a workshop/retreat for individuals and couples
with Joyce and Barry Vissell
music by Charley Thweatt
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 (musicangel.com) . Join Joyce and Barry along with Charley for a week of renewal in Assisi, Italy, October 11-17, 2016.
Joyce admiring the roses in front of the Basilica of Saint Francis (San Francesco)
We will be leading our eighth workshop/retreat for individuals and couples in Assisi with our dear friend and musician, Charley Thweatt, for the week of October 11-17, 2017.
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 Joyce@sharedheart.org. 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 St. Clare, and universally celebrated as the City of Peace. While residing with us in a Franciscan convent, enjoy the beauty of the Umbrian countryside and sites of Assisi. Meet kindred spirits, practice powerful tools for opening your own heart, then re-enter your world with renewed appreciation and dedication.
This is not a religious retreat, but there will be universal spiritual songs and practices from many traditions. And the workshop will include a blending of psychological and spiritual tools for healing and growth, a balance of both inner and outer experiences. Included are deep processes to heal past hurts and open our hearts to more love.
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!
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 (burial place) of St. Francis 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.
What past participants say about this retreat: "For me, a week in the cradle of selfless, sacrificial love whence sprang San Francesco's and Santa Chiara's legends became a freeing, healing journey. In the company of supportive fellow retreat participants, under the loving, graceful guidance of a couple who literally wrote the book on love, clarity quickly came to me in my struggle with a particularly challenging life circumstance. The exploration of my greatest vulnerabilities coupled with the examination of childhood events that shaped my responses in relationships brought new awareness and release. And from that awareness came the strength to honor my relationship with myself and the ability to set healthy boundaries with others. All this is the enchanting embrace of Assisi. The whole experience truly allowed me to re-enter my world with renewed appreciation and dedication." --John Drew, Columbus, Georgia
What past participants say about this retreat:
"For me, a week in the cradle of selfless, sacrificial love whence sprang San Francesco's and Santa Chiara's legends became a freeing, healing journey. In the company of supportive fellow retreat participants, under the loving, graceful guidance of a couple who literally wrote the book on love, clarity quickly came to me in my struggle with a particularly challenging life circumstance. The exploration of my greatest vulnerabilities coupled with the examination of childhood events that shaped my responses in relationships brought new awareness and release. And from that awareness came the strength to honor my relationship with myself and the ability to set healthy boundaries with others. All this is the enchanting embrace of Assisi. The whole experience truly allowed me to re-enter my world with renewed appreciation and dedication." --John Drew, Columbus, Georgia
"I feel free and alive and carry so much more joy, beauty and love with me since our week together! The progression that you orchestrated for us to get to know and share with each other daily through our large and small group activities made hearing, trusting and supporting each other a natural flow. And kudos to all three of you for knowing to use music, movement and singing to open all our chakras, especially the heart, when we sang face to face! What a truly beautiful, honest, intimate, loving, supportive, encouraging and healing experience! I see all our lights shining brightly throughout the world! Thank you for bringing our hearts to renewed life! –Sharon, Portland, Oregon
"In this Assisi retreat, there has been a gentle peeling away of what no longer serves me. I see no need to defend what is in my heart and thoughts as a way to explain my choices/actions to others. I feel wonderfully free, open hearted, and extremely vulnerable, as I embrace life and relate to others from this newly discovered place within me." –Linda Kay, Moneta, Virginia
"Over the years I have been in many workshops and retreats and this was by far the best ever. What made this so special is that in experiences like this, one tends to get “high” during the experience but very often it fades quickly once it’s over. For me, the “highs” of opening our hearts to each other in our sessions, combined with going out into the world, on the streets, sightseeing and spending time with each other in our free time, enabled me to carry those feelings out into ordinary life and so, when I returned home, it felt like the experiences were “fixed” in my being and so more easily and effortlessly transitioned into my life in general. Several friends told me I was softer, more loving and more present after my return. I am eternally grateful to the three of you for so masterfully creating and guiding this journey and to everyone in the group for being courageous enough to share yourselves and your hearts. You will all always have a special place in my heart and I hope to meet every single one of you again along the path." –Auriel, Houston, Texas
"I come away with some beautiful and sweet memories of our time together. I had several breakthroughs at the workshop and it continued as we experienced Italy together. I am not the same person who came to Assisi. I felt myself opening up to all of you, resulting in some wonderful new friendships. Thank you Joyce, Barry and Charley for all you do. It was so beautiful to see the way you genuinely loved and cared for each one of us as we healed some of our deepest wounds. Everything I experienced on my first visit to Italy was fantastic, Assisi and the Shared Heart Retreat, the love and energy I felt there, Magical Venice, city of love. Florence and Rome, history, art and culture. Traveling by train, (luggage and all). I especially loved the last day exploring the rich beauty of the historical Italian Renaissance gardens of Villa d’ Este in Tivoli. The wall of a hundred fountains along a garden path, the organ fountain, the nymphs, grottos, the series terraces above terraces. Walking through this Italian masterpiece in my mind’s eye I could envision The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It was a perfect day in so many ways…..ending with all of us joined arm and arm in a circle singing “When I’m with you.” crying and hugging each other. Parting was so bitter sweet. Until we meet again." –Peggy Litts, Huddleston, Virginia
• 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 email@example.com
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.
Where you will be staying
Here's the address: Vicolo Sant'Andrea, 5, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy. Phone (only if you speak fluent Italian. the sisters speak no English) +39 075 812274
Basilica of San Francesco (St. Francis) at night. 5 minute walk from where you will stay.
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