Learn By Doing

Our retreats and programs go beyond good teaching. When you join us, you will be invited to enter into experiences to discover or deepen your spiritual practice—and bring it into your daily life.

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A God For All Seasons

 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,” says the author of Ecclesiastes. God is revealed in scripture as fire, wind, rock, tree, bird, water, and all manner of creation. And Fr. Thomas Merton reminds us, “Nothing has ever been said about God that hasn’t already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.” This year, we invite you to join us as we engage God in each season of Creation. Through discussion, prayer, scripture, and contemplative practices, we will explore the unique lessons the Creator reveals through each season, as we transition between Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and pause to embrace the holiness of God in each of them. 

This retreat, “Autumn’s Spirit – the beauty of letting go,” is the Fall component of our “A God for All Seasons,” series. An unknown poet said, “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go,” and we will explore this spirit together, as we look at what God has to teach each of us through the season of Autumn. In a world that can heap more and more onto our time, energy, and responsibilities, what is really ours to hold, and what do we need to let go of? What is the difference between “letting go” and “releasing?” What unhealthy things are we clinging to and why? What help do we need from God in letting them go? Through interactive projects, prayers, song, and symbolic action, we will retreat into these questions, and seek to join God’s Spirit of Autumn in learning to let go.
Facilitated by: Br. Kevin Hershey
Autumn - September 23
Winter - December 16
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Fee: $40 per individual session; $120 for the series

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Walking in Their Footsteps: The Journey to Sainthood

Each session of this monthly program will take a more in-depth look at the life and work of one of these holy role models. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about a lesser recognized saint, or a different perspective on someone you thought you knew. Every month will be enlightening. More information on the subject of the month will be featured as each session approaches.

:  St. Phoebe was a woman of great courage and deep love. She answered God’s call to minister to God’s people during the earliest days of the Church, when persecution against Christians was strong. She earned the trust of St. Paul, who depended on her to handle communications with the ecclesial community in Rome. In the Letter to the Romans, St. Paul commends St. Phoebe to the church in Rome, introduces her as a deacon (diakonos) of the church at Cenchreae, and asks that they “receive her in the Lord” (Romans 16:1-3). Come celebrate St. Phoebe’s Feast Day as church leaders prepare to gather in Rome in October for the General Assembly of the Synod. Among the themes considered at the synod will be women’s participation in the Church, both broadly and specifically as deacons.     

Facilitator: Jane Sutter Brandt

Date: Second Tuesday of each month in 2023 Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Mercy Spirituality Center
Fee: $240 for the series; $25 per individual session

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Contemporary Conversations Book Club

We are delighted that our Contemporary Conversations Book Club is expanding! Beginning in September, facilitation of the book club will alternate between Jane Sutter Brandt and Mary Anne Shew. Conversations will still be on Zoom; the time will move to evening. Mary Anne Shew is a retired writer for web sites and other media and has started and facilitated over a dozen book clubs. Jane Sutter Brandt is a former editor with the Democrat and Chronicle and has participated in a variety of book groups.
September 6 – Jane - A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith by Timothy Egan.
October 11 – Mary Anne - The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life by Lisa Miller, PhD 
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Via Zoom
Cost: $200 for full series (12 sessions), $25 per session.

The First Sessions:

September 6:
A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith by Timothy Egan. Moved by his mother's death and his Irish Catholic family's complicated history with the church, Egan decides to follow in the footsteps of centuries of seekers to force a reckoning with his own beliefs. He embarks on a thousand-mile pilgrimage through the theological cradle of Christianity to explore the religion in the world that it created. Egan follows the Via Francigena, once the major medieval trail leading the devout to Rome. He travels overland via the alpine peaks and small mountain towns of France, Switzerland and Italy, accompanied by a quirky cast of fellow pilgrims and by some of the towering figures of the faith including Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, Martin Luther.

October 11: The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life by Lisa Miller, PhD  Weaving her own deeply personal journey of awakening with her groundbreaking research, Dr. Miller’s book reveals that humans are universally equipped with a capacity for spirituality, and that our brains become more resilient and robust as a result of it. The Awakened Brain combines cutting-edge science (from MRI studies to genetic research, epidemiology, and more) with on-the-ground application for people of all ages and from all walks of life, illuminating the surprising science of spirituality and how to engage it in our lives: The awakened decision is the better decision. With an awakened perception, we are more creative, collaborative, ethical, and innovative. The awakened brain is the healthier brain. An engaged spiritual life enhances grit, optimism, and resilience while providing insulation against addiction, trauma, and depression. The awakened life is the inspired life. Loss, uncertainty, and even trauma are the gateways by which we are invited to move beyond merely coping with hardship to transcend into a life of renewal, healing, joy, and fulfillment.

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Men's Spirituality Group

Amazing things happen when people gather to grow in their faith and encourage each other. We are envisioning a new opportunity for men as another part of the ministry of Mercy Spirituality Center. We invite you to join us as we gather together in community. Our meetings will offer an opportunity to share a meal or refreshments together. There usually will be a speaker or other presentation and then an opportunity to reflect and share insights about what we have heard. Our goal is to experience God’s grace and guidance together and deepen our connection to God and to other men in our daily lives.

Coordinated by: Ed Redmond and Rev. Harry Heintz
Dates: Third Saturday of the month: September 16
October 21
November 18
December 16
January 20
February 17
March 16
April 20
May 18
June 15
Location: MSC
Cost: $100 for series; $15 per individual session

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Mug Up 

We will be discussing Indigenous and Celtic spirituality. We will examine the Medicine Wheel of the Indigenous people along with the Spirit wheel of the Celts. We will be using references from The Luminous Journey of the Medicine Wheel by Dakota Earth Cloud Walker which also includes the cycles of the Celtic Wheel, along with Thinking Indigenously by Doug Goof Feather. It is not necessary to purchase these books as handouts will be provided for each meeting.

Facilitator: Sharon Therkildsen
Dates: Tuesdays October 3, 10, 17, 24, November 7, 14.
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Fee: $90

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Day To Call Your Own

Come and enjoy a day to yourself in your own, private, comfortable room at Mercy Spirituality Center. You will be able to pray, contemplate, read and relax without being disturbed. Soup is included for lunch. Morning prayer is optional. ‌

Facilitator: Sr. Gert Erb, RSM
Dates: 2nd Thursday of each month:

September 14
October 12
November 9
December 14
January 11
February 8
March 14
April 11
May 9

Saturday Options: 

October 14

Time: 9:00 am-4 pm
9:30 am: Morning Prayer (optional)
Fee: $25

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Ignatian Spirituality
Exercises of St. Ignatius In All Of It's Forms

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in all of its forms, create an awareness of God in all things—all people, all creation, every human experience, and especially in the person of Jesus. We offer a model of the Spiritual Exercises designed by St. Ignatius for use in daily life which takes place over 30 weeks, rather than 30 days. This program is currently being offered virtually.

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