Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Newsletter for the Friends of the Christine Center

A Newsletter for the Friends of
The Christine Center
W8303 Mann Road, Willard, Wisconsin 54493

Volunteers, Work/Study and Work/Exchange Participants

In-Kind Donations

Fall and Winter 2009-2010 Willard, Wisconsin

Christine Center

Financial Donors

A million times thanks to all those who have collaborated with our mission and vision. You are donors, volunteers, work/study and work/exchange people who make it possible and keep it all moving. Prayers and blessings to you and yours.


We Are Creating the Christine Center

We know what sharing of abundance looks like because you have generously shared your treasure, so we could complete Phase One and Phase Two of our Capital Campaign. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude!
We began Phase Three on July 12 when the bulldozers came in to install the pipes for geothermal heating. Today we look out of the window and see the cement footings of the Chapel Wing. And we know the possibility that exists (with your help) for its completion. The Board of Directors gave approval for the general contractor to build only what we have the finances for. We currently have $250,000 and need $300,000 more to finish the project. This will complete our plans to expand the facilities of the Christine Center so we can better serve you.
We have experienced your generosity and invite you to continue to help manifest what we know is possible, even in these difficult times — the new wing for a Chapel, library, meeting rooms and offices — Phase Three of the Capital Campaign. If you would like to make a financial contribution, you can use PayPal on our website or send a check by mail.

This summer we ate mushrooms from our woods and discovered that a Blanding’s turtle had joined the snapper and smaller red ones here. We haven’t made turtle soup yet, but we are living more off the land thanks to Kevin McGraw who arrived to share his knowledge of plants and animals.
Thanks, Kevin!

Retreats for Christians
and other Seekers

Private Retreat with Spiritual Direction — December 7-13, 2009
Schedule yourself for the full seven days, or check in for the weekend only (December 11-13).
Core Staff. In the silence of the Christine Center deepen your spiritual practice through meditation and lectio divina. This retreat flows between private direction and group experience. It includes deep listening, reading of sacred texts, meeting with a spiritual guide, rest and healthy meals. Reserve a hermitage or guest room for this special retreat. Cost: $350 ($200 for the weekend only) includes meals, lodging, and retreat. Bodywork also available.
December 7-13, come for full seven days or check in for the weekend only.

Woodland Solitude: Intensive Centering Prayer Retreat — January 3-6 and February 12-14
Guided by Core Staff. Offered in the secluded woodland setting of Siloe. All inclusive rate of $200
Centering Prayer is a way of contemplative prayer which prepares us to receive the gift of God’s presence. Traditionally known as contemplative prayer, it is a process of opening the mind and heart — our whole being — to God. It takes us beyond thoughts, words and emotions.

TCVC Twin Cities Vipassana Cooperative
Oct 9-13, 2009
Teacher: Annie Nugent
Vipassana (insight) meditation is a simple and direct practice: the moment-to-moment investigation of the mind/body process through calm, open and precise awareness. Learning to observe experience from a place of spacious stillness enables one to relate to life with a balance of wisdom and compassion. Retreats include sitting and walking meditation, with time for instruction and daily talks. Retreats provide an introduction for new students and an opportunity for experienced students to deepen their practice.
For more information, see
Couples Skills and Conscious Communication Retreat: Oct 23-25, 2009
Facilitators: Rebecca Connor and Terry Pate
This retreat is an important opportunity to explore and disentangle old patterns and blocks that keep you disconnected from yourself and from one another. Re-enliven areas that keep you bonded and intimately connected with one another.
In the spirit of curiosity, empathy and understanding, this workshop is a chance to deepen the love and intimacy in your relationship, and explore from nonjudgmental perspectives areas where you and your partner differ from and complement one another. This workshop is annual, though exercises change every year and are designed to guide couples towards staying on the same side in times of difficulty and conflict as well as guide couples to remember to relax and enjoy one another.
Cost: $375 to $425 per person (double that for a couple). This is an excellent value. Includes meals, lodging and tuition.per person for early payment and multiple reservations. Limited special discounts available based on financial need.
To register or for more information, call Rebecca at 612-877-1081. See also
Facilitated by Rebecca Connor, LMFT and assisted by her husband and partner of 15 years, Terry Pate. Rebecca is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in South Minneapolis. She has been assisting and leading couples, women and mixed groups for over 16 years. Rebecca’s specialties include transpersonal, Jungian, relational trauma, family systems and somatic based body and spirit centered psychotherapies. Terry, also trained in body and spirit centered psychotherapies, is a long time student of the enneagram system.
Diamond Approach Retreat (Marathon)
Oct 23-26, 2009
The Diamond Approach is a contemporary spiritual teaching that reveals the depth, richness, and mystery of our essential nature. It combines modern psychological understanding with the knowledge of traditional practices. For information, contact

