Franciscan Sisters and Cistercian Nuns Discernment Retreat

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

April 24, 2018

Together Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Cistercian Nuns of Valley of Our Lady Monastery, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin offered a Discernment of Spirits Retreat on the feast of Saint Anselm. Saint Anselm’s writing was used as a focus to begin the day:

O insignificant man, escape from your everyday business for a short while, hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. Break off from your cares and troubles and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. Make a little time for God and rest a while in Him.

Enter into your mind’s inner chamber. Shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek Him; and when you have shut the door, look for Him… -Prayer of Saint Anselm

Cistercian Nuns offered hospitality in one of their visiting parlors and developed prayer booklets for The Divine Office hours. Franciscan Sister Jacqueline Spaniola facilitated the talks offering Saint Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment, as well as his guidance to discerning the will of God.

This is what touched the hearts of the retreatants regarding the day long retreat:

  • Taking a step back from everything helped me to let God back into my heart today. The knowledge and joy you have brought to this retreat is really inspiring to me.
  • Distinction between memorized prayers and silent prayer/meditation and need for silence
  • The need for Step 1 on Discerning God’s will, how God will help us through this all-and how important His peace is.
  • The Silence! Talking to the Sisters.
  • Having the freedom and tools to take my life to pray with God. Thank you for outlining why it matters to us and to God to take the time and attention needed for discernment.

If you are interested in a retreat, visit or conversation on consecrated life with Franciscan Sisters, we invite you to call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 or click here.