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Journey Into God with St. Bonaventure
Retreats and Workshops
Publications and CDs

Franciscan Talks

Assisi in World War II
Franciscan Book Reviews   

Retreats and Workshops

St. Francis’ Document on Solitude

Workshop on the Office of the Passion

Journey Into God

St. Bonaventure´s Five Feasts
of the Child Jesus

San Damiano Crucifix

The Prayer of Francis and Clare

A Pilgrimage of the Heart

The Evangelical Life Retreat

© photo: Jona Raischl, 2013

  Brochure on all  retreats
and workshops

Please contact
André Cirino OFM

Experience: St. Francis’ Document on Solitude
Length: weekend or longer

From the earliest days of his conversion, Francis sought God out in the caves surrounding Assisi in order to commune with God in silence. When the first brothers joined him, he continued this practice. An opportunity is offered to experience solitude in much the same way Francis did with the early friars.

Workshop on the Office of the Passion
Length: day or weekend / Presenter: André

Both Francis and Clare prayed the Office of the Passion, she frequently and he daily, and yet, among Franciscans down through the centuries, the Office of the Passion seems to have fallen almost completely into disuse.  This Little Office has been published in a prayer-book format, containing a literal translation and commentary for meditation, a poetical-inclusive translation for prayer, with music and art to accompany the text.   Communities wishing to introduce their members to this Franciscan treasure can do so by contacting André.

"My community and I received deep insight into Francis'  personal prayer and his understanding of the mystery of the Incarnation when praying, singing and studying the Office of the Passion with André Cirino."
Claire André Gagliardi OSC


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Journey Into God
Length: 8 1/2 days/ Presenters: André and Josef

This retreat is an exploration of the content of this classic work of spiritual theology written by St. Bonaventure.  The retreat seeks to recover this oft-neglected source of Franciscan spiritual wealth. Each day of the retreat is dedicated to one of the chapters of the JOURNEY offering a balance of instruction on the text, periods for reading and personal prayer and community participation in eucharistic liturgy, morning and evening prayer. The liturgical and para-liturgical prayer is especially designed by the presenters to disclose the profound themes in a contemporary experience. Andre and Josef presented this unique retreat experience in Italy, Canada, the Philippines, the United States and England.

Comments  of former retreatants on the JOURNEY

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Bringing Forth Christ:
on Saint Bonaventure's Five Feasts of the Child Jesus

length—6 days/  Presenter: André

The theme of this retreat is spiritual motherhood.  The doctrine of spiritual motherhood invites us, men and women alike, to fashion our spiritual lives on the model of Mary, Mother of Jesus and image of the Church, and to develop the maternal element in our nature.  Spiritual motherhood sets free the living and life-giving forces within us and fosters the loving and caring side of our nature which is the antidote to every form of violence.
In this little work Bonaventure invites us to discover how we could spiritually conceive the Son of God, give birth to him, name him, seek and adore him with the Magi and then finally, present him to God in the Temple. 

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The Prayer of St. Francis and St. Clare
length—5, 6, or 7 days   Presenter: André.

This retreat is dedicated to examining the prayer experience of Francis and Clare and incorporating that experience into our own lives.  Five approaches to Franciscan prayer constitute this retreat’s program:
1. Meditative prayer based on the guidance we find in the life and writings of Francis.
2. Contemplative prayer as cultivated by Clare and mirrored in her writings.
3. Biblical/liturgical prayer typified by the rich text we know as the Office of the Passion.
4. The creation of personal prayer forms and texts in the Franciscan tradition.
5. Prayer of solitude and silence as proposed in the Document on Solitude.

All of these forms are explored through conferences and experiential activity. 

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The San Damiano Crucifix
Length—5 1/2  or 6 1/2 days  Presenter: André

Francis of Assisi had a decisive experience before the crucifix of San Damiano when the voice of Jesus asked him to rebuild the church.  The first day of the retreat explores the significance of this icon.  Each of the following days centers on a theme from The Prayer Before the Crucifix.  Stories from Franciscan sources as well as the writings and witness of Francis, Clare and their early companions help expand the themes of this prayer.  A prominent place is given to the theological virtues of faith, hope and love which figure so prominently in this text.


A Pilgrimage of the Heart

length—6 days   Presenter: André

This retreat has been developed for those Franciscans--retired or infirm brothers and sisters--unable to make a pilgrimage to Assisi.  After an introduction to the city of Assisi on the first evening, the “pilgrims” travel to San Damiano, Porziuncola, Carceri, La Verna, and the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare.  The retreat is built on the spirituality of place and makes extensive use of audio/visuals to make this pilgrimage retreat.

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The Evangelical Life Retreat
length—6 days   Presenters: André and Sr. Ann Bremmer, OSF

Saints Francis and Clare walked in the footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ. They took to heart what Jesus did and said—they lived the Evangelical Life. This retreat focuses on five major movements of living the Evangelical Life: 

<  Conversion: returning to God with your whole Heart.
< Conversion enables you to open your eyes and see God,
to gaze upon God in Contemplation.

< In that long, loving look at God, and God gazing back at us, 
we see Fraternitas in our lives, in our relationship with  God, creation, and others.

< Once we can see all this, we can make visible that what we see in Ministry/Mission:  namely Jesus Christ. 
< If we truly are making Jesus Christ known, we will ultimately experience the
Cross where Jesus reveals the true nature of God—that of self-giving.

This is an on-going journey into the heart of Jesus Christ, a journey which challenges the core of our being so we can authentically live the Gospel.


Reflections from those who have made the retreat ...

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