Workshops and Retreats:

Sisters of St. Joseph’s Theological Institute

Becoming a Church Alive ~ On Synod and Synodality

The Theological Institute is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas. It is an adult learning experience aimed at deepening our roots in the Christian tradition and exploring its implications for living the Gospel in the contemporary world.

Description: The purpose of this Theological Institute is to examine how synods and synodality are essential to the life of the Church, to the work of the Holy Spirit, and to spreading the Good News that Christ commissioned.

Based on Pope John XXIII’s remarks at the opening of Vatican Council II regarding the signs of the times, Pope Francis has deepened and operationalized the reading of the signs of the times in his assessments of the Church in the world today. He asks us in light of the Council’s call to the People of God, what are the reasons why there has been little change in the Church order until now? Where is the vitality and effectiveness of the People of God today? He reminds us—according to the texts of the Second Vatican Council—the People of God are not simply to be understood as a passive “receiving” subject, but as an active, responsible subject of evangelization. Their involvement as active subjects in the fundamental decision-making processes of the Church requires a practical, dynamic process that the Council envisioned 60 years ago as the synod. Synods facilitate and activate a dynamic of communion—involving the whole people of God—a communion that should be reflected in all of the Church’s decisions.

Sister Catherine Michaud, PhD

Catherine Michaud, CSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia, KS, is a systematic theologian whose doctoral specialties are ecclesiology and the theology of the Holy Spirit. She received the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) from Regis College (Toronto) in 1993 followed by her PhD in Systematic Theology from the Toronto School of Theology of the University of Toronto. Her dissertation is entitled Pneumatology in Vatican Council II: Forward Steps and Open Questions.

She has been a professor of theology and Christian spirituality for over 35 years; for seven of those years she was the director of the M.A. Program in Theology at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Having trained with the Jesuits in spiritual direction and retreat work, she served briefly in the 70s as director of her religious congregation’s retreat center in Kansas.
She is now engaged in research, writing, spiritual direction, retreat work, and giving public lectures in her areas of specialty, Vatican Council II and the Holy Spirit.

Topics of Discussion
Friday, July 19
Opening Session
Synods – A Call to Life: Pope Francis Calls the Church to Life through the Synods of Vatican Council II.
Saturday, July 20
Morning Session
A Season of Mistrust: What Are the Ways the Trust and Participation of God’s People Have Been Injured?
Afternoon Session
Becoming a Risen People: Practicing Synodality Part I—In your experience of Church what has most damaged the willingness of God’s People to believe, trust, and participate?
Part II—What is your communal proposal for reforming and beginning the healing of Church
Sunday, July 21
Concluding Session
Life in the Spirit of God: Synodality Is the Mode for Listening to the Holy Spirit and Actuating the Whole Church to Life in the Spirit.

Register Here for Zoom or In-Person Attendance

Manna House of Prayer
323 East 5th Street
P.O. Box 675
Concordia, KS 66901
Phone: 785-243-4428 • Email:

• Pre-registration required by July 10, 2024.
• $50 non-refundable pre-registration fee required, applicable to total cost.
• Limited number of partial scholarships available for participants on first-come-first- serve basis. Inquire: Theological Institute,
Manna House of Prayer, (785) 243-4428.
• Overnight accommodations are available at Manna House. Local motels are also an option.

Location: Nazareth Motherhouse,
13th and Washington, Concordia, Kansas.
Begins: Friday, July 19th at 5:00 p.m. with the evening meal.
Concludes: Sunday, July 21st with lunch.

Printable Brochure Here

Growing in Radiance with Teilhard de Chardin 

September 8-13

Retreat Director: Kathleen Duffy, SSJ

One of the most important capacities for those of us who wish to live a truly mystical life is the ability to see. Openness to the other and to the many sensations in our immediate surroundings deepens our ability to access the radiance of Matter’s inner face as well as our capacity to respond to the Divine Presence we encounter within. As we engage passages from Teilhard’s mystical writings, we come to know the Cosmic Christ as the source of all Radiance drawing the human family toward the light and stirring up passionate desire to join in the work of creation. 
Begins with 4:00 p.m. conference Sunday, September 8 and concludes with celebratory ritual at noon on Friday, September 13. Retreat is available in person and through Zoom. Cost: $525 in person, $300 by Zoom. Register Here.

Kathleen Duffy, SSJ is Professor Emerita of Physics and Director of the Institute for Religion and Science at Chestnut Hill College. She is President of the American Teilhard Association, Associate Editor of Teilhard Studies, a biannual publication of the American Teilhard Association, and serves on the Board of Cosmos and Creation. Her current research interest concerns the religious essays of Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the relationship of his synthesis to modern developments in science. She has published Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution (Orbis 2014), Teilhard’s Struggle: Embracing the Work of Evolution (Orbis 2019), an edited volume of essays about Teilhard’s life and work entitled Rediscovering Teilhard’s Fire (St. Joseph’s University 2010), as well as numerous book chapters and articles about Teilhard. Kathleen also guides evening, weekend, and weeklong retreats on topics related to Teilhard’s life and work.


Discerning Our CSSJ Future

We will listen with courage to the urgings of the Spirit and dare to say yes!

THE CALL TO SAY YES has been developed as a communal discernment process for Sisters of St. Joseph in the US and Canada especially for those contemplating their future in many ways on many levels. 

THE CALL TO SAY YES charism-based discernment process can be adapted by participants to meet their needs.  The material, except for the paper, Reflection on the Mysterious Dynamic of the Two Trinities as Described in the Goal and Purpose in the Earliest Rule of Communities of St. Joseph, (Oct. 2023) by Marcia Allen, CSJ (Concordia) and the direct quotations from our source documents from dispositions for discernment developed by Pat Byne, CSJ (Baden) are totally flexible and adaptable.

THE CALL TO SAY YES will benefit Chapter Planning Committees, Futures Teams, Leadership Teams, related subgroups, and individuals such as chapter facilitators.

Parts 1 & 2 three-hour information and experience sessions are offered via Zoom on:
October 23 and October 30, 2024
9:00 am-12:00 pm Pacific Time 11:00 am-2:00 pm Central Time
10:00 am-1:00 pm Mountain Time 12:00-3:00 pm Eastern Time

These sessions will be hosted by Manna House of Prayer. Marcia Allen, CSJ (Concordia) and facilitator Beth LeValley, SSJ (Rochester) will be available during the sessions for consultation.

This Communal Discernment process was developed by a group of CSSJs who are available to answer questions you may have.  They are listed below:

Beth LeValley Rochester 585-721-4918 Originator of concepts, processes

Ann Ashwood Concordia 970-640-7773

Rosemary Brennan Boston 617-783-8749 

Suzanne Franck Brentwood 631-682-1367

Rosa Maria Lopez St. Augustine 786-457-3202

Pat McDermott Rochester 585-301-0165

Register Now!

Call or email Susan LeDuc or Marcia Allen: 785-243-4428 or 785-275-1506 

To register online:

Cost of Program (includes both sessions): $25.00 per person. Group rate: $100 per CSSJ Community. Introductory materials will be sent upon registration; the preparation materials will be sent mid-September.  More details available at the above contact sources.

We hope for 3-5 congregations to participate to test what has been developed and hopefully they will find helpful the materials and processes and/or adaptations that will be made as participants engage in the sessions.  As a result, the October sessions might provide ever stronger, charism relevant materials to share with other interested congregations.

The inspiration and process emerged from earlier programs: Roots Alive! and Spiritual Practices rooted in the origins of Communities of St. Joseph offered in 2021-22 and 2023.
These resources from the earlier programs are still available: ROOTS ALIVE! IN THE 21ST CENTURY recordings, resources, etc.
The Family of Joseph Prays: Spiritual Practices found in the Documents by J.P. Médaille, S.J. can be accessed by contacting

Advent Series via Zoom

Week 1: Reflecting on our Nativity Scene

December 4, 2024

Presenter: Janet Lander, CSJ

Every year many homes and most churches display a Nativity scene. What can the animals in it teach us about living our faith? “…just ask the animals, and have them teach you; And the birds of the sky, and have them tell you.” (Job 12:7) Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $15/session.

Advent Series via Zoom

Week 2: On This Mountain

December 11, 2024

Presenter: Gilla Dubé, CSJ

Advent is filled with rich imagery. Whether it is the image of a feast of the richest of foods and the choicest of wines or the wolf living with the lamb or the leopard with the kid or the little child leading them, Advent offers us images where all will be well, where no harm will come on the holy mountain of God. Let’s explore our favorite Advent image and see how that image enriches our lives. Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $15/session.

Advent Series via Zoom

Week 3: Jesus’ Birthday as Seen Through the Eyes of the Shepherds

December 18, 2024

Presenter: Jean Ann Walton, CSJ

“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.” Is this true? Why us? Why were the lowly shepherds the first to be told about the birth of Jesus? How does that good news affect us today?  We too, need to hear good tidings of great joy. Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $15/session.

Advent Series via Zoom


Whether you’re experienced or just learning to quilt, a weekend quilting retreat at Manna House is the ideal place to focus. You can spend quality time quilting in a relaxed and enjoyable place. Learn new techniques while creating a new project or working on a UFO (Unfinished Object). CLICK HERE to see what’s on the schedule and then register today!


Bobbin lacemaking takes us back to the earliest history of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 17th century France. And yet as a modern contemplative practice, it creates in us heart-space where our communion with God  may be woven into our lives, as surely as the design of threads and spaces unfolds at our fingertips. CLICK HERE for details on our next offering!

 ‘Have retreat, will travel’

Sister Janet Lander can bring many of our retreats to you — at retirement or retreat centers, motherhouses or other facilities of religious congregations. These weeklong guided retreats generally include morning and evening prayer, creative or contemplative activities and a daily reflection guide. Each of these programs can also be offered as an “Elder Retreat,” a three-day format specifically designed for assisted care and similar facilities. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Sabbaticals & personal retreats

If you’re a Catholic woman religious, we offer some retreats and workshops specifically for you. CLICK HERE to go directly to that section of our website. OR, if you want information on personal directed retreats or just a sabbatical that provides a respite in an otherwise hectic life, CLICK HERE to learn more about what we can offer.