About Us

Our Franciscan ministry is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia who are often remembered in the Portland area as the “Palatine Hill Franciscans.” When the congregation closed the Franciscan Renewal Center on Palatine Hill in 2000, several of the sisters remained committed to finding another home in the area to minister to the spiritual needs of the people in the greater Portland area. 2013 brought the ministry to the current location which is a historic residence that was home for two orders of religious women for over 100 years.

 

MISSION STATEMENT:  Franciscan Spiritual Ministries is a ministry sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.  We are rooted in Gospel values and in the prophetic spirit of Francis and Clare, we seek to provide environments, experiences, and resources which enable persons to meet God in both stillness and activity.  With hospitality, simplicity, and joy, we welcome all as brother and sister.

VISION STATEMENT:  In the Franciscan tradition, we will share/create a place of simple beauty and hospitality that will support and deepen the contemplative spirit.

NATIVE LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We acknowledge that the Franciscan Spiritual Center in the City of Milwaukie is located on the ancestral homeland of the Clackamas people who lived for countless generations in permanent winter villages and seasonal settlements along the east bank of the Willamette River.

Let us honor and thank their elders past and present for their stewardship of this land.  Let us be grateful to be on this land, and in our Franciscan tradition let us continue to praise our Creator and work to care for and cherish all of creation.

An ecumenical space to renew one's spirit, see with new eyes, learn, connect, find peace, quiet, and rest.

Our Staff

Larry Peacock
Larry Peacock

Larry is the Director of the Center. He is a United Methodist minister, a trained spiritual director, author, retreat leader and former Executive Director of Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in Massachusetts.

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Sr. Mary Jo Chaves
Sr. Mary Jo Chaves

Mary Jo is a spiritual director and retreat leader who offers retreats and workshops to parishes, co-leads a Franciscan Pilgrimage to Italy every other year and coordinates the Franciscan Hermitage Experience. She is the director for the two year Franciscan Spiritual Director Training Program.

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Michelle Kroll
Michelle Kroll

Michelle is a welcoming presence to all who come to the Center and is the one who responds to phone calls and designs all publications. She also co-leads the Franciscan Hermitage Experience and co-facilitates the Franciscan Companions Group

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Sr. Celeste Clavel
Sr. Celeste Clavel

Celeste is the business manager for the Center. With a strong background in accounting and logistics, Celeste brings a calm sense of order to the spiritual center. She takes pride in our mission of providing a place of comfort and guidance to the community.

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Eileen Parfrey
Eileen Parfrey

Eileen is a spiritual director and retreat leader. As a retired Presbyterian clergywoman and through spiritual direction training at Namaste in Portland, she has an appreciation for the varieties of ways in which people define and express their search for God. ​

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Tom Welch
Tom Welch

Tom is a spiritual director who comes from a background in healthcare with particular experience working with people with mental illness and addictions. He has given workshops on the intersection of mental health and spirituality and sees his role as being fully present with others as they discover their deepest selves.

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Mark Lesniewski
Mark Lesniewski

After some life changing mystical experiences in the early 1980's Mark Lesniewski entered a Catholic seminary. This was followed by Franciscan formation, chaplain and spiritual direction studies, marriage and family, learning meditation and other mindfulness practices, time in Native American, Quaker, and Episcopalian communities, and 30 years of service to people experiencing poverty, mental and physical illnesses, and incarceration. In 2013 Mark received a Master's Degree in Contemplative/Budd

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Sr. Theresa Lamkin
Sr. Theresa Lamkin

Sr. Theresa Lamkin, OSF is an experienced facilitator who is rooted in Franciscan Theology. She has been a Franciscan Sister for over 20 years. The past 17 years, she has walked alongside those struggling with poverty, mental health issues, homelessness and those who have been marginalized. She believes that we are all called to be a compassionate and healing presence with all those we meet.

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Michelle Kroll
Larry Peacock
Sr. Celeste Clavel
Sr. Mary Jo Chaves
Eileen Parfrey
Mark Lesniewski
Tom Welch
Sr. Theresa Lamkin