Governor’s Service Award Recipients

Each year the Governor’s Service Awards honor individuals and groups in West Virginia who roll up their sleeves to solve community problems in innovative ways. The West Virginia Institute for Spirituality (WVIS) has three remarkable women who have been honored with this distinguished award.

Sr. Mary Pellicane, rc.: As a Cenacle sister, Sr. Pellicane’s spiritual journey took her from Boston to New Zealand, Pittsburgh to Rome, Lower Manhattan to Rochester, New York. Then, ultimately, to a final landing in West Virginia’s capital city. Over the years, streams of people sought her for spiritual direction and guidance through the turmoil and confusion of life in the uncloistered, unruly world. “I ended up listening to people my entire lifetime,” Sr. Pellicane said. In that listening, in the long hours of quiet in retreat houses, she found her calling.

Ardath Stanton Francke: WVIS moved to its current location in December 2002 and in 2003, discussions began regarding building a hermitage on the WVIS grounds to provide a private space for silent retreats. Under the leadership of 2004 WVIS Board President, Ardath S. Francke, that dream became a reality and on November 25, 2006, WVIS hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the Ardath S. Francke Hermitage! Countless retreatants have reaped the benefits of making their silent, directed retreat in this peaceful Hermitage. Click HERE to watch video related to Ardath’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Paula Francke Osborne: Like Mother, like daughter! What are the chances of both a mother and daughter receiving the same prestigious award?  In this case, it is not surprising.  They are cut from the same cloth: loving, kind, generous, enthusiastic, and persevering in their efforts to bring about good for others! Paula completed her training for the ministry of spiritual direction in 2009.  In December 2020, she was commissioned as an Associate Director of Programming for the WVIS satellite she coordinates in Berkeley Springs, WV.  In this role, Paula develops and leads spiritual direction programs in her geographic region to support the mission and vision of WVIS. Click HERE to hear what Paula says about the honor of receiving this award.

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