About WVIS

The West Virginia Institute for Spirituality (WVIS) Retreat and Training Center provides a place for men and women alike to nurture their spirits. Just as Saint Marie Victoire Therese Couderc, the namesake of this beautiful facility dedicated her life to retreat ministry, so too do the men and women associated with WVIS seek to do today.

Our Mission

The West Virginia Institute For Spirituality is dedicated to providing space and opportunities for deepening mindfulness,  prayer practice, interior peace, and for integrating moral and ethical values.

WVIS in the news…

The July 2nd edition of the Catholic Spirit shares an article about WVIS and Sister Carole’s lifelong work to making a difference and bringing others closer to Christ. Read the article HERE.

History of WVIS

The Cenacle Retreat House (1114 Virginia Street, East) came to be when The Most Reverend Joseph H. Hodges, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston requested the Religious Sisters of Our Lady of the Cenacle to develop a retreat house in downtown Charleston. 

Initially, three volunteers came to staff the Cenacle:  Sister Dorothy O’Brien, Sister Anna Carulli, and Sister Mary Pellicane from the Sisters of Eastern Province.  Sister Carole Riley, a Sister of Divine Providence, offered to be an adjunct member.

The Cenacle was: a living prayer, in the heart of the city; a sacred space, in constant ministry, training disciples, among the faiths. For twenty-two years many activities were provided, including:  directed retreats, seminars, spiritual direction, training of spiritual directors, contemplative prayer, retreats for youth, programs and workshops, 30-day retreats, women’s retreats, as well as community and international programs. Click HERE to read more about the history of WVIS.

Governor’s Service Award Recipients

Anyone who walks through the front entrance of The West Virginia Institute for Spirituality might be drawn to the framed picture that reveals quite an accomplishment.  Each year the Governor’s Service Awards honor individuals and groups who roll up their sleeves to solve community problems in innovative ways.  The West Virginia Institute for Spirituality has three remarkable women who have been honored as a Distinguished West Virginians!

The first was Sr. Mary Pellicane, rc. who received her award on October 5, 1996 from former Governor Gaston Caperton.  Her certificate states:  “for outstanding achievement and meritorious service the State of West Virginia hereby recognizes your exceptional accomplishment and confers this commendation in your name.” Read more about Sr. Pellicane, Ardath S. Francke and Paula Francke Osborne by clicking HERE.

Board of Directors

WVIS Board of Directors and Officers are elected to serve beginning in October each year. To view the Board of Directors, Members, Mission, Constitution and Bylaws as well as the WVIS Strategic Plan, click HERE.


WVIS continues to expand its mission into new regions as its Associate Spiritual Directors are located across the country. Our directors meet with individuals either face-to-face or via Zoom (or other technology).

For a complete list of WVIS Associate Spiritual Directors, their locations, and their bios, click HERE.

For a list of WVIS geographic locations, click one of the links below.

1601 Virginia Street East, Charleston, West Virginia 25311   304.345.0926 (main)   304.345.8206 (fax)

Information contained on this site is for the sole use of members of The West Virginia Institute For Spirituality community and may not be used for commercial purposes. All content, unless otherwise specified, is the property of The West Virginia Institute for Spirituality and may only be used with permission. © 2014 The West Virginia Institute For Spirituality.