the link: https://app.etapestry.com/
Six Week Series Every Thursday from 2 pm to 4 pm on Zoom! Attend one or as many as you want!
Thursday, January 13 from 2-4 p.m. Aging Is Not for Sissies Maureen Connors, Ph.D.
Bette Davis said it best! As we age, we realize more and more that aging requires a renewed grace and courage. Certainly, these past two years have
required us to be anything but “sissies”. How do you stop yourself from being a “sissy” when you are in pain, lonely, or experiencing some other dark emotion? What helps you be brave?
Thursday, January 20 from 2-4 p.m. Aging as a Natural Monastery: Are You Becoming a Mystic? Maureen Connors, Ph.D. Reverend Bill Cooley, DMin., MSW
For centuries some Christians and non-Christians alike have been called to enter monasteries and convents to seek the spiritual state of being one with God. What if we thought of this time of aging as a natural monastery? Can we use this time to allow God/Our Higher Power/The Divine Energy to prepare us for the gift of deeper, more intimate relationship with Love? Come explore your call to a more monastic life. Mystics have often been portrayed as less than ordinary people. This session will debunk that myth. As we age consciously, we can develop a rich mystical life embodying wisdom. Some of the “symptoms” of aging like forgetting names, dates, etc. as well as less interest in doing may be making space for a larger mystical awareness and more being.
Thursday, January 27, 2022, from 2-4 p.m. Laughter Is Still the Best Medicine Maureen Connors, Ph.D.
The comedian Milton Berle is quoted as say: “laughter is the best medicine in the world.” The actual quote is centuries older than that! It is from Proverbs 17:22 in the Old Testament. Anne Lamott calls laughter “carbonated holiness”. Erma Bombeck describes it very accurately: “There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.
• What and who makes you laugh? Even in difficult times?
• When do you laugh the most?
• When you are under pressure, by yourself, or with others?
• With whom do you laugh the most?
We will also try laughter yoga as a novel approach to laughter.
Thursday, February 3, 2022, from 2-4 p.m. Moving from Age-ing to Sage-ing: Befriending Our Aging Maureen Connors, Ph.D.
In their book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision for Growing Older, Rabbi Zelman Schachter Shalomi and Ronald S. Miller describe elders as persons who are: “still growing, still a learner, still with potential, and whose life continues to have within it, promise for and connection to the future”. Aging needs to become our friend if we are to really enjoy and thrive because of this amazing gift of time we have been given. How can we be sure we are continuing to find and exhibit the wisdom of our lives? How do we harvest our lives to glean the wisdom we’ve gained?
Thursday, February 10, 2022, from 2-4 p.m. Valentine’s Day as More than Roses and Verses Maureen Connors, Ph.D.
“Valentine’s Day is about much more than roses and sentimental verses (although these are lovely things). This day is an occasion to rejoice in the ways we both give and receive love. J. Philip Newell writes: “…that I may awaken to the morning enlivened by love.’” What has and is enlivening your love? Are there ways you nourish that love in your life?
Thursday, February 17, 2022, from 2-4 p.m. How Do We Truly Age Gracefully? Maureen Connors, Ph.D. Reverend Bill Cooley, DMin., MSW
Diane Koopman said it best: “Aging is inevitable, but to grow old gracefully is a choice.” Together we will explore behaviors and spiritual practices that enable us to agree with Frank Lloyd Wright, “The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.” Or with C.S. Lewis “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” What is helping you age with grace and courage? What are your dreams now?
Maureen Connors, Ph.D. serves as a spiritual companion, retreat leader and meeting facilitator. She is striving always to age gracefully and glean the wisdom she has gained in over eighty years. Before being widowed 2 years ago, she was married to Maury Flood for 42 years. She has 25 nieces and nephews and more grand nieces and nephews than she can count!
Reverend Bill Cooley, DMin, MSW, an honorably retired Presbyterian pastor, is living into his last third of life. A spiritual companion in his retirement community in south St. Petersburg and in Tampa Bay, he also leads retreats on deepening spirituality for pastors and older adults.
The Franciscan Center is located on eight acres along the eastern banks of the Hillsborough River. The Center came to fruition as a result of the spiritually unique mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y. In the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, we welcome everyone who seeks spiritual growth through a deeper relationship with God in a place of peace, community, healing and joy.
Reverend Mother Joan Marie Wheeler, OSF received the deed for the property in 1958 from Joseph E. Miyares, a Tampa attorney. The Provincial of Florida, Sister Lucian Walsh, OSF, requested that a retreat center be built. Sr. Lucian wanted this retreat center to be ecumenical in nature so all people of different faith traditions could make retreats at the Center. We opened in October of 1970 and became the first spiritual center owned and operated by the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, N.Y. Since then thousands of people have come to this sanctuary for private reflection, retreats, spiritual direction and hospitality.
The Center is a non- profit, 501(3)(c), private retreat house sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY with dedicated laity who are committed in carrying out the mission. Throughout the year we offer retreat programs (including private and directed retreats), and a place for community and private events, meetings, seminars, workshops and classes.