The Gift of Neighboring: Our Salesian Spirituality Center

By S. Mary Margaret McKenzie in collaboration with Brian Mogren

st Jane House

You are invited to the FIFTH Anniversary Celebration of the St. Jane House Sunday, June 9, 2013 1403 Emerson Ave North Open House: 1-4 pm Program with special guests: 2 pm RSVP by June 1 to vmonastery@aol.com or to 612-521-9282 (St. Jane House phone number)

Five years ago in our long range planning we envisioned a third house. This was inspired by our need to respond to many persons who were drawn to enter into our neighborhood ministry more than into our monastic lifestyle. This would be their house more than ours and could accommodate both men and women for overnight retreats or hospitality. It would be called the St. Jane House.

Where would it be, and how could we maintain and direct it? Clearly this would have to be God’s “make-over.”
When Brian Mogren heard what we were mulling and that we were looking to rent rather than buy, he offered his newly built, beautiful home on Emerson—his commitment to the neighborhood. He had given up his job as graphic designer for Target to give his time and talent full time to the Northside. Plus, his instincts had already directed him to and steeped him in Salesian spirituality.

Under Brian’s direction and gift of making dynamic connections we find ourselves sponsoring and at times participating in outreach ministry that embraces:

•    The practice of centering prayer
•    Support in living discerning lives
•    Bringing together for dialogue those who need a neutral space
•    Healing for those suffering because of violence and killing
•    Openness to forgiveness and reconciliation
•    Offering retreats to a variety of groups and individuals
•    The home-base for Vis Companions
•    Discussion groups around inspiring books and films
•    Encouraging and developing lay leadership
•    A safe place for teens to be developed as leaders
•    Urban immersion for college and high school groups
•    A safe place for people to connect across differences to discover our common humanity

All of this is fertile ground for the growth of Salesian spirtuality and holy ground for contemplative presence and hospitality.

As we ready ourselves to celebrate the 5th anniversary of St. Jane House, we are anticipating a new portrait of St. Jane by our dear brother and friend Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS. We also see more clearly what God has created out of our visioning—a very specifically focused Salesian Spirituality Center. The primary sources and resources offered are persons relating and inter-relating—our gift to neighboring that has even gone global with the heartfelt use of social media to Live Jesus.

Snapshots from the Sisters: Title This!

On Friday, October 19, 2012, we welcomed eleven University of Wisconsin-Stout students for an overnight retreat at St. Jane House focusing on the quote from St. Francis de Sales: “Be who you are and be that well.” The following is an image of the group praying with Sr. Katherine Mullin before dinner. Care to provide a creative caption?

Prayer Circle at St. Jane House -- Care to provide a more creative caption? Enter one below in the comments section!

Prayer Circle at St. Jane House -- Care to provide a more creative caption? Enter one below in the comments section.

Photo by Brian Mogren, Director of the St. Jane House and Visitation Companion

Welcome UW-Stout Students! Retreat Time for Young Adults

Table at St. Jane House

— at St. Jane House.

The table is set to welcome eleven University of Wisconsin-Stout students for an overnight retreat inspired by the St. Frances de Sales quote “Be who you are and be that well.” Sister Katherine Mullin and Visitation Companion Brian Mogren will facilitate this retreat that will ask the question, “Who are we, really? And how are we uniquely called forth to make a difference in the world?” We will explore the concepts of True Self/False Self and accessing our True Selves through contemplative prayer/meditation. Looking forward to our time with these young people!

“Who are we, really? And how are we uniquely called forth to make a difference in the world?”


Interested in bringing a group to the St. Jane House for a retreat of this nature? We’d love to have you! Contact us and let’s talk…


-S. Katherine Mullin (Vocations Director):  katherinefmullin@gmail.com