Mark your calendar for Thursday May 11th, 2023 to join us at the Franciscan International Award Dinner.
Tickets can be purchased now by calling 952-447-2182.

2023 Recipient to be decided

2022’s Recipient:

Bolder Options was the 2022 recipient of the Franciscan International Award. Bolder Options was established in 1993 as a response to a community needs assessment that determined there was an urgent need for mentoring programs in the Twin Cities. The St. Paul location was officially launched in January of 2007. A Rochester location was established in 2010. Darrell Thompson, president of Bolder Options, and a former Minnesota Gophers star, and a former professional football player accepted the award on behalf of Bolder options at the Franciscan International Award Dinner on May 5, 2022 at the Wilds Golf Club in Prior Lake.

Bolder Options’ mission, “Teaching youth to succeed in all of life’s races,” is accomplished through the pairing of adult mentors with young mentees; youth and mentors meet once a week for 2-4 hours, every week, for one year. At the end of their year together, Bolder Options  holds a graduation to celebrate the accomplishments of the youth, mentor, and both of their families. Due to the pandemic, Bolder Options had to move its programs online for the past year but is still committed to making a difference for the better in the lives of young people.

62nd Franciscan International Award Dinner
Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Wilds Gold Club
3151 Wilds Parkway NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372

                                                                                                      6:00 p.m.         Gathering with Social Hour
                                                                                                      7:00 p.m.         Dinner

Presentation of the Award Following Dinner

2023 marks the 63rd presentation of The Franciscan International Award, which has honored men, women and organizations that symbolize the spirit and the apostolic zeal of St. Francis of Assisi.  Previous recipients of the award include: the late Dr. Billy Graham for true Ecumenism (1972); the late Dr. Mildred Jefferson, M.D. – as a leader in the Pro-Life Movement (1978); Sister Helen Prejean – for being an advocate for those on death row, their victims, their families, and the families of their victims (2003); Fran Heitzman, the founder of Bridging, for helping families to furnish homes with hope (2014) and last year, Risen Savior Missions, glorifying God by feeding starving children.

For 63 years the Franciscan International Award Dinner has been an opportunity for retreatants and friends of the retreat house to gather together and support the ministry of the Retreat House as well as honoring a person or an organization who embodies the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.

History of the Franciscan International Award/past recipients

Each year the Order of Friars Minor Conventual presents an award to an individual or to an organization which is committed to serving the Ideals of Christ, especially as they were proclaimed by St. Francis of Assisi. This Franciscan International Award is presented yearly by the Conventual Franciscans on behalf of Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center, Prior Lake, Minnesota.

The Franciscan Order was founded in 1209 as an Order within the Roman Catholic Church by St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis had many devoted friends and benefactors among the inhabitants of his native Italy. Many of these were especially honored by being awarded honorary membership with the Franciscan Order. So, from the very beginning of the Order, individuals who served others in an outstanding way were given a “Franciscan Award” for their acts of charity. That custom endures to the present day and was the basis for reestablishing the Franciscan International Award In 1959.


