Francis House of Prayer
Rancocas, New Jersey
Rancocas, New Jersey
Francis House of Prayer serves the people of the Diocese of Trenton and beyond by providing a contemplative environment for ongoing spiritual growth through prayer, spiritual direction, retreats, and programs that foster a deepening relationship with God, self, others, and the world.
Francis House of Prayer is a spiritual center in our neighborhood
and diocese that provides a contemplative environment
and meeting place with God.
All are welcome!
We all seek God. More importantly and amazingly, God seeks us. God made us so that only God can satisfy our deepest desires for goodness, beauty, truth, and oneness. God completes our incompleteness and heals our wounds. God is the meaning in our meaninglessness, our clarity in confusion and our hope in hopelessness. God is All and everything we need. God is the desire of our hearts and only God can fulfill our desires. “Our hearts are restless,” Saint Augustine says, “until they rest in God.”
In former times, people went to caves and mountain tops, into tents, and across deserts to find God and converse with God. In present times we do not have the luxury of time for such pilgrimages. The retreat house is a spacious and graceful 200-year-old farmhouse surrounded by tall trees and 100 acres of farmland, which enhances the experience of being away in the country, even though it is located right off exit 45B of Route 295.
Approximately 4,000 persons a year are served by Francis House. It is and has been a sacred meeting place with God for the past 45 years. It is a hidden treasure in a field, literally, a soybean field.
Spiritual direction, a one-on-one conversation with a spiritual director about God in your life, is always available. We offer the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius on a monthly and weekly basis, many opportunities to learn and practice contemplative prayer, reading programs on Saint John of the Cross and other Carmelite saints, and contemporary writers such as James Martin, Thomas Keating, Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, and special one-time programs. Six overnight retreatants or up to 25 guests for daytime programs or retreats can be accommodated.
- The Portiuncula, our outdoor chapel was blessed at the 35th Anniversary Celebration on September 13, 2009.
- An indoor chapel is used daily by retreatants, program participants, staff and volunteers. A labyrinth is available on the lawn for a prayerful walk.
- Francis House of Prayer is surrounded by stately trees and 100 acres of working soybean farm.
- The front living room is a cozy, welcoming space. Francis House of Prayer’s comfortably restored farmhouse is over 200 years old.
- The rustic barns are still in use on the farm at Francis House of Prayer.
- The outdoor Stations of the Cross were carved by Joe Palecki and installed in 1999.
- Our beautiful gazebo is another outdoor spot for contemplation.
- A lovely fountain enhances the peacefulness of the grounds at Francis House of Prayer.
At the Francis House of Prayer there are three types of retreats:
- Parish retreats
- Seven-day retreats
- Weekend retreats
Silent Directed Retreats
Receive the healing and transforming grace of seven days with God, savoring the silence and prayer that opens your whole being to God’s word and presence. Daily liturgy and spiritual direction and optional contemplative prayer periods are included.
Seven-Day Centering Prayer Retreat
A centering prayer retreat invites you to go more deeply into the silence and stillness, which facilitates growth in contemplative prayer and real attentiveness to God’s word. The schedule provides many optional communal centering prayer periods, which are usually preceded by 20 minutes of lectio divina.