Father Jim Kent, OFM Conv.
Fr. Jim is the former Minister Provincial of the Province of Our Lady Consolation and joined the staff in August of 2019. He became the retreat director in June of 2021. Although most of his ministry has been spent in administration for the Franciscans, he has also given retreats throughout the country. Fr. Jim grew up in Indiana but has lived in many places. He holds master’s degrees in theology and literature. He has traveled the globe ministering to and with Franciscans on five continents. An avid reader, short story writer and downhill skier, he brings fresh energy and perspective to this vibrant ministry.
Staff Profile Fall 2019 Newsletter
Father Jim Van Dorn, OFM Conv.
Fr. Jim is the Guardian of St. Joseph Cupertino Friary. Fr. Jim returned to Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center to serve on the preaching staff in early 2009. He also served here during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Fr. Jim has served in a variety of
ministries in the province: parish ministry, preached retreat ministry, initial formation ministry, vocation outreach, and parish mission ministry. Fr. Jim brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center and we are thrilled to have him join our community and preaching staff.
Kathy earned her master’s in Theology and graduate certificate in Spiritual Direction from St. Catherine University, St. Paul. Previous to her arrival in Minnesota, Kathy was a house coordinator for the L’Arche community in Clinton, Iowa, where she lived and worked with adults with cognitive disabilities. Before that Kathy was the staff reporter and marketing manager for The Compass, the newspaper of the Green Bay diocese, and previous to that she was a high school and college math teacher. Kathy is a Wisconsin native with two children and four grandchildren. A two-time breast cancer survivor, she loves to learn anything about most everything, ride her bike in the woods, and spend time with family. She is also the author of Walking on a Rolling Deck: Life on the Ark, a memoir of her ten years with L’Arche.
Cindy is a certified spiritual director with a Masters Degree in Theology from St. Catherine University. Cindy received a BA in psychology from Dartmouth College and teaching degrees from University of Dayton in Elementary and Special Education.
She brings much wisdom, patience, and humor into spiritual direction. Raised as a Presbyterian in a biracial family of seven children, she joined the Catholic Church in 1993. Her various experiences provide her rich understanding of the sacred art of listening to others. She has worked in hospital treatment centers, taught children with special needs, supported youth with gender identity issues, and facilitated church retreats and classes for both youth and adults. Married to Tom for 33 years, they have five adult children, three married, and a new granddaughter. Cindy enjoys music as a member of both a women’s chorus and a hand bell choir for over 15 years. She also loves to travel and read a good book.
Debbie began serving at Franciscan Retreats in March of 2013. She earned her Master’s degree in Theology and a certificate in Spiritual Direction in 2012 from St. Catherine University. In addition to working retreats, she offers spiritual direction for individuals at her church. An active member of St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Cottage Grove, she has volunteered in Mission Outreach, Music ministry, Liturgy, Parish Council, and bible study to name a few. She has been a long-time volunteer and leader for many organizations . She and her husband, Deacon Steven Koop have worked as a couple on marriage retreats, marriage preparation, and served the Archdiocese in many capacities. She is a wife, mother of four adult children, and grandmother of eight beautiful grandchildren. Debbie considers time with family and friends to be one of life’s greatest blessings. Golf, bridge, gardening, reading, going for walks and enjoying her grandchildren are her favorite activities.
Jayne received her spiritual direction certification from Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality in St. Paul. She has been married for almost twenty-five years and has three teenage children. She loves to dance, cook, and spend time with her close friends. Jayne is passionate about her spiritual life and will journey with people from all religious traditions. She lives in Apple Valley, MN.
Fr. Steve is no stranger to Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center; he began his journey with the Franciscans here in the mid-1970s. A native of Minnetonka, and a son of St. Therese Parish, Fr. Steve is an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He also leads pilgrimage groups with the Franciscan Pilgrimage program. Fr. Steve has a strong interest in interfaith dialogue, especially among Christians, Jews and Muslims. He is an avid hockey fan and makes a mean corn dog.
Director of Marketing and Operations
Bob’s title, “Director of Marketing and Operations” reflects the varied duties entailed in his position. Bob’s time is split approximately 60/40% between marketing and operational support. Bob’s combination of experience in multichannel marketing and familiarity with the retreat center as a volunteer help him select the best ways to communicate with the variety of guests the retreat center is fortunate to host.
As an active retreatant, Bob welcomes making contact with all who have a heart for the retreat center, using their feedback on ‘what makes it special’ to help him shape his promotional efforts. Feel free to contact Bob to get acquainted over a cup of coffee.
Bob, his wife Sue and two adult children are Prior Lake residents.
Terri Farr our Administrative Assistant resides in Chaska with her husband Darrel and their daughter Kate. Prior to working at the Retreat Center she was the Administrative Assistant for Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria. Their daughter, Kate, just finished her freshman year at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. In her free time she loves to walk their mini golden doodle Daisy, entertain friends and family, along with reading any and all types of books
Judy is our kitchen manager and chef. Her creativity and extraordinary care in creating our meals is well known to staff and retreatants alike. Judy is a native of Prior Lake, MN. She graduated from Mankato State and has since pursued her vocation in cooking at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington (where she was Director of Food Services), at the Renaissance Festival (as La Feast Chef) and at Keystone Senior Community in Prior Lake. She is a member of the International Cake Exploration Society, which practices the art of cake decorating. Judy is a wife and mother of two children with five grandchildren.
Chris graduated from the University of Portland with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. Chris taught music in the public school system for nine years and served as choir director at two parishes in Portland for many years.
In 1998, Chris and her husband, Mike, moved back to Minnesota. She joined the staff at Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in 2000. When Chris and her husband visit Oregon, she plays and sings in a group called “Maggie’s Parlour.” The four women in the group play a variety of instruments and perform several styles of music. Irish music is one of their specialities. Their CD is available in the bookstore downstairs.
Tim attended the University of Minnesota studying Music Education, then entered an Archdiocesan Youth Ministry program called “ManAlive” in 1976. This began his ministry with Youth, Music, and Liturgy which included Retreat Ministry at the Catholic Youth Center in St. Paul, and Director of Music at three Twin Cities parishes. Tim has retired from full time parish work, and he and his wife have been married 42 years and love spending time with their four children and ten grandchildren.
Tim continues to write music and perform with a contemporary trio and has recorded a CD of original compositions.