1959 Mr. and Mrs. I.A. O’Shaughnessy — Family Life
1960 Archbishop William Brady – Journalism
1961 Mr. Lawrence Welk – Family Entertainment
1962 Mr. Charles Kellstad – Business
1963 Dr. Finn J. Larsen – Science
1964 Dr. Charles W. Mayo – Medicine
1965 Mr. Ara Parseghian – Athletics
1966 Mr. F.K. Weyerhaueser – Conservation
1967 Alcoholics Anonymous – Social Service
1968 Mr. James T. Griffin – Promoting Ideals Among Youth
1969 Mr. George Harris – Promoting Civic Welfare
1970 Baroness Catherine DeHueck Doherty – Womanly Virtue
1971 Mr. Harry Reasoner – Communications
1972 Dr. Billy Graham – True Ecumenism
1973 Dr. & Mrs. J.C. Wilke – Pro-Life Movement
1974 Governor Patrick C. Lucey – Criminal Justice Reform
1975 Mr. and Mrs. Joe Rigert – Interracial Justice
1976 Dr. B.F. Pearson, M.D. – Healing Ministry
1977 Mr. Francis MacNutt – Spiritual Healing
1978 Dr. Mildred Jefferson, M.D. – Pro-Life Movement
1979 Fr. Bruce Ritter, O.F.M. Conv. – Youth Ministry
1980 Mr. John E. McCarthy – Work in Refugee Affairs
1981 Fr. William B. Wasson – Work with Orphaned and Disabled Children
1982 Lorand and Anna Andahazy – Classical Arts
1983 Fr. Urban Wagner, O.F.M. Conv. – Founder of Franciscan Retreats
1984 Gerald and Patricia Mische – Global Awareness Education
1985 John Michael Talbot – Contemporary Christian Music
1986 Wilko B. Schoenbohm – Service to the Disabled
1987 Sesame Street Staff – Excellence in the Education of Children
1988 Sister M. Giovanni, SSND – Work with Today’s Youth
1989 Rabbi Max A. Shapiro – Work in Jewish-Christian Dialogue
1990 Loaves and Fishes Too – Feeding the Hungry
1991 Madonna Kerber – Volunteer Work with Prisoners and the Disadvantaged
1992 Father Kenneth J. Roberts – Catholic Priest\Evangelist
1993 Sisters of St. Clare – Dedicated Lives of Prayer and Contemplative Living
1994 Carolina Mata-Woodruff – Advocacy for Migrant Workers
1995 Rainbows for all God’s Children – Healing for Those Who Grieve
1996 Archbishop John Roach – Outstanding Church Leadership
1997 Marty Haugen – Composer of Liturgical Music
1998 National Evangelization Teams – Catholic Youth Ministry
1999 Habitat for Humanity – Housing for the Poor
2000 Mary Jo Copeland of “Sharing and Caring Hands” for mobilizing help to the poor.
2001 Janet Krocheski — For Leadership for Life.
2002 Friars Regis Armstrong, Bill Short, and Wayne Hellmann, for Franciscan Scholarship
2003 Sister Helen Prejean — Advocate for those on Death Row, their victims, their families, and the families of their victims.
2004 Jacob Wetterling Foundation — for promoting and protecting the integrity of children.
2005 Camp Heartland — for providing summer recreation to children with HIV/AIDS
2006 Worldwide Marriage Encounter — for supporting and celebrating Marriage
2007 The Knights of Columbus — for service to one and all.
2008 Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, DD, for Servant Leadership
2009 The Cristo Rey Network, transforming Urban America One Student at a Time
2010 Fr. Juniper Cummings, OFM Conv. for Building and Rebuilding the Church
2011 CaringBridge
2012 Fr. Michael Joncas, for contributions to the liturgy and sacred music
2013 Gina Tupy, for inspiring, evangelizing and motivating our young people
2014 Fran Heitzman, founder of Bridging, the largest non-profit furniture bank in North America
2015 Feed My Starving Children
2016 Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
2017 VEAP (Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People) For Neighbors Serving Neighbors In Need
2018 Risen Savior Missions – Glorifying GOD by Helping Starving Children
2019 Loaves and Fishes – for providing nutritious meals to anyone in need
2020 Postponed due to the pandemic
2021 Postponed due to the pandemic
2022 Bolder Options


Although we are a Catholic Retreat center, we welcome spiritual seekers from all faith walks.  Catholic in nature, we offer Christian Retreats that can be enjoyed by all.

Click on Retreat Schedules for details on the daily schedule of our Weekend and Midweek Retreats.

Some tips on How to Make a Retreat.

Our Frequently Asked Questions page provides further information on our retreats, our facilities, and the typical offering we request for attending our retreats.

Click on How To Get Here and consult a road map for directions to Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center.

Should you have further questions, please call us at 952-447-2182, contact us via e-mail: or via our website at Contact Us

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VISIT US 16385 Saint Francis Lane - Prior Lake, MN 55372
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