Rainbow Reiki 1st Degree: Nov 11-13, 2009
Facilitator: Debra Stelzer
This workshop includes the traditional first degree of Usui Reiki and special unique Rainbow Reiki techniques and teachings, including more symbols and mantras. This workshop is for people who have never taken Reiki and for those with years of experience. It is the gateway into the profound and comprehensive Rainbow Reiki System. There are no pre-requisites for Rainbow Reiki First Degree.
Tuition: $285, plus meals and lodging
Debra is a certified Usui Reiki Master and the sole proprietor of Hands of Light Healing in Wisconsin Rapids and a member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.

Rainbow Reiki 2nd Degree — Nov 13-15, 2009
Facilitator: Debra Stelzer
(See course description from November 11-13 Rainbow Reiki program.) Prerequisite: Rainbow Reiki First Degree
Tuition: $285, plus meals and lodging

Wisconsin Weekend Myofascial Release Feast:
Dec 11-16, 2009
Liaison Person: Mary Bart
This retreat is a feast of Myofascial Release -- for MFR therapists and by MFR therapists. All therapists must have taken seminars by John F. Barnes, PT. No tuition. To arrange for lodging and meals, call Liz at 715-267-7507 or email With questions about this retreat, call Mary Bart, WCMT, 715-267-4715 or email

Jane Reeves Yoga: Jan 29- 31, 2010
More information to follow. To learn more about Jane Reeves, visit
Diamond Approach

A Springtime Ceremony of Renewal: Mar 19-21, 2010
Facilitators: Patricia and Craig Neal
We will convene a Springtime Solstice Ceremony of Renewal. March ushers in the season of new life, the emergence of new possibilities. It is a time for people to gather in Sacred Ceremony, and to plant the seeds of our hearts. We invite you to join an intimate group of journeyers (limited to 30) at the Christine Center. If you are drawn to participate, let us know by email: Calendar.htmlf. Or call Patricia Neal at 952-925-5995.
Patricia & Craig Neal. Patricia is Co-Founder, CEO of Heartland Inc. Patricia’s focus is overseeing the daily operations of Heartland. Craig Neal: Craig celebrates life as a passionate change leader, publishing executive, organizational executive and guide to those called to authentically show up in life and work.

Wisconsin Weekend Myofascial Release Feast
March 12-14, 2010
Liaison Person: Mary Bart
This retreat is a feast of Myofascial Release -- for MFR therapists and by MFR therapists. All therapists must have taken seminars by John F. Barnes, PT. No tuition. To arrange for lodging and meals, call Liz at 715-267-7507 or email With questions about this retreat, call Mary Bart, WCMT, 715-267-4715 or email

Twin Cities Vipassana Cooperative Meditation Retreat: June 11-20, 2010
Facilitators: Steve Armstrong and Kamala Masters
Vipassana (insight) meditation is a simple and direct practice: the moment-to-moment investigation of the mind/body process through calm, open and precise awareness. Sponsored by Twin Cities Vipassana Cooperative (TCVC).
For questions or to register: or 612-721-8626.

Anonymous — 3
Anonymous in honor of Cecy Corcoran
Jim Anderson
M.J. Andrechak/K.I. Seybert
Barbara Arney
Rosanne Annoni/Richard Hunt
Sheri Baemmert
Scott Baeseman
Jacqueline Bangsberg
Amy Leo Barankovich
Mary Bart
Doug Bartley
Jean Biegun
Marcia Black
Tammy Boe
Ronald Bowers
Mellanie Brennan
Wade Britzius
Jo Ann and Patrick Brown
Sally and Robert Bullard
Stephen Burt
Mary and John Buzza
Linda Cates
Anne Chisholm
Joan Coffman
Donna Cole
Patricia Connelly
Molly Corcoran
Carolyn and Walter Craft
Betty Davis
Linda Davis
Cheryl Deninger
Elizabeth Deutsch
Amy Donaldson
Sr. Alice Drewek
Lynn Ellmaurer
Priscilla Enwale
H.J. Faust Inc
Michelle Forsyth
Luke Fortney
Linda Fox
Milam Freitag
Sherry Fuller
Gerald and Janice Geidd
Dexter Gillett
Joan Graham
Jean Haley
Robert Harper
Jim Hartwig
Vincent Hatt
Dianne Henke
Edward and Joyce Hunt Trust
Rosemary Renford Jennings
Judith and Thomas Jolie
Diane Kahler
Barbara Knox
Pat Hall-Kurczek
Sally Lewis
Maureen Malloy
Ruth Brooke Markowitz
Kelly McCarthy
Susan Mickel
Victoria Dalle-Molle
Diane Nunberg
Diane O’Donnell
Alana Gorske, OSF
Laura Goss
Diana Grove
Rosemary Renfro Jennings
Kathleen Kenkel, FSPA
Lois Klay
Carole Kretschman
Karen Kleveno
Anne List
Mary Lofton
Main Street Graphics
Sandra Maitri
Bela Maroti
Robert and Katherine Mason
Linda Matter
Jerry and Carol McCormick
Lise McKean
M. Mathy
Catherine Mike
Susan Rester Miles
Cynthia Nolen
Terry Pate
Laura Pinget
Rachel Potter
William Powell
George Protos
Nichole Randall
Kathleen Redpath
Deanne Rubenzer
Shannon Marie Scallon, SSND
Leslie Scheld
Donna Scott
Barb Shipka
The SVRLUGA Foundation
John and Cheryl Stearns
Pat Stremikis
Sisters Sylvia and Beatrice
Judith Torgus
Gabriele Uhlein, OSF
Elizabeth Walvoord
Michael Weber
Fr. Gerry Wilmsen
Sherry Zopel
Sr. Marge Zulaski

—Fountain or pond for Siloe and Earth Spirit Garden
—Donations for new wing
—Riding lawn mower
—Cash donations for chapel
—Hoop House, bedding trays, greenhouse equipment
—Donations for new offices
—Perennials (deer resistant)
—Donations for the library
—Old carpeting
—Donations for new AV equipment in new meeting room
—Fund raising Events
—Items for the silent auction

Halina Bak
Margo Berg
Tony Camarda
Linda Cates
John Cierpilowski
Molly Corcoran
Fr. Frank Corradi
Carolyn Craft
Paul Dorner
Stacey Dylon
Brent Giachetti
Stacy Ginsburg
Heather Guyer-Hutchinson
Dale Hadler
Michael Hernke
Joel Hodroff
Karen Kappell
Katie London
Kara Malmgren
Bela Maroti
Kevin McGraw
Jan Irene Miller
Vicky O’Day
David Patterson
Paul Sager
Debbie Thompson
Robert Tober
Suzanne Von Schnoeder
Margaret Wagner
Mike Ward
Joan Warsinski
Kathleen Yosko

By popular demand, the second edition of the cookbook was published and is now available. Makes a great gift item.

Scott Baesman & DR Smith
Mary Bart
Margo Berg
Catherine Bonus
Wade Britzius
Jerry and Carol Buchman
Linda Cates
Molly Corcoran
Carolyn Craft
Sharon Deavers
Florence Dresser
Jean Feraca
Delmarie Gibney
Bobbie Giles
Greg and Darlene Herrick
Roberta Hodges
Gail Iverson
Fred Jacob
Jill Lynch
Russ Menke
Sr. Mary Morrisey
Hermann Mueller
Connie Ostrander, OSB
J.R. Pohl
Karen Rudeen
Amy Schwinn
Virginia Thoma
Carol Vedra
Tony & Diane Wagner
Mike Ward
Kathleen Yosko

Abundant life is a given!


Christine Center Mission Statement
The Christine Center is a Catholic retreat center that embraces persons of all spiritual paths in a natural Sanctuary for spiritual deepening and global transformation.

JOHANNA SEUBERT, FSPA: Team, Development, Food Service, Spiritual Direction
HENRITA FROST, SSND: Team, Ecology, and Spiritual Direction
LIZ POEHNELT: Program Coordinator, Accounting and Office Manager
J.R. POHL: Chief of Maintenance
TONY WAGNER: Maintenance
MARIE CIOK: Marketing Assistant


Board of Directors

Linda Cates
Cecilia Corcoran, FSPA
Fr. Frank Corradi
Henry Eisenhauer
Henrita Frost, SSND
Bela Maroti
Johanna Seubert, FSPA
Gabriele Uhlein, OSF
Margaret Wagner, FSPA

At the beginning of summer I sat with a group of remarkable women in La Crosse, WI. They were, you might have guessed, my family as well, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The five-day assembly was an opportunity to know each other more deeply in the process of setting our sites on the future. With the tradition of perpetual adoration as our heritage, the outcome might have been expected. Over the years we have articulated and commissioned ourselves to works of mercy, justice and care of the earth. But now foremost in our hearts was a deeper, underlying passion that sprang forward and demanded to be spoken aloud. Words frame the desire, though limp, inadequately expressing the commitment we are reaching to embrace more publicly: inner transformation, authentic relationships, spiritual awakening.
These qualities are radically in sync with the Christine Center’s mission! We say yes! and find encouragement in our sisters to take the next steps of going forward, deepening the work, expanding our potential and embracing the vision of spiritual deepening and global transformation. We invite you to reflect on your own call and response to transformation, relationships and awakening.
The words of Scripture come to mind: I come that you may have life and have it more abundantly. Abundant life is a given. I guess we just have to reach for it, long for it, and seek it every day. The Christine Center supports that search if it does nothing else.
The summer passed joyously as many of you came to stay awhile. The gardens expanded and flourished. The Life Source Center was christened “Siloe” (sil’-o-way) and everyone cheered for its beauty and practicality. Trails around the lower pond were greatly improved and the Earth Spirit Garden is under reconstruction.
Most importantly we broke ground for the new wing on July 12. It was a long anticipated groundbreaking day. We count on you to stand by us and help in any way you can to bring this CENTERPIECE of our capital campaign to completion.
The Center welcomes you to take a pause in your busy life. This newsletter describes some of the upcoming events for your consideration.
Blessings always,
Cecilia Corcoran, FSPA

Spiritual Deepening for Global Transformation will school the soul in qualities that make for peace. In this three-year certificate program, participants will deepen their capacity for contemplative living: awake, attentive, compassionate and active in the world. Each year’s program will be designed to continue to awaken in a particular way, the potential each of us has for spiritual deepening and global transformation.
Group I 2008-2010 — Year Three: Servant Leadership for Global Transformation
Group II 2009-2012
Weekend One: Beginning with Life: Learning from Experience. (began in August)
Weekend Two: Growing into Myself: Becoming Who I am. December 4-6, 2009
Weekend Three: Living our Hearts Desire: Longing for the Holy. February 5-7, 2010
Weekend Four: Loving Deeply: Finding the Compassionate Center. April 23-25, 2010

The Chapel Wing under construction is at the center of our biggest hopes and dreams and plans. Construction began on July 12.

Groundbreaking day of the Chapel Wing: Cecy
Corcoran cheers on Johanna Seubert, Bela Maroti and Kathleen Yosko.

Amy Schwinn and the “help” prepare a savory meal for the Center’s guests.

The footprint of a chapel

On July 10-12, the Center convened its First Annual Interfaith Retreat, which featured Venerable Thubten Chodron, Brother Joe Kilikevice, O.P., Physicist Chuck Pfeifer, Ph.D., and Moderator Jean Feraca, M.A.

Introducing Breanna, the darling daughter of Brandie, our newest cook

2nd Interfaith Summer Retreat — August 13-15, 2010
With Tom Ryan, CSP, Jean Feraca and others

Have you ever wondered what the connection is between Western/Christian mysticism and Eastern meditation practice? Father Thomas Ryan directs the Paulist North American Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations located in Manhattan. In the quiet woodlands and in our magnificent, simple prayer hall, we will discover the kingdom of God within and be nourished in deep places.

Rev. Thomas Ryan, CSP, is a Catholic priest who directs the North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for his community, the Paulist Fathers in Washington DC. His twin passions are the spiritual life and relationships of mutual enrichment between people of faith. He has authored 12 books and over 100 articles in a wide variety of journals. He leads ecumenical and interfaith retreats throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Comments from the First Interfaith Retreat July 10-12, 2009: “Big. Deep. Wonderful. Wow! This was a multi-star experience shining deeply in my cells. I am so grateful to have been present.” “The programs always seem new and offer fresh ideas for living deeply.”

Linda De Mill contemplating

The Christine Center Page 6

The Christine Center Page 7

The Christine Center Page 9

The Christine Center Page 8

The Christine Center Page 4


Memorials for
Sr. Virginia Barta
Allegra Ahlquist
Jennie Angell
Sarah Jolie
Terry Pate
Grace Perry
Joyce Pokrandt and Robert Gluth
Armand Proulx/Jeanne Douillard
Susan Schmidt/Andrea Van Sickle
Shirley Tassencourt

In the Company of THOMAS MERTON — October 16-18
Silence, stillness and simplicity are the essential elements of meditation;
compassion, joy and generosity of spirit are its fruits. — Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB

December 18-20 Mystical Universe Retreat
Meditation is a universal spiritual practice, the oldest practical wisdom of humanity. It is present at the heart of all religion, open to the mystery of God, to ultimate reality.

Save the Date: August 13-15, 2010
2nd Annual Interfaith Summer Retreat
Contemplative Living for the 21st Century
With Tom Ryan, Jean Feraca and others. In the spirit of the Christine Center, this retreat will bring together presenters across spiritual traditions whose lives characterize a spiritual quest. Our intention is to engage participants with their authentic selves and with a sense of greater Wholeness. See page 4 for more information.

Save the Date:
August 13-15, 2010
2nd Annual Interfaith Summer Retreat
Contemplative Living for the 21st Century
With Tom Ryan, Jean Feraca and others. In the spirit of the Christine Center, this retreat will bring together presenters across spiritual traditions whose lives characterize a spiritual quest. Our intention is to engage participants with their authentic selves and with a sense of greater Wholeness. See page 4 for more information.

Dear Friends and Strangers,


Brick by Brick, Dollar by Dollar
Commemorative bricks will be prominently installed along the new addition. Your name, your company or the name of a loved one — will be a lasting recognition of your commitment to all spiritual seekers.
See our website for detailed information or call for the Commemorative Brick Order Form. Bricks go for $100 (4”x8”), $250 (8”x8”) and $500 (12”x12”).
Before the end of the year, the Capital Campaign committee will sponsor an auction to raise an additional $25,000 for the building of the Chapel Wing — with the new library and meeting rooms — so critical to our ability to meet the needs of our guests. Suggested items include: artwork, jewelry, gift baskets, weekend-getaway packages, housewares, gardening items, sporting tickets or equipment, etc. Consider donating anything appropriate with a $100 or more value. Items may be added to the donation to make one terrific package. Your donation will be graciously displayed and acknowledged.

Breaking NEWS:
A Circle of Leadership
for the Center

As we go to press we are pleased to announce that plans
have finalized to bring Gabriele Uhlein and Marge Zulaski into the Leadership Team.
With the expansion of the Center underway, it is important to create a Core Leadership
Team to sustain the mission and guide it into the future.For that reason we welcome the
addition of two capable leaders onto the Core Team for the Christine Center.
Ss. Marge Zulaski and Gabriele Uhlein are anticipating their move to the Christine
Center in the spring of 2010.Having recently completed eight years of leadership in
their Wheaton Franciscan community, their sabbatical discernment prompted each of
them to choose being a part of the Christine Center.. Marge, a Jungian analyst,
consultant and spiritual director, values the way in which the Christine Center offers a
place of “stillness” to reconnect with nature and to come home to soul. Sr.
Gabriele, a Franciscan theologian, retreat director and artist, the Christine Center is a
return to her early spiritual roots.She was one of the many that frequently came to
help S. Virginia Mary Barta in the early days of the center, and now looks forward to a
renewed and ecologically aware life-style with S. Marge. Gabriele has been on the Board
of the Center since 2006 and has worked closely with the Christine Center’s signature
program: Spiritual Deepening for Global Transformation.

“Rejoice with us as we welcome Marge and Gabriele!

Gabriele Uhlein, OSF has been a member of the Christine Center Board since 2006.

The Center staff offers a big thanks to Cathy Teoste who has shared her many talents with us: from cooking fabulous soups to creating quality graphic design pieces, to her warm and loving presence.
To all of our wonderful volunteers, our heartfelt appreciation!

“We want to live a spirit-led call to being part of a core circle that provides a sanctuary for soul in tune with nature and honoring of Earth. The Christine Center provides such an opportunity. We imagine ourselves participating in its prayer and retreat rhythms and contributing our creative energies to its unfolding future.”

The Christine Center
and Retreats

Practicing Presence: Sep 25-27, 2009 (Fri eve to Sun eve)
Facilitator: Mike Ward
Presence is our focus as we create an environment to assess how much balance (physically, mentally, spiritually) we can create in our everyday lives. Simple tools will be introduced, explored and practiced, helping to bring balance and presence to each moment of the day, one breath at a time. We will use yoga, journaling, and time outside in the fields and woods. No previous experience is necessary. You can expect to give and receive support and to share kindness, great food, and good humor. Accommodations are simple and inexpensive. More information can be found at Mike will not be charging a tuition fee, but a donation to the Center would be deeply appreciated.
Facilitator: Mike Ward is a psychotherapist in private practice and has been a practitioner of meditation and yoga for many years. He can be reached at 617-731-4930 or at For room registration and information, please contact Liz at the Center: 866-333-7507 (toll free) or 715-267-7507.
EarthJournaling: Sep 25-27, 2009
Facilitator: Karen Howland
Be inspired! Breathe deeply and get earth-ecstatic as we write, read and walk. Let senses revel as we go “song-walking,” a way of walking in deep communication with the earth. Based on Pawnee ritual visionary walks into the wild, we will look without labels and taste the day with raw awe. Work by Mary Oliver, Diane Ackerman, and many Native traditions will be highlighted in our quest for wonder through words and wordlessness.
Tuition: $150, plus meals and lodging
Karen is an inspirational speaker and visionary teacher who has inspired thousands to release their creative potential. Karen has a Masters in Creative Writing, and a B.S. in Nursing from Marquette University.
Seeing Beauty: Photography as Sacred Vision:
Sep 25-27, 2009
Facilitator: Wade Britzius
In this workshop we will re-imagine our expectations of what it is to "see." When we are present, open and responsive to the unfolding moment, we touch wonder, awe and beauty. The camera becomes our gateway. We'll do some talking, some body movement, and we'll play with a variety of photographic exercises including the creation of a group slideshow. Bring your digital camera. No particular background with photography is required, just your openness and a willingness to enter into a dialogue with self, other and the beautiful natural surroundings of the Christine Center.
Tuition: $150, plus meals and lodging
Wade Britzius has had numerous photographic exhibits and produced documentary projects in rural Wisconsin and Nicaragua. He has been a mindfulness practitioner since 1978, and for 28 years he has managed a Community Television studio near his home in Galesville, Wisconsin. Wade teaches Nonviolent Communication.


In making their decision Marge and Gabriele attest: We want to live a spirit-led call to being part of a core circle that provides a sanctuary for soul in tune with nature and honoring of Earth. The Christine Center provides such an opportunity. We imagine ourselves participating in its prayer and retreat rhythms and contributing our creative energies to its unfolding future.”

1 comment:

  1. Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?