St. Francis of Assisi Church


 I am in Springfield, IL, at the Motherhouse of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis where I am helping direct some seminarians from Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis on their annual retreat.



While the weather has been desperately cold, I've stayed indoors where it is cozy and warm.  The Sisters run a retreat and conference center called Chiara Center.  The hospitality has been great.





One of the beauties of this retreat center is the church which clearly shows we are still in the Christmas Season.

This Nativity set is up yearlong and includes St. Francis who is credited with organizing the first living creche.








The church also includes a shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux which depicts various scenes from her life.

The Sisters ran a Tuberculosis Sanitarium here from 1919 to 1973.

St. Therese died of TB and so it was natural to create this shrine in the church and to ask her help for the patients as well as for the missionaries who left this Motherhouse and journeyed throughout the world.