The St. Francis Prayer Center is a delightful surprise of wooded property and flower gardens with a charming chalet design, just outside the City limits of Flint that nourishes the spiritual life of everyone who visits. Although founded by an IHM Catholic sister, we serve All People regardless of religious affiliation. We are a non-profit organization that relies on donations.
Please see our Spiritual Nourishment page for more specific information. Our offerings include but are not limited to:
- Spiritual Direction
- Bible Studies
- Retreats (personal and professional)
- Days of Reflection
Areas for Personal Meditation
Please see our Physical Facility page for more information.
Meet the Director
Debra was married for almost 40 years to Ramon Hawley. They were childhood sweethearts. On January 1st, 2019, Ramon became very ill and would spend the next 90 days struggling to stay alive. On March 22, Jesus called him home. Deb and Ra have 3 sons – Willard (and wife Sue), Nicholas, and Jonathan, along with 2 beautiful grandsons, Jacob and Cruz. She has been a parish member at St. Mary’s, Mt. Morris for 30 years, where she went to school, and where Nicholas and Jonathan attended as well. Currently, she is a member of The Church of the Holy Family, Grand Blanc.
She has owned and operated an Interior Design Business since 1986, specializing in new construction. Her work took her many places in and out of state as she designed and helped her clients with their dream homes.
In the late nineties Debra felt God calling her to full-time ministry. In the early days, Debra helped with RCIA, Baptism classes, Leadership of Prayer Community, and service as a Lector and EM for Liturgy. Spirit Filled Life Seminars often hit record numbers of 200 or more people, as these ministries grew. This call became the focus of constant prayer from 2000 to 2012, when her prayers were answered when the full-time Director’s position for St. Francis Prayer Center was offered to her.
Debra has been involved with the Inner Healing Ministry since the early 90s, and has been a part of the Emmanuel Prayer Community for 28 years. Today, much of the work done is formational in nature, forming those in laity in the Charismatic Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and teaching their application in today’s church and times. Those groups are now instructed from the St. Francis Prayer Center, or in respective parishes.
Debbie has served as Chair on the Service Committee for the Diocese of Lansing Charismatic Renewal and continues to serve on the Michigan Service Committee for the All Michigan Catholic Charismatic Renewal as well. She is an avid gardener, loves to waterski, antique, and spend time with her family. There is always a Springer Spaniel in Deb’s life, as she rescues the old or forgotten ones. Currently, BuddyBear, an 8 year old blind Springer, is the mascot at St. Francis Prayer Center. He loves his job of greeting all of the guests, and perusing the property for bunnies. Debra is available for speaking engagements, days of reflection and retreats.
Part of our original mission was to help those who are most in need or who are compromised by injustice and or poverty. We continue this in a variety of ways. Currently we have an Adopt-A-Family Program twice a year serving 12-15 families each time. Daily, we provide help with food, clothing, furniture, diapers and utilities. In the Spirit of St. Francis we listen, love and serve.
Our Adopt-A-Family Programs have been a true blessing – both for the recipients and for us.
Very soon after Debra was brought on as Director, she began the Adopt-a-Family programs for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Each year the numbers have grown, but generally about 40 families (all persons in the family) receive gifts and come to the center for a home-cooked meal and festivities, complete with Christmas carols sung and hot chocolate. It is an exciting time for us as we meet so many new volunteers who want to take part and actually meet their family that they have sponsored. Most of these families would have no Christmas gifts or food if not adopted by our sponsors.
Please see our publication on how to get involved at St. Francis Prayer Center.