Living from the Heart in Assisi

a workshop/retreat for individuals and couples

with Joyce and Barry Vissell

music by Charley Thweatt
October 11-17, 2016


Online Registration for our workshops






The song you are hearing is “Fratello Sole Sorella Luna,” (“Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” an adaptation to the movie score by Donovan) sung by Frate (Brother) Allesandro, a Franciscan monk in Assisi with a spirit-filled voice.


Click on the player above to listen to “Peace Has Found You” by gifted musician Charley Thweatt ( . Join Joyce and Barry along with Charley for a week of renewal in Assisi, Italy, October 11-17, 2016.


Here's a 6-minute video of our 2013 Assisi group along with Pope Francis' visit to Assisi. Catholic News Services (CNS) took an interest in our universal spiritual approach and produced this video to document a resurgence of interest in St. Francis since Pope Francis took office.



Joyce admiring the roses in front of the Basilica of Saint Francis (San Francesco)

Dear Shared Heart Friends,

We will be leading our seventh workshop/retreat for individuals and couples in Assisi with our dear friend and musician, Charley Thweatt, for the week of October 11-17, 2016.

We are blessed to be able to stay at a truly unique place where tourists are not allowed, a beautiful and comfortable monastery right across the street from the Basilica of St. Francis. We found the purity of spiritual vibration in this place to be absolutely amazing. As a group, we will deepen our connection to both our humanity and our divinity. We will again be visiting and tuning into the energy of the sacred sites of Assisi, including the Basilicas of Francesco (Francis) and Chiara (Clare), the churches of San Damiano, San Stefano, and the Carceri (the monastery and caves on Mount Subasio). You may also want to visit San Rufino, the Porziuncula (Santa Maria degli Angeli), and Rivo Torto (his earliest hermitage).

The powerful energy of all these places combined with the deep inner focus of the workshop, helped to facilitate profound inner growth in all of us who attended. We wish we could share this experience with each of you.

If you have any interest in this life changing and empowering experience, please call and talk with me (Joyce) personally at 831 684 2130, or email me at We are only allowed 26 participants in the beautiful monastery where we hold the retreat, so early registration is advisable.  Some of the rooms have breathtaking views of the Umbrian Valley and the Basilica of St. Francis across the street. Those who sign up first will have priority to these rooms.

With love to each of you,

Joyce and Barry

Barry in front of San Stefano. Saint Francis often preached here and the church remains in its original condition. Our group often gets to be alone here, and Charley leads us in sublime singing.

Fall more deeply in love with life in a truly holy location. A Franciscan convent in the heart of Assisi, Italy, provides a sanctuary and place for each of us to heal from our past and open to an even deeper freedom. Beginning with our connection with Self and Source and extending to everyone in our lives, this workshop/retreat explores living from the heart and relationship. It is an opportunity for growth whether attending as a single or couple.

We invite you to join us for a week in Assisi, Italy, home of St. Francis and universally celebrated as the City of Peace. A place of sacred remembering for people of all faiths and traditions, Assisi provides a welcoming sanctuary for reflection and self-inquiry. While residing with us in a Franciscan convent, enjoy the beauty of the Umbrian countryside and sites of Assisi. Learn universal spiritual practices, meet kindred spirits, practice powerful tools for opening your own heart, then re-enter your world with renewed appreciation and dedication.


Included in the tuition is a gourmet Italian feast lovingly prepared by a family at Locanda dell' Angelo near Assisi. Each year we tell participants that this is the best meal we have ever had. And each year, everyone agrees! Yes, Italy is also about the food!


The workshop, "Living from the Heart," offers a balance of both inner and outer experiences. Included are deep processes to heal past hurts and open our hearts to more love.


A typical retreat day includes guided meditation and chanting with Charley, workshop activities, creative exploration and singing, along with ample time some days after lunch for reflection, exploration and relaxation. Included throughout the week are visits to key sites from the lives of Francis and Clare. Meetings are held in a convent overlooking the Basilica di Francesco and the hills of Perugia. Room accommodations are comfortable, each with their own bathroom. Private rooms upon request (as available). Delicious, simple Italian food is lovingly prepared by the Sisters.



Charley Thweatt, shown here singing in one of Assisi's sacred places, will provide music for the group. He is a multitalented singer, songwriter, and recording artist who has opened thousands of hearts around the world with his musical gifts. His intuitively chosen songs accelerate soul-healing. One evening (weather permitting) on a rooftop balcony overlooking the magnificent Umbrian Valley as the sun sets, we will enjoy a private concert with Charley Thweatt.


To Register:

• Tuition: $1095/person (includes workshop, taxi fares to San Damiano, the Carceri, and Locanda dell' Angelo, and the feast)

• Double occupancy & meals; appx $400/person for 6 days/6 nights
• Private room & meals; appx $450 (as available)
• Lodging & meals paid on site in Euros
• Retreat begins with dinner on Tuesday, October 11
• Retreat ends with lunch on Monday, October 17

• $150 non-refundable deposit per person to hold a space in the retreat.
• Tuition balance due July 22

• $250 non-refundable per person after July 22

• Cancellation after September 22 forfeits full tuition and may require room charge 
• Some scholarship reductions possible
• Air/ground transportation not included.
• Attendance limited; please respond ASAP
• Email to

Early in the morning, gathered around the fountain before entering the Basilica of Santa Chiara (Saint Clare.)



More Helpful Information


Before and After:

Travel arrangements are the responsibility of participants.  Book your flight or train travel to Rome, Florence or another Italian city.  We advise you to do this as soon as possible to ensure options.


When determining your arrival and departure time, allow approximately 2.5 hours for the train ride from Rome or Florence to Assisi; and, if you are coming from another time zone, allow at least one extra day for acclimating to the different time zone. 


We begin with dinner at 7 pm.  Please arrive between 4 and 6 pm.

Basilica of San Francesco (St. Francis) at night.



After our first dinner, we will gather for a brief orientation and introduction. Our program schedule for the week will include both free and structured time. Days will include time together at the monastery and walks (or taxi rides) to specific sites for contemplation or group singing/chanting. These include the Basilica of Santa Chiara (Clare), the Basilica of San Francesco (Francis), the church and garden of San Damiano, the church of San Stefano, the Carceri Monastery, etc.  Assisi is rich with heritage and history, but also vibrating with a spirituality which is available to all who make the pilgrimage to this little Umbrian hill town.


The town is set on a hill, interwoven with numerous alleys, narrow streets, and walking paths. A fair amount of walking is involved in visiting the various sites. Bring good walking shoes. Taxi service is always available.



The meals at the monastery are simple but delicious, including vegetarian offerings, as well as meat for those who wish. If you enjoy Italian cooking, we trust you will be happy with the food!


There is now free Wifi at the monastery. We encourage participants to use this time for a real retreat from the ordinary, including communications back home. However, if necessary vital communications need to occur, the best solution is to obtain a cell phone which functions in Italy.



We look forward to sharing this time together!





Our happy first-year group in the monastery courtyard.

Online Registration for our workshops








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