Retreats, Presentations & Books on the writings of
Saints Clare and Francis of Assisi
Franciscan Passages, a 501(c)3 non-profit entity, was born in the spring of 2010. It is through this endeavor that Julie McElmurry creates and leads retreats and presentations for Retreat Centers, Church groups, schools, Secular Franciscan Fraternities
and Faith-based volunteer programs.
The foundation of eve
ry presentation is upon the writings of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare of Assisi, or by their contemporaries.
Many early Franciscan writings have been translated into modern, readily accessible English and Spanish and contain a wealth of riches which are yours to explore.
You will find that St. Francis, St. Clare and their contemporaries have much to say to us in our lives today through their writings.
Who recommends Franciscan Passages?
We will be happy to provide you with a list of people who have experienced Franciscan Passages retreats and presentations.
Additionally, you may wish to read some recommendations on the "Recommended by.." page of this website.
Daylong Retreat for a women's group: Lay Men and Women: Called and Gifted
College Student Service Weekend: To Love and To Serve
Morning Retreat for Staff of Catholic University of America
One Evening class on Francis' Testament for Capuchin Franciscan Friars at Cap College in Washington, DC
Six hours of classes for Postulants of Capuchin Franciscans in Brooklyn, NY
Advent Parish Mission in Elizabeth City, NC
Retreat for Staff of Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, MD
Directed Retreat for the Parish Council of St. Joseph's in Bryson City and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Cherokee, NC (the parish where I grew up!)
Service Trip for Youth Group from St. Peter's in Charlotte
Series at a United Methodist College: Francis of Assisi 101
As part of a series at St. Matthew's in Charlotte: Writings of Francis of Assisi and You
Retreat Day for Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School children in grades 1st-8th in Winston-Salem, NC
Retreat Afternoon (1.5 hours) for Kindergartners on "The Things we see in Church" (email to request a free coloring book!)
Eighth Grade Retreat for Our Lady of Mercy: God is With Us Always
Women's Bible Study at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Winston Salem, NC: Reflections on Chapters from Genesis and Exodus
Speaker at Theology Uncorked in Charlotte: Discernment and Conversion in St. Francis of Assisi
Avila Retreat Center in Durham NC: Created and led their annual Franciscan Retreat. Francis and Clare, In Their Own Words
Webinar: Effective Retreats on a Shoestring Budget
Friday night and Saturday retreat at St. Joseph's in Wilmington, DE:Francis of Assisi Speaks to Us!
Daylong Retreat for Baby Boomers held at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center
Franciscan Approach to Advent presentation at the Franciscan Center in Greensboro, NC
Please contact us about providing a retreat for your group. We travel wherever we are invited.
Who is associated with Franciscan Passages?
Julie McElmurry, MS, MA
Mrs. Julie McElmurry
Julie McElmurry holds a Master of Science in Religion and Religious Education from Fordham University in The Bronx and a Master of Arts in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Institute in Olean, New York. In 2010, she founded Franciscan Passages, through which she offers her services as a speaker on the writings of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi to Franciscan fraternities, faith-based volunteer programs, church groups, schools, and retreat centers. It is her goal and her passion to share what she has learned with others.
Prior to undertaking the mission and ministry of Franciscan Passages, Julie served as Campus Minister at Wake Forest University and Salem College, as an employee of the Diocese of Charlotte, from 1999 to 2010. She served under the direction of Fr. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv., a Franciscan priest who is now the Chaplain at Catholic University of America. During that time, Julie honed her teaching and public speaking skills by instructing 22 semesters of Service Learning classes at Salem College. While working as a Campus Minister, Julie organized more than 20 mission trips to Central America, India, and various cities in the U.S., where the students served in soup kitchens, painted buildings owned by nonprofits, and interacted with people from impoverished areas. Her groups contributed thousands of hours to the cleanup effort following Hurricane Katrina. Since launching Franciscan Passages, Julie has continued her community service by offering retreats in Spanish and English for religious orders, school children, and young people on service missions in Honduras.
To date, Julie has given presentations on St. Francis and his writings in seven states, the District of Columbia, and abroad. One of her specialty areas is creating and leading retreats for those who are in a “year of service” program, such as the 200 programs that make up the Catholic Volunteer Network. She is great at engaging 100% attention from a large or small group; she breaks down an obscure text into an understandable scenario so the audience can really get to know St. Francis and what he intended his life to mean. People from her audiences tell her that her words inspire them to want to learn even more.
Larry Kirwan, MRE
Mr. Larry Kirwan earned the Master of Religious Education degree through the Loyola University Institute for Ministry Extension Program. An accomplished musician, composer and educator, Larry is available to accompany Julie for events in North Carolina. Please click here to enjoy his music. He has been a part of several presentations and retreats with Franciscan Passages. His original arrangements of music based on St. Francis and St. Clare's writings as well as his hammered dulcimer skills add another layer of beauty and goodness to Franciscan Passages events.
The Board of Directors is comprised of Julie and four people who believe in the mission of Franciscan Passages freely offering their time, prayers, wisdom and advice to help lead Franciscan Passages.
Mr. Horace "Duke" Walker, M. Div. writer, minister and thinker.