News from the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery
from the current exhibit "The Place Where Possibility Is Born: Paintings by Kirk Sklar"
Jan. 17-30, 2017
Words to the Wise
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."
Attributed to E.F.Schumacher
Book Release Event Jan. 17
Enduring Ministry: Toward a Lifetime of Christian Leadership by Samuel Rahberg
Samuel Rahberg will be hosting a talk and reception with refreshments on Tues., Jan. 17, from 7-8:30p. Proceeds from books sales will support the Sisters' ministry through the Benedictine Center. Register online.
For many Christian leaders, the experience of ministry includes enough conflict and disappointment to soon wear off the patina of one's initial enthusiasm. And yet relief and renewal seems too often out of reach. What happens in this season of ministry is more than a matter of whether or not a Christian leader can persist. It is, in fact, possible for a person to engage the call to maturity at the juncture of discipleship and leadership. Enduring Ministry (Liturgical Press, 2017) is designed for those who seek this more durable way forward, one that is infused with grace and inspired by good mission.

In Enduring Ministry, Samuel Rahberg draws on insights from the monastic tradition, the ministry of spiritual direction, and the practice of Christian leadership to support and empower women and men for continued ministries in the church, helping them turn from merely enduring to lasting, effective, and vibrant Christian leadership. Available online.
Coming Up . . .
Great Conversation: How Do I Age with Dignity?
Thurs., Feb. 2, 9a-1p
Deacon Steve Arnold, founder of Pivot Point Ministries
Freewill offering
The reality is that aging begins at conception. Like the bumper stickers says, "Aging Happens." There are those who fight aging, deny aging, and avoid aging. Nonetheless, aging will continue as long as one is breathing. How, then, can one age with enthusiasm and dignity and strive to finish strong? This conversation will focus upon how we might age well while embracing all that aging brings to the table, especially in light of another reality-God is present in the aging process itself. Register online.
Writing Against the Wind
Mondays, 7-9p, Feb. 6, Feb. 20, and Mar. 6
Victor Klimoski
$75 includes book

Writing is one of the ways we are able to name what we know and understand about life. It is a practice and discipline that can bring us a sense of perspective and enable us to see with sharper vision. But sometimes we find ourselves as writers in a dark place. What we write seems flat and dull. We start to doubt whether we have any ability at all, becoming hesitant to claim our point of view and judge too harshly the value of what our experience teaches us. This workshop series explores these very normal periods of "writer's block" as participants reflect on the process of writing and ways to stay at the practice even when the headwinds tempt one otherwise. We will draw on the commentaries and poems in the recently published collection, Lamentations on the Written Word. Limit 12 participants. Register online.
Preaching the Gospel with Our Lives
Thurs., Feb. 9, 7-9p
S. Carol Rennie OSB
A saying attributed to St. Francis goes, "Preach the Gospel daily. If necessary, use words." Given the fast-pace and frequently ambiguous nature of modern society, finding ways to express the Christian faith is both challenging and important. Sometimes a good conversation, especially when rooted in the Benedictine tradition, can be just the support we need to help us discern how best to preach the Gospel with our lives. Register online.
Opening Reception
Wed., Jan. 25, 2017
7-8:30p (award presentation at 7:45p)
Come join the artists and the Sisters for refreshments and conversation celebrating the opening of this year's juried exhibit. The 2017 Seeing God Juried Art Show provides a venue for artists who think deeply about their work and whose creativity helps viewers experience the Divine.  As a member of the Art and Spirituality Team said, "We believe art can be an interpretive lens into the mystery of God, so we are looking for works that capture that deep sense of wonder."
The Benedictine Center's Seeing God art show has attracted more than 150 local artists in its five-year history.  Its goals are to encourage artists in their ability to give form to God's revelation in human life, nature and the cosmos; and to show how arts can expand our capacity to encounter God. St. Paul's Monastery Gallery is located at 2675 Benet Road, St. Paul, MN 55109.
Save the Dates
2017 Benedictine Keynote Series

Benedictine in the Shark Tank: Wisdom for Organizational Life
Thurs., Mar. 23, 9a-1p
S. Edith Bogue OSB
$40 includes lunch
 Register online.

