St. Francis Retreat House, Easton, Pennsylvania
Our Franciscan Mosaic: Storytelling, Reflection, Community
COVID-19 Update - There have been some inquires from our alums about the status of the 2020 Reunion. Right now we have not made any decision either way; the 2020 Reunion Team is keeping an eye on how things are going and will make a determination soon. We will send out an email, and update this page when a decision is made.
The Franciscan Alumni Association is delighted to invite you to come to the St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, PA this June for a few days of Fraternity, Reflection, and Fun. The 23-acre campus has a familiar look and feel, nestled in a secluded nature setting, much like many of our Franciscan formation centers of old.
The all-inclusive feature of this reunion weekend is reminiscent of our time in formation, where all our needs were met. The biggest difference with the Retreat House is that you won’t need to sneak in the beer and wine. It will be provided!
We know that this will be a trip for many alumni and guests, but we are grateful to have been offered very reasonable rates for lodging and meals at the Retreat House. We hope this will enable you to make travel plans to be with one another for a fun weekend and deepen fraternal bonds. We also hope that we might have time to reflect on the future of our association, especially as we foresee now the joining of six of the USA Order of Friars Minor provinces in 2023.
St. Francis Retreat House is about 20 minutes from the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton (ABE) airport and less than a 90-minute drive from the Newark (EWR) and Philadelphia (PHL) airports. There is a bus from the Newark airport that comes close to the Retreat House. The drive from Cincinnati is about 8 hours. We hope some might want to drive together, if possible, and we can share names of those who offer to do this.
Henry Beck, OFM, Warren Hebert, Frank Lopez and Mike Kruzich are serving as the planning team for the 2020 Reunion. You can contact them individually at the email address listed below, or you can send an email to the planning team email@example.com.
So far we have heard from the following folks who plan on attending. If you will be joining us, please send us an email with you name,your class year, and the names of those who will be attending with you.
Loren Connell, OFM '61
Paul & Barbara LaRou ‘62
Henry Beck, OFM ‘70
Tim Carmody '70
Dave & Nan Imhoff ‘70
Rick & Mary Kasper ‘70
Bill Linesch '70
JD & Gale Moya ‘70
Dale and Susan Recinella '70
David Seibert '70
Rick and Kathy Wissel '70
Gary & Sally Bales ‘72
Dave and Dee Gehring '72
Ted & Pearl Gomez ‘72
Rosie & Ian Koons (Ted Gomez’ daughter)
Mike Kruzich ‘72
Ed and Debbie Schellenback '72
Butch & Mary Beth Feldhaus ‘75
Rick Gardner ‘75
Mike Niklas ‘75
Dave Burkitt ‘77
Frank & Kathie Lopez ‘77
Tom Schumate '77
Steve Townley '77
Bro. Donald Lachowicz OFM '80
The following folks have indicated they are a "maybe":
Mark Clark '72
Robert Cummins '78
Joseph Lori '79
Mike Niehaus '81
Andy Finkenstadt '83
There are three convenient ways to register for the 2020 FAA Reunion:
- You can use this form to register by mail, or
- You can call Kathy or Carol at the St. Francis Retreat House at 610-258-3053, ext 10 to register by phone using a credit card, or
- You can register online. (Note that there will be a $1.55 service charge per person added to your online registration. Online registration tip: Do not click on the Get Tickets link that is in the upper right corner of the online registration page; it can cause a delay in loading the rest of the page. Instead, scroll down and enter your information on the right side of the page.)
Note: For those who are staying at the St. Francis Retreat House, a deposit of $35.00 per person is required to register.
You will notice there are sessions are reflective in nature. Fr. Henry has put together several Reflective Questions for us to consider during these gatherings. You are welcome to review and consider them at your convenience.
Arrive and check into your room, explore the campus.
6:00 pm Dinner, followed by a walk outside or chat with other alumni in one of the lounges.
8:00 pm Evening social together.
End with singing the Ultima
8:00 am Optional Mass with the local community.
8:30 am Breakfast.
10:00 am Small group tours of C. F. Martin Guitar Company in nearby Nazareth, PA ($3 fee).
Noon Lunch at the retreat house (free/included) – or – lunch in nearby Bethlehem, PA (individuals pay if going to a restaurant) and walking tour of the quaint, lovely downtown area; maybe stroll over to the “Steel Stacks” of Bethlehem Steel.
Have a restful afternoon or gather at 4 pm to begin a comfortably paced “meditative walk in creation” on the beautiful grounds of the retreat house or a nearby park with trail guide Frank Lopez ‘77.
6:00 pm Dinner and introductions.
7:00 pm to 8:00-ish Reflective session together: “Our Franciscan Mosaic". A time of sharing stories about formation years and how we have been living the Franciscan Charism ever since.
8:30 pm Big-screen movie night with snacks and beverages.
8:30 am Breakfast.
9:30 am Reflective session: “Our Present Realities and Hopes”. What are our experiences and challenges in living the Franciscan Charism in the present and the future?
10:15 am Break for coffee and goodies .
10:30 am Reflective session: “Our Futures Joined Together”. How might we be more united as brothers and as a Franciscan family network in the future? Some time for visioning about where the FAA might adapt with the impending unification of six USA Provinces, including St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of Guadalupe.
There will be alternate activities for those who choose to not attend all of the retreat sessions: board games, card games, more exploring of sites on campus or nearby in Easton or Bethlehem with family and classmates.
1:30 pm “A Journey into Our Roots” with Loren Connell, OFM.
Free time for relaxing or an activity as described above in the schedule.
5:00 pm Franciscan Alumni Mass in the main chapel (alumni musicians are welcome to assist).
6:00 pm Dinner, Award Presentations & Remembrance Service.
Evening Social with snacks and beverages -- and sing-along, including a few Glee Club songs, songs from other formation programs, Fr. Ric’s retreat songs, etc.
8:30 am Breakfast.
10:00 am Optional Mass with the local Sunday community.
Noon Lunch (Departure per your itinerary)
There are two options for lodging during the reunion. The first is the St. Francis Retreat House, and the second is a local hotel. Arrangements have been made for a special group rate a the Hampton Inn and Suites in Bethlehem PA. There are other hotels and motels in the area should you wish to stay somewhere else, but arrangements have not been made with them.
If you will be staying offsite and wish to have your meals at the Retreat House, there are meal plans for commuters. The cost is $114 for Thursday to Sunday, or $76 for Friday to Sunday. These prices are per person. Please note that the lodging and food rates at St. Francis Retreat House are very special (cheap) so we won’t be able to prorate a signed-out meal, a late arrival, or an early departure. Thanks for understanding!
St. Francis Retreat House
You can use this form to mail in your registration and deposit money, or call Kathy or Carol at the St. Francis Retreat House at 610-258-3053, ext 10, or register online. (Note there is a service charge for registering online.)
Thursday to Sunday Lodging
3 nights, 9 meals, evening socials, coffee and juices during the day: $189 / person. All lodging and meals included: Thursday supper, Friday breakfast/lunch/supper, Saturday breakfast/lunch/supper, and Sunday breakfast and lunch.
Friday to Sunday Lodging
2 nights, 6 meals, evening socials, coffee and juices during the day: $161 / person. All lodging and meals included: Friday supper, Saturday breakfast/lunch/supper, and Sunday breakfast and lunch.
The listed prices for St. Francis Retreat House are totals; no tax will be added.
Please note that the lodging and food rates at St. Francis Retreat House are very special (cheap) so we won’t be able to prorate a signed-out meal, a late arrival, or an early departure. Thanks for understanding!
Hampton Inn and Suites, 200 Gateway Drive, Bethlehem PA 18017 / 610-868-2442
Guaranteed rates for “Franciscan Alumni Reunion” are $99 plus tax for Thursday evening and $139 plus tax for Friday and Saturday evening. A continental breakfast is included. They will hold 10 rooms for us until June 4th. Click the link above to reserve your room.
If you will be staying offsite and wish to have your meals at the Retreat House, there are meal plans for commuters. The cost is $114 for Thursday to Sunday, or $76 for Friday to Sunday. Please note that the lodging and food rates at St. Francis Retreat House are very special (cheap) so we won’t be able to prorate a signed-out meal, a late arrival, or an early departure. Thanks for understanding!
Martin Guitar Museum and Gift Shop, Nazareth, PA. There are small group “public tours” of the C.F. Martin Guitar Company on Thursday and Friday between 11 am and 2:30 pm. No charge. The museum is open 8 am to 5 pm (Monday through Friday), and the gift shop is open from 9 am to 5 pm (Monday through Friday).
Illick’s Mill Park, Bethlehem, PA
Beautiful park with a restored grist mill. The “Appalachian Mountain Club” has staff on site.
Bethlehem Steel Stacks: Walking the Trestle … A walk along the trestle of the famous “steel stacks” with historical markers with information about the work and workers at the steel stacks.
Town of Bethlehem, PA … Bethlehem has gift shops, restaurants, pubs, art displays, and history. A walk along Main Street is full of delights. Google: Bethlehem Visitor Center
Canal Boat Rides and Museum, Easton, PA: Canal boat rides on the Lehigh Canal in Hugh Moore Park. These rides are 45 minutes long and leave the dock at Noon, 1, 2, and 3 pm. Adults: $12 / Seniors: $11 / Children (3-15): $9 / Children (under 3): Free.
There is also plenty of other interesting parks, attractions and things to do in Leigh Valley, PA. Follow this link to Discover Leigh Valley.