Listening & Loving Through the Political Storm

Written on: October 13, 2020

In what has been a contentious and hostile election season, let’s gather in a virtual breathing space to ponder how we can listen to our own inner voice and spirit in the midst of all the noise and chaos. Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA) and Franciscan Spirituality Center (FSC) will co-host three sessions in the upcoming series, “Listening & Loving Through the Political Storm,” and registration is now open. Attendees will receive the Zoom link after they register.

Click session title to register. Register for each session individually.

Loving Your Neighbor Who Votes Differently Than You
Wednesday, October 21
6-8 p.m.
Presenters: Suzanne Rubenbauer, FSPA, and Julia Walsh, FSPA
Investment: $5
Registration deadline: October 20

Listening more deeply enables us to courageously claim our values and act from our center, while we engage in conversation with people who vote differently than us. Join us as we engage in conversation focused on knowing ourselves and loving our neighbor. Suzanne Rubenbauer, FSPA, completed the FSC’s Spiritual Direction Preparation Program in 1988. She has personal practice and education in mindfulness-based stress-reduction techniques, mind-body-spirit consciousness, integrative scripture spirituality and inter-faith/cultural awareness and dialogue. Julia Walsh, FSPA, is part of a new generation of Catholic Sisters. She serves as a jail minister and spiritual director in Chicago. Her writing can be found in National Catholic Reporter, America and elsewhere. She blogs and podcasts at

Untying Knots 
Wednesday, October 28
6-8 p.m.
Presenter: Michael P. McGillicuddy, LCSW
Investment: $5
Registration deadline: October 27

If we are better together, why are we so far apart? Why do we seem to be drowning in outrage and contempt? Pope Francis urges us to seek out new ways of thinking and deepen our capacity for kinship with those whose worldviews diverge sharply from our own. The focus of this session is charting a path from culture-war polarization to solidarity, kinship and culture peacemaking. The evening will include an explanation of polarization’s roots and remedies as well as paired conversations and modified peace circle participation. Mike McGillicuddy is a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corp and a retired psychiatric social worker. He is a former DeLaSalle Christian Brother whose career path also included teaching, government service and financial planning. As a college student in Memphis, he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. He and his wife, Mary worship at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Riverside, Illinois.

Post-Election Listening Session  
Wednesday, November 11
6-8 p.m.
Presenters: Franciscan Spirituality Center staff
Investment: $5
Registration deadline: November 10

The 2020 elections exposed and deepened the divide that exists in our country. Fueled by political advertising, social media posts and media coverage, feelings and tensions escalated as we approached the November elections. With the election over, many people still worry about how to handle interactions with friends and families. Join us for a listening session to express your feelings, strive to understand others’ viewpoints and look for signs of hope, courage and healing – no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on. The FSC staff members facilitating this session are trained in spiritual direction, compassionate listening and conflict resolution.

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