Guard of the Heart in a Heartless World
Fri., Mar. 24, 7-9p
S. Edith Bogue OSB
$25 public presentation only

Monastic Habits for Ordinary People
Fri., Mar. 24, 7p thru Sun., Mar. 26, 1p
S. Edith Bogue OSB
$100 public presentation, retreat, commuting
$175 presentation, retreat, shared room
$225 presentation, retreat, single room
 Register online and indicate preference for lodging in the comment field.

2017 Edition of the Benedictine Center's Listen
Fresh copies will be mailed in early January, but readers can preview the articles and events already. Download a PDF copy to view the new edition or  explore online the upcoming opportunities for retreat, prayer and rich conversation. If you would prefer a hardcopy and do not receive one by the end of the first week of the year, please email the Benedictine Center.
School of Lectio Divina
Fri., Feb. 24, 1p thru Wed., Mar. 1, 1p
Dr. Kathleen Cahalan
$700 includes lodging and meals
The Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery is offering the School of Lectio Divina to adapt the ancient monastic riches of sustained lectio divina to contemporary people. Through an intensive retreat experience set in the rhythm of life at St. Paul's Monastery, participants receive teaching about lectio, spend time meditating on a sacred text significant for them, have the opportunity for individual spiritual direction, and participate in reflective conversation with other participants. In addition, the Benedictine Center will provide a variety of on-going support activities and resources after the retreat to help participants make sustained lectio core to individual prayer and spiritual development. Limit 15. Download application materials.
For more information or call 651.777.7251.
Recommended Reading
The Gospel of John in Poem and Image

A collection of fifty-six reader's poems, combined with twenty-six original pieces of art printed in full color. Available online.
Margin Notes
Poems of the ongoing puzzlement over navigating the waters of daily life. Available online
Enduring Ministry: Toward a Lifetime of Christian Discipleship
Supporting and empowering women and men for lasting and effective Christian leadership. Available online.
The Way Forward:
A Collection of Benedictine Inspirations
Timeless meditations connecting Benedictine wisdom to everyday life. Available in print and digital editions.
Lamentation of
the Written Word
Reposition the dark periods of writing as moments to reclaim why it is important. Available online.
Illuminating Ministry
A Journal, Vol. III
An opportunity for church leaders to join in prayer and reflection with The Saint John's Bible. Available online.
Upcoming Events
17 Enduring Ministry: Toward a Lifetime of Christian Leadership-A New Book Reading
20 Taizé Prayer
20 A Time to Remember: A Retreat for Women Whose Mothers Have Died
25 Seeing God: 2017 Juried Exhibit of Sacred Art
2 Great Conversation: How Do I Age with Dignity?
6+Writing Against the Wind
9 Preaching the Gospel with Our Lives
12 Visions of Nature in Paint and Clay
14 Dementia Support Group
17 Taizé Prayer
19 Forgiveness: There IS a Way Out
243/1School of Lectio Divina
1+Lent: Let Us Pray
6+Shape of the Divine: Working with Clay as Spiritual Practice
10 Bio-Spiritual Focusing Basics
12 Margin Notes: A Poetry Reading by Victor Klimoski
14 Dementia Support Group
15 Seeing the Word: Lenten Day of Reflection with The Saint John's Bible
17 Taizé Prayer
19 Embracing the Holy Time of Lent
23 Benedictine in the Shark Tank: Wisdom for Organizational Life (S. Edith Bogue OSB)
24 Guard of the Heart in a Heartless World (S. Edith Bogue OSB)
2426Monastic Habits for Ordinary People (S. Edith Bogue OSB)

Other Events/Resources of Related Interest
The Practice of Discernment in Prayer (1 credit)
thru Saint John's School of Theology*Seminary, Collegeville
WEB Class; Required Campus Meeting Sunday, Jun. 11, 2017, 1-4:30p
Saint John's  School of Theology will offer the following on-line class this coming winter (spring semester).  An exploration of how our personal image of God evolves as we discern God's ways of being present to us in prayer and in life. By both studying and practicing discernment of spirits we can become sensitive to inner movements, understanding where they come from and where they lead us. The course includes an introduction to the practice of lectio divina applied to our lived experience. Grading is S/U. Please call or email Becky Van Ness if you are interested or want more information: or 320-363-3559

Sam Rahberg, Director


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The Benedictine Center shares the monastic heritage of St. Paul's Monastery with all who seek to live with the Gospel as their guide.
Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery, 2675 Benet Road, St. Paul, MN 55109