53 Mill Street, Westfield, MA 01085 • 413.562.3627
Date:October 2nd-9th, 2016.
Category/Categories:Spiritual Enrichment
Spirituality of the Environment
Creative Expression

The 2016 Genesis Autumn Institute, open to women 55 years and over, will offer you the time and space you desire for refreshment, reflection, and renewal through prayer and leisurely learning.  The schedule is listed below. The cost of the seven day Autumn Institute is $555. A deposit of $150 is required with registration.  To register, please print the registration form in the brochure, call us at 513-562-3627, or register online below.  Additional information can be found in the brochure here.


Saying “Yes” to a Moment of Hospitality  Monday, October 3, 2016, 9:30-11:30am, Sr. Elizabeth Oleksak, SP

Being hospitable to the creative potential of each moment is a challenge that is with us every day of our lives. Elizabeth will invite us to discover the hospitality of the moment found in the quiet, in creation, music and poetry. We enter into “radical amazement” as we experience the Divine in all aspects of life, even in the chaos.

Standing at a Threshold  Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 9:30-11:30, Sr. Pat Smith, SSJ

Are you in a transition space in your life now? Take time to explore ways: to make the most of your transitions; to manage your transitions; and to meet God in your transitions. We will explore transitions through poetry and the image of a midwife, birthing into the future. Come and explore.

Meister Eckhart:  Master of Letting Go into God Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 9:30-11:30am, Dr. Robert A. Jonas

Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1327) was a German theologian, poet and mystic. Eckhart wrote scores of sermons in German and Latin, all of them calling for a spiritual rebirth through the practice of holy detachment. Eckhart’s writings influenced spiritual masters such as St. John of the Cross, Martin Luther, St. Ignatius of Loyola and Thomas Merton.  His reflections on Christian “letting go” have resonated across the oceans and time to form a spiritual bridge with Buddhists such as Masao Abe and D.T. Suzuki. Eckhart shared his profound and exciting insight, that St. Paul’s “freedom in Christ” is not just good theology, but an actual experience that is the fruit of meditation and prayer.   How can we attain this freedom?

We will explore connections between Eckhart’s life and insights and current trends in Christian spirituality such as Centering Prayer, non-dual awareness and the Christian-Buddhist dialogue. Dr. Jonas will share his own reflections on these “unitive” practices from a psychological perspective. The morning will consist of silent meditation, presentations and group discussion.

Chair Yoga  Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 1:30- 3:00pm, Kat Peterson

Improve your physical and mental wellness and work at your own level of flexibility. Learn breathing techniques to increase oxygenation, improve body tone, and reduce stress. Session also Includes self-massage and self- acupressure. 

Earth, Our Common Home  Thursday, October 6, 2016, 9:30- 11:30am, Linda Neil, CSJ

Earth, Our Common Home will explore our place in the web of life through the lens of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment. This interactive presentation will weave together reflections on our Earth place with poetry, literature, the art of Marion Honors and the wisdom and passion for creation of Pope Francis.

Art from the Home Place  Thursday, October 6, 2016, 1:30-3:30pm, Marion Honors, CSJ 

With a simple art technique we will experience the wonders of our home place in a new way.

Praying through Music  Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:30-11:30, Sr. Ann Horgan, SP

Praying through the experience of music can be relaxing, inviting and energizing. This morning will offer an opportunity for letting go into the experience of God within and around us through music.

Bios of Leaders:

Marion Honors, CSJ, MFA, is an artist whose work, inspired by the New Story of Creation, has been exhibited nationally. She has a studio in Latham, NY.

Ann Horgan, SP, MA, is a graduate of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She is an experienced retreat and spiritual director and Focusing facilitator.

Robert A. Jonas, Ed.D. (Harvard University), M.T.S. (Weston Jesuit School of Theology) is the author of The Essential Henri Nouwen, (Shambhala), as well as Henri Nouwen (Orbis) and Rebecca (Crossroad). Dr. Jonas is the director of The Empty Bell, a contemplative sanctuary in Northampton, MA, whose website (www.emptybell.org) is an extraordinary resource for contemplative Christians and for Buddhist-Christian dialogue. Trained as a psychotherapist, Dr. Jonas is now a retreat leader, author and musician. A Christian in the Carmelite tradition, he also received spiritual formation with Buddhist teachers.

Linda Neil, CSJ, is presently a teacher of theology at Catholic Central High School in Troy, NY. She has a Master’s Degree in Earth Literacy from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, IN, and a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia.

Elizabeth Oleksak, SP, founder of Genesis, is an experienced retreat and spiritual director, Focusing facilitator, gardener and resource person for Eco-spirituality.

Kathleen Peterson, BA, DDCG, LVCY, has been an educator for over 30 years. She is a certified DDCG Chi-Gong and LVCY Chair Yoga instructor.

Patricia Smith, SSJ, is a woman of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Springfield, MA. She is a trained Spiritual Director and Retreat Guide of Ignatian Retreats including 19th Annotation (Retreat in Everyday Life), the 20th Annotation Spiritual Exercises (30 day retreat), and a Trainer of Spiritual Directors. She has a background in BioSpiritual Focusing. For the past 42 years she has been in various ministries in East Africa.

download: autumn_institute_brochure_2016.pdf
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"The greatest challenge of the day is to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each of us."
- Dorothy Day