News from the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery
from the current exhibit We're In America Now! by Fred Amram and Sandra Brick
May 5-18, 2015
Meditation: Tools Matter

To consent to good thoughts or desires or passions becomes a virture, the habit of doing good. To consent to bad thoughts or desires or passions becomes a vice or a sin, the habit of doing wrong. Virtues are beneficial to the soul, and vices are destructive to it. Some thoughts come into consciousness already as an emotion since they rise so quickly that we don't note the signals at their first "rising." Awareness of our thoughts allows distance from them, which is the first step in discernment.


This excerpt is from S. Meg Funk's book Tools Matter: Beginning the Spiritual Journey (Liturgical Press, 2013. S. Meg returns to St. Paul's Monastery on Jul. 9-15 for Unceasing Prayer: An Introduction to Various Forms and the School of Lectio Divina.

New Exhibit Opens: Reflection by the Artists


Fred Amram
Righteous Christians

by Fred M. B. Amram


Fred Amram is a creative writer and award-winning professor of communication and creativity who has published books and essays about his life as a Jew in Nazi Germany and his subsequent assimilation into his American home. He and his wife, Sandra Brick, a teacher and textilist who has exhibited her work on four continents, are on exhibit at St. Paul's Gallery now until July 1. The exhibit is called "We're In America Now!" On Sun., May 31 the two will be hosting a reception and talk called "Understanding the Immigrant/Refugee Experience." Learn more and register online.


Sandra Brick

Fred writes . . .


I was born in a Catholic infants shelter. My birth certificate has the signature of a nun. Not just any run-of-the-mill nun. The illegible signature shows a clear title: Oberin. Mother Superior.


Just seven and one-half months after Hitler became chancellor of Germany, the Nazis had already closed our Jewish hospital and had prohibited Jews from using public hospitals. Juden Verboten. Jews Forbidden.


Some Catholic orders stood up to Hitler. My Mother Superior allowed Jewish women to use her facilities and encouraged her nurses to be daring. Surely they took a risk on my behalf. Besides the nuns who assured my healthy birth, we knew other righteous Christians during the Holocaust.


I was only five when uniformed Gestapo regularly came to our apartment to search for radios and other items forbidden to Jews. Most frightening was their search for Jewish men. Only the men in those early years. The men were taken to . . . No one knew for sure.


When the Gestapo came to our apartment, Papa was always out on business." Apparently he had "ways of knowing." He would disappear "downstairs." We lived on the fourth floor of a five story apartment building. "Downstairs" he went to the apartment of a Christian family who found a hiding place for him. I can't shake the image of my tiny father fitting comfortably under a bed. I was never told the names of these risk-takers who sheltered my Papa. Even when I questioned him directly, in his later and more comfortable years, he wouldn't reveal their names. They were simply "downstairs." Papa was still protecting these good people who protected him.


In the home of these righteous Christians, these upstanders, Jews were not verboten. Jews were welcome. Juden willkommen!


from the current exhibit We're In America Now!


Spiritual Director's Read
Deepening Engagement by Diane Millis
Diane Millis, spiritual director, teacher, consultant, and friend of St. Paul's Monastery, has just released Deepening Engagement: Essential Wisdom for Listening and Leading with Purpose, Meaning and Joy (Skylight Paths, 2013) as a complement to her first book, Conversation, The Sacred Art (Skylight Paths, 2013).
Deepening Engagement is a pleasant weaving of ancient wisdom, modern poetry and Millis' own personal experience and professional expertise. She draws together insights from many spