Fr. Tom Franciscan Sisters T.O.R.Saturday: March 30, 2019
“A Conversion of Heart” – Reverend Thomas A. Sparacino, MDiv
“All He desires from us, is for us to love Him in return. That’s how we need to live our life. If we can order our life, in that moment that we may be first experiencing God, first experiencing Christ, first experiencing His mercy, and live towards salvation, then I think we have a shot at holiness.” (14 minutes)

Fr. Tom Sparacino, Homily


Saturday: March 30, 2019
“Personal Reflections on Discerning Vocation” Sr. June Benedicta Bell
This talk offers some reflections on finding your vocation or the particular call that God has placed on your life. Vocations vary from person to person but the purpose is one and the same- to draw us into deeper intimacy with our Creator- the One who made us, the One who loves us, and the One who knows the deepest desires of our hearts. (36 minutes)

Sr. June Benedicta, talk

Saturday: March 30, 2019
“Living a Discerned Personal Vocation” Sr. Anna Rose Ciarrone
Sr. Anna Rose shares a short testimony about coming to discern her personal vocation and how she has learned to live it out in her daily life. (10 minutes)

Sr. Anna Rose, Talk


Saturday: March 30, 2019
“Personal Vocation & Feelings of Helplessness” Sr. Catherine Lynn Forsythe
“In terms of personal vocation, it is difficult for me to say whether my experiences of helplessness in life are a means to, or a manifestation of at least one aspect of my personal vocation. Feeling helpless in the face of life’s circumstances is inevitable, and is an experience we all share. As I reflect on my life experiences with you, I pray that the Lord leads you to do the same, allowing you to both find and live your personal vocation more fully.” (37 minutes)

Sr. Catherine Lynn, Talk


Lenten Retreat 2018


Saturday: March 10, 2018
“Being Contemplatives in the World”  Sr. Mary Markita Kratochvil, T.O.R.
Being a contemplative in the world is all about relationship. While we cannot make ourselves be contemplatives, there are some things we can do that will dispose us to let God accomplish it in our lives.  The one thing we can and must do is to spend time with Him in prayer.  Beyond that, it is not so much what we do, but how we do it.  Being a contemplative in the world can be helped or hindered by our relationship with God, ourselves, others, and technology.  Being a contemplative in the world is possible for all of us!  (25 minutes)

Sr. Mary Markita Kratochvil, T.O.R., Talk


Lenten Retreat 2017



Sr. Sophia Grace Huschka, Franciscan Sisters TOR

Saturday: March 25, 2017
“From the Empty Room to the Upper Room: Intimacy with the Holy Spirit”  Sr. Sophia Grace Huschka, T.O.R.
Sr. Sophia Grace reflects on the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, and invites us to a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. By building silence into our lives and cultivating an awareness of the Holy Spirit; studying and praying with Scripture; being vulnerable to the Lord; and by obeying the inspirations of the Spirit, we can enter into a deeper intimacy with the Holy Spirit. (40 minutes)

Sr. Sophia Grace Huschka, T.O.R., Talk


Sr. Grace Anne Wills, Franciscan Sisters TORSaturday: March 25, 2017
“Witness” – Sr. Grace Anne Wills, T.O.R.
I WILL PROVIDE FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS.”  Does that include blue jeans? Sr. Grace Anne’s witness has the answer. (10 minutes)


Sr. Grace Anne Wills, T.O.R., Witness


Fr Brian Welding Lenten Homily

Saturday: March 25, 2017
“Homily” – Fr. Brian Welding, J.C.D., S.T.L.
Fr. Brian Welding builds upon the readings about the scribe, the Samaritan woman, Ahaz, and the word of God made flesh in Mary which reveal Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice: His whole being for our salvation, to do the will of the Father. In imitation of the littleness and humility of Mary, her complete trust which allows the Spirit to rush upon her, so we are called to sacrifice ourselves as an offering to the Father so that He can fill us up. (20 minutes)

Very Rev. Brian Welding, J.C.D., S.T.L., Homily


Sr. Agnes Therese Davis, Franciscan Sisters TOR

Saturday: March 25, 2017
“From Nazareth to the Upper Room: The Powerless Security of Discipleship” – Sr. Agnes Thérèse Davis, T.O.R.
Sr. Agnes Thérèse shares her thoughts on dependence and our need for security. We see by the example of Mary’s and the disciples’ emptiness how the Holy Spirit can work in us. By allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us into Jesus for the world, we, like Jesus, can find our rest and security in our crosses through the perfect will of the Father. (45 minutes)

Sr. Agnes Thérèse Davis, T.O.R., Talk


Saturday: March 25, 2017
“Witness” – Sr. Sarah Rose Dent, T.O.R.
Sr. Sarah Rose shares how in the midst of her dad’s recovery from triple bypass surgery, her mother still viewed him with eyes of love. Beyond our areas of weakness, poverty, sin and nothingness, God still wants to gaze upon us as His beloved sons and daughters. (10 minutes)

Sr. Sarah Rose Dent, T.O.R., Witness  


Lenten Retreat Franciscan Sisters TOR

Sr. Mary Ann Kessler, Franciscan Sisters, TORSaturday: March 19, 2016
“Empowered by the Father’s Mercy” – Mother Mary Ann Kessler, T.O.R.
Mother Mary Ann reflects on how St. Joseph was empowered by God, the Father’s mercy to live out three particular attributes—humility, obedience, and virginity; and how each of us are also called and empowered by the Father’s mercy to live these virtues in our own lives.

Mother Mary Ann Kessler, T.O.R., Empowered by the Father's Mercy


Fr. Tom Franciscan Sisters T.O.R.Saturday: March 19, 2016
“Spiritual Fatherhood” – Reverend Thomas A. Sparacino, MDiv 
Father Tom shares his experience of several kinds of fatherhood during a recent youth event in Pittsburgh: how we all “have the best job” and a responsibility to do that job well by living God’s merciful love.

Reverend Thomas A. Sparacino, MDiv, Spiritual Fatherhood


Sister Miriam Franciscan Sisters TORSaturday: March 19, 2016
“The Transformative Power of Receiving the Mercy of God” Sister Miriam O’Callaghan, T.O.R. 
Sr. Miriam talks about the real life struggles that the Saints had, especially in the areas of food, anger and gossip and how they, like us, needed to receive the mercy of God. She also shares some personal stories about her own areas of struggle and about the last days of her Dad’s illness last year. She encourages us to let the mercy of God flow into even the very darkest, grimiest areas of struggle that we have and not to be afraid to be transformed by Mercy as a result.

Sister Miriam O'Callaghan, T.O.R., The Transformative Power of Receiving the Mercy of God


Lenten Retreat 2015
CLICK HERE to read more about this event on our BLOG

Sr. Sophia Grace Huschka, Franciscan Sisters TORSaturday: March 21, 2015
“Joyful Surrender” – Sister Sophia Grace Huschka, T.O.R.
Surrendering to God can be difficult, but can it be joyful?  Through encountering Christ, and through Him the Father, we come to know that God wants the best for us. As we grow in relationship with Him, we grow in trust as well.  Then we more readily hand over our “dime store pearls” and take a “leap of faith”.

Sister Sophia Grace Huschka, T.O.R., Joyful Surrender

Sr. Mary Gemma webSaturday: March 21, 2015
“Testimony” – Sister Mary Gemma Harris, T.O.R.
Sr. Mary Gemma shares about a personal test of faith in her own life that led her to greater surrender to the Lord. She learned that the cross is not something to fear, but a gift.


Sr. Carrie Anne McKeown, Franciscan Sisters TORSaturday: March 21, 2015
“Suffering as a Means of Intimacy with Christ”
– Sister Carrie Ann McKeown, T.O.R.
We all have our crosses to bear and all of us desire to grow in our relationship with Christ but we don’t always think of how suffering can draw us into intimacy with Christ. How can we practically embrace our sufferings in a way that will draw us into a closer union with Christ Crucified for the redemption of the world?

Sister Carrie Ann McKeown, T.O.R., Suffering as a means of intimacy with Christ

Sr. Grace Anne Wills, Franciscan Sisters TORSaturday: March 21, 2015
“Testimony” – Sister Grace Anne Wills, T.O.R.
Sr. Grace Anne gives her testimony of a life spent in three vocations: marriage, widowhood and religious life. She shares the joy of surrendering to the Lord’s will in all circumstances and of knowing that the Resurrection always follows the cross. 

Sister Grace Anne Wills, T.O.R., Testimony (There is a short silent delay at the beginning of this track)

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Super Lent
Sunday: March 9, 2014
“The Holy Spirit: Our Coach for Lent”
An inspiring talk by Danny Abramowicz, a former NFL player, and our very own Sr. Rita Clare.  Sharing Scripture and personal stories, Danny challenged us to be open to the Holy Spirit.   With great passion he shared his own story of how the Holy Spirit has changed his own life. He encouraged us to let the Holy Spirit be our coach during Lent and to go deeper in our relationship with Christ. Sr. Rita Clare shared her vocation testimony and how following the Lord is a journey far more exalted than being on a professional winning team. We are on the winning team and it is a much more spectacular victory than any football game!

Danny Abramowitcz, Super Lent Sunday Sr. Rita Clare Yoches, TOR Vocation Testimony, Super Lent Sunday


Father Joe FreedyAnnual Day of Recollection: October 20, 2012
Freedom in Christ
Fr. Joe Freedy, Vocations Director Diocese of Pittsburgh
What prevents us from being fully alive in Christ? Sin―and its root, fear. In a society gripped by fear and worry, we forget who we truly are and the goodness of our existence. We must surrender our lives into the Father’s hands to discover again the freedom of the children of God.

This talk was life changing for many who attended. May it also transform your own life and allow you to claim as your own your identity as a beloved child of God.

Father Joe Freedy, Freedom in Christ

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