Franciscan Peace Center adds new director position

CLINTON, Iowa – The Sisters of St. Francis recently announced that Marsha Thrall has been hired as the director of programming for the Franciscan Peace Center.

In this newly created position, her primary responsibility will be to develop creative and innovative programming to be offered both in person and online. These programs will focus on creating transformative skills and capacities to live out the principles of active nonviolence, the Corporate Stands of the Clinton Franciscan family, and Catholic social teaching. There will be a particular emphasis on promoting social justice, a healthy environment and racial equity through active nonviolence.

Ms. Thrall joins a three-person team with Jennifer Kryszak, director of strategic planning; and Laura Anderson, director of digital outreach and advocacy. The team is responsible for coordinating communications, collaboration, outreach and advocacy efforts, and for designing initiatives and programs for the Franciscan Peace Center.

Since joining the Franciscan Peace Center in June, Ms. Thrall became actively involved with the Clinton Juneteenth celebration as well as leading a collaboration with several area organizations to set up a free community screening of the Disney film Encanto at the Sawmill Museum in Clinton.

Previously, she served in various interim religious education roles within the Unitarian Universalist Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin; Silver Spring, Maryland; and most recently, in Coralville. 

She holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and philosophy with a certificate in peacebuilding from Mount Mary University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as a Masters of Theological Studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. She is currently in Ph.D. pre-candidacy at Chicago Theological Seminary studying religion, ethics, and cultural studies.

Ms. Thrall has also served in the AmeriCorps working on the problem of hunger within both homeless and underserved populations in Milwaukee and also as a community education coordinator for Clock Shadow Creamery, as well as numerous volunteer experiences.

“I am excited about this opportunity to work with the greater Clinton community to live out my commitments to learning and organizing together to be agents of social equity,” she said.

The Franciscan Peace Center was established by the Sisters of St. Francis as a means of integrating Franciscan spirituality with the mission of promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking.  

The Center’s efforts focus on the Corporate Stands of the Clinton Franciscans on immigration reform, Care for Creation, human trafficking, human rights, and income inequality and the abolition of the death penalty and nuclear weapons.


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