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Friends of Francis Retreat

October 27-29, 2017

The Life of St Francis in Fresco:

The Art of

“Christ Alive!”


The 28 frescoes of the “Upper Church” in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi are attributed to Giotto di Bondone, who introduced the art of drawing directly from lived experience.  His work offers an amazing window into the early Franciscans’ life and world.  Painted just 70 years after the death of St. Francis, these powerful paintings point to what is most essential in the early Friars’ understanding of their Franciscan lineage. 

 Just as St. Francis offered a new Way of Life in the church, Giotto’s paintings of the Life of St. Francis forever changed the nature of Christian art.  Using visually stunning and evocative images from these frescoes, S. Gabriele offers an opportunity to deepen our understanding of “Christ alive!” in St. Francis. We will contemplate the frescoes like treasured photos, looking for clues to our own contemporary Franciscan life – filled with wonder, deep feeling and God’s Love. 

                                     Let these transformational frescoes refresh and 

                                     reinvigorate your own spiritual practice. 

                                     Come, awaken to the “Christ alive!” in you.

Gabriele Uhlein, OSF, PhD is a Wheaton Franciscan sister deeply influenced by Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi and Teilhard de Chardin.  She lives and works at the Christine Center, a natural sanctuary for seekers of all faith traditions that is committed to spiritual deepening for global transformation. (www.christinecenter.org

As a retreat director and facilitator, S. Gabriele is nationally known for her practical spiritual perspectives, she has written articles for Franciscan journals, and continues to promote the profound connection between creation, contemplation, and compassion in everyday life.  As the Franciscan scholar and artist-in-residence at the Christine Center, art and imagery is a large part of her spiritual guidance and spiritual deepening offerings.  For S. Gabriele, Soul speaks in images. The art and iconography of the Franciscan world is of special interest in her work

Things our retreatants say:

-  The liturgies were inspirational and the homilies added more meaning.  I'm so impressed by howdown-to-earth Father Jim and Brother Bob are as they relate to us       


-  The time here has been healing. Truly my spirit gives thanks to our God for this time


-  The retreat conferences were excellent. So much food for thought and nourishment for the soul.  Lots to take into prayer and on my daily faith walk. 


-  The blend of scheduled time to free time is just right. It allows me to reflect, refresh and recharge my soul to put a little bounce in my step!

While this retreat is geared primarily to all members of the Order of Franciscan Seculars, it is open to anyone who has an interest in St. Francis and Franciscan Spirituality.

The retreat will begin on Friday evening, at 7:30 p.m., and end Sunday, after brunch, which is served at 12:30 p.m. 


Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God,
give to us miserable ones the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do
and always to desire what pleases You.
Inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened,
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be able to follow in the footprints of Your beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
and by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You.
Most High, Who live and rule
in perfect Trinity and simple Unity,
and are glorified God almighty,
forever and ever. Amen.

Registration Information

Cost: $160.00 per person. Pre-registration is required, along with a $30.00 registration fee.  

 online or call (952) 447-2182.

Should you have further questions, please call us at 952-447-2182, contact us via e-mail: secretary@franciscanretreats.net

More about the Secular Franciscan Order and the Fraternity that meets here at Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center.


16385 Saint Francis Lane - Prior Lake, MN 55372 - 952-447-2182 - email: secretary@franciscanretreats.net