Join our new FSC staff-led book discussion group

A novel idea

One of the perks of working at the Franciscan Spirituality Center is being able to pop into our Sophia Bookstore any time of the work day for a cup of coffee or tea and to browse the hundreds of thought-provoking and carefully selected titles.

Our staff members (and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who live in the building) probably purchase just as many books as our guests do. So often we are excited about something we’ve read and will chat over lunch with each other, but we don’t always have an opportunity to engage in conversation with a larger audience.

Until now.

We’re excited to launch a monthly book discussion group, open to all men and women, starting Thursday, September 12, with Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor. FSC Director Audrey Lucier will facilitate this first gathering, but each month will feature a different staff member introducing their pick. 

“We’ll have a good mix of books,” said Deb Hansen, FSC spiritual director. “It’s fun to read books you might have never thought of reading before.”

We’ll meet from 7 to 8 p.m. here at the FSC (920 Market Street, La Crosse) and keep things fairly informal. Wine and other refreshments will be included with your registration (advance registration is required). Your investment is just $10 per session.   

You can come to one or all of the discussions as your schedule permits, and all of the featured books are available for purchase in the Sophia Bookstore. Though not required, we highly recommend reading the book beforehand so you can delve into the topics!

You can expect lively conversation, a peaceful and welcoming environment, and respectful dialogue.

Bring a friend or come to meet new ones. “It’s really about creating community,” said Jean Pagliaro, FSC program coordinator.



September 12: Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor

The best-selling author recounts her moving discoveries of finding the sacred in unexpected places while teaching about world religions to undergraduates in rural Georgia.

FSC facilitator: Audrey Lucier

Click here to register.

October 10: The Overstory by Richard Powers

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, this sweeping work tells the story of a variety of individuals who come together in desperation to save the endangered forests. Eventually, they realize their own survival and the survival of the human race may depend on the wisdom of trees.

FSC facilitator: Steve Spilde

November 14: Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans

Using memoir-style reflections, poetry, fiction, soliloquies and vignettes, the late, best-selling author  examines some of the Bible’s most difficult stories and shares “the paradigm-shifting and life-changing scholarship” she has encountered to engage readers’ skepticism, imagination, hopes and doubts.

FSC facilitator: Jean Pagliaro

December 12: From Scratch:  A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke

In this true-life, cross-cultural love story, the author-actress discovers the healing powers of food, family and unexpected grace after the death of her husband.

FSC facilitator: Deb Hansen