53 Mill Street, Westfield, MA 01085 • 413.562.3627
Date:August 28th, 2021.
Time:9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


This workshop is an overview and introduction to the history and practice of BioSpiritual Focusing and includes prayer, presentations, experiential exercises, reflection, and discussion. No prior experience with Focusing is needed. This workshop is a prerequisite for other BioSpiritual Focusing programs.

Please note! There may be limited spaces available depending on pandemic conditions

Cost $80, includes lunch

Leaders (l to r): Sr. Elizabeth Oleksak, SP, Becky Crane, Kathy Irr, Annemarie O’Connor, Donna O’Connor, Mike Smoolca

EOleksak2020-cropped.jpg   Becky-Crane-2021.jpg   Kathy-Irr-2021-2.jpg   Annemarie-OConnor.jpg   D-OConnor-REVISED-July-31-2019.jpg   Mike-Smoolca-2020.jpg

 Sr. Elizabeth Oleksak, SP, foundress of Genesis, is an experienced retreat and spiritual director and BioSpiritual Focusing facilitator. Sr. Elizabeth has a background in pastoral counseling.  She studied Centering Prayer with the Trappist Monks in the 1970's. She is also an eco-spirituality resource person.

Becky Crane, LICSW, is a spiritual companion and licensed psychotherapist. She is a member of the BioSpiritual Focusing team at Genesis, companioning individuals and co-leading workshops and retreats. She is an active lay leader in both her UCC congregation and an outdoor ecumenical worshiping community.

Kathy Irr, RN is a certified spiritual director, retreat leader, and BioSpiritual Focusing facilitator and author of two books.  She lives in Norwich, CT with her husband and has two married sons. 

Annemarie O’Connor, MA, MSW, has a background in social work and pastoral ministry. She is active in retreat ministry, spiritual direction, and Biospiritual Focusing, and has also served on contemplative formation and servant leadership teams. She contributes to the Passionists’ work at the UN, advocating for girls’ human rights and empowerment.

Donna O’Connor completed the Spiritual Direction Internship Program in Bloomfield, CT in 2006.  She has focused her 1:1 work entirely at Genesis since that time. Having taught fitness/yoga classes for over thirty years now, Donna has a particular interest in helping people who struggle with weight, body image and disordered eating, and is experienced in 12-Step Spirituality.

Mike Smoolca is the coordinator of the North-Central CT Chapter of the International Thomas Merton Society. He has been a student of Merton for over 15 years and has been presenting Thomas Merton programs since 2013.  Mike is a practicing Spiritual Director, a student of BioSpiritual Focusing, a Commissioned Contemplative Outreach Presenter of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina and a leader in the local Christian Contemplative Community

How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all, the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious teeming with creatures beyond number- living things both large and small.
- Psalm 104:24-25