"This is the good zeal which monks must foster with fervent love: they should each try to be the first to show respect to the other."
- Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 72 verse 3
Some of our Sisters provide spiritual guidance for people in the general public—it is one of the ways in which we are able to pass on our spirituality to a wider public.
The Sisters of St. Joseph Monastery welcome guests who wish to make a private retreat. There are five bedrooms available for women in the monastery (4 private, one double) who wish to stay with us for a time of prayer and reflection. Upon request, a Sister would be available for prayer or spiritual guidance. Suggested donation is $40 per night.
The monastery also has a guest quarters located beneath the Marian Chapel for men, women or couples who wish to make a private retreat. The guest quarters accommodations include a living area, kitchenette, two bedrooms, and full bath. Cost is a suggested donation of $40. Guests on retreat are welcome to join the monastic community for prayer, Eucharist, and meals. The suggested donation per meal is $5. The monastery also has a large library space that can accommodate groups up to 30 people for retreats or days of prayer. Please contact us at 918-746-4223 or email@example.com.
Registration is open NOW for the School of Lectio Divina: March 8-11, 2017 and June 6-9, 2017. The registration form can be sent in now with the fee or the fee due two weeks prior to the session to complete your registration. Application for scholarship is possible by contacting Sr. Barbara through email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are officially announcing a new retreat experience here at St. Joseph Monastery. Its title is “School of Lectio Divina” (called “school” because St. Benedict refers to the monastery as a school for the Lord’s service). Each school is limited to twelve participants.
This commitment would be a most worthwhile experience if you have an interest in ongoing spiritual formation. Also, please help us spread the word to friends who you know have an active life of prayer and desire to continue learning on their journey of faith.
The purpose of the (school) retreat days is to break open the content of Sr. Meg’s teaching in light of our personal experience and to invite the participants to an awareness of this teaching on prayer. The staff is made up of Diocesan priests, Benedictine Sisters and laity who are trained by Sr. Meg. There is no commitment to a continuing group experience as this teaching is to enrich your personal prayer practice. The School of Lectio and the Benedictine Oblates of St. Joseph Monastery are open to Christians of all denominations.
You may have heard or read material on the practice of lectio. It abounds in books and articles. I would just say that the monastic teaching is of “sustained” lectio. It encompasses not a prayer method with the scriptures as much as an understanding of following our desire to know God through the grace of the Holy Spirit and to discern our life choices/daily actions and attitudes from that relationship of grace. It is a relationship that is always ongoing and life giving as we focus on the grace of God through a revelatory text. St. Benedict reminds us—“we are always beginners in the spiritual life.”
The school includes: an introduction to the context of the teaching from the early Christian teachers; an invitation of prayer to the Holy Spirit; an understanding of the obstacles to prayer that arise from within and from outside of us; teachings on the revelatory texts that lead us in our desire to know God more intimately; introduction to a variety of prayer tools; the practice of discernment and the spiritual gifts that accompany this way of prayer.
Part of the inspiration for the School of Lectio is the writings of Sister Meg Funk, pictured above. Sister Meg is has written several books about the Christian contemplative tradition, including: Thoughts Matter, Tools Matter, Humility Matters, Lectio Matters: Before the Burning Bush, and Discernment Matters.
You are welcome to contact Sr. Barbara Austin, OSB for further information: 918-746-4209 or email@example.com.