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Franciscan Spirituality Center announces new executive director

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Jean Pagliaro

Jean Pagliaro

The Franciscan Spirituality Center has announced that Jean Pagliaro has been named its next executive director.

Pagliaro will succeed Audrey Lucier, who is retiring Feb. 25 after nine years at the helm of the nonprofit dedicated to anyone seeking God, meaning and wholeness.

The Franciscan Spirituality Center board of directors selected Pagliaro after a nationwide search, concluding that her vision for the future, her training in theology and trauma-informed care, and her experience working at the FSC for the past five years best positioned her to carry the mission forward.

“Jean impressed us with her enthusiasm for the executive director role and for the center in general. Jean’s vision aligns perfectly with the FSC’s mission. I am excited to have Jean as the FSC’s next executive director,” said Lyell Montgomery, FSC board president.

Pagliaro was hired in 2017 to be the FSC’s program and retreat coordinator. She is also president of the Upper Midwest Association for Retreat and Spirituality Centers.

Previously, Pagliaro was an affiliate chaplain at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, the volunteer coordinator at Coulee Region RVSP and pastor of Halfway Creek Lutheran Church in Holmen.

She earned her Master of Divinity from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and her Bachelor of Arts in social work from Carthage College in Kenosha. She has extensive training in crisis response, community-based organizing and effective communication, as well as significant fundraising and grant-writing experience.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to grow our vision and mission in partnership with our staff, the FSPA, the La Crosse community and beyond,” Pagliaro said. “I personally have experienced abundant welcome, grace and hospitality during my time at the FSC and that has led to personal transformation and a deep respect for what the Center offers people in their own faith exploration and journey toward wholeness and healing.”

Pagliaro lives in Onalaska with her husband, Matt; their children, Logan and Lydia; and two Labrador retrievers.

The FSC is a sponsored ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. It opened to the public in 1985 and welcomes people of all faith backgrounds and traditions. Other past directors have been Kathleen Kenkel, FSPA; Mary Kathryn Fogarty, FSPA; Vince Hatt and Jeff Dols.

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