Bishop Stowe at a podium

Bishop Stowe of Lexington leads the retreat.

Thirty-three friars from six provinces gathered for retreat at San Pedro Center in Winter Park, Fla., Jan. 9-13, led by Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., of Lexington.

Bishop Stowe’s talks focused on Franciscan themes, and he drew heavily from Pope Francis, clearly one of his heroes. He began with our family of origin, then progressed to our Franciscan family and the larger worldwide family. Drawing on


A statue on the grounds of the retreat center

sacred Scripture, the Franciscan sources and Pope Francis, Bishop Stowe skillfully developed each theme. He referred extensively to living with and caring for the poor and conducted a thoroughly Franciscan retreat.

Meeting old and new friends was one of the highlights of the retreat for me. The whole experience was enhanced with wonderful new music based on Laudato Si’, Fratelli Tutti and other contemporary composers. A week of blue skies made the experience even more delightful for us Northerners.

—Fr. Frank Jasper, OFM

friars at round tables

Friars engage in discussion during the gathering.