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October 12-15, 2008, surrounded by changing maples, and the fall season’s matching multi-colored marigolds and mums, UW Whitewater students promised to take time for personal prayer and to meet with other students for an evening session of group prayer amid their busy lives. Some came off of a weekend of helping with Habitat for Humanity, while others had enjoyed some time with family. And still others had studied their weekend away while being supported by some campus companionship, job commitment or other activities.
Brian Zanin, campus minister, and UWW Catholic Coalition leaders invited the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity to be present for the retreat time. Commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Rule of St. Francis, Sister Mary Ann Spanjers, OSF and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan, OSF, planned the days around the theme of peace. Scripture, sacramental moments, Franciscan sources, multi-media approaches, Marian intercession and small group gathering times allowed each person to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead to enlightenment.
May he enlighten the eyes of our soul to guide our feet in the way of that peace which surpasses all understanding. (Eph 1:18)
This is the peace proclaimed and given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ and preached again and again by St. Francis. (The Soul’s Journey to God, St. Bonaventure)
Rev. Rafael Rodriguez, Pastor of St. Patrick Parish Community, Whitewater, WI, Franciscan Friar of the Assumption of the BVM Province, Fr. Kim Studwell, OFM and Fr. Dave Bohnsack, MCCJ, Comboni Missionaries, assisted with evening Eucharistic liturgies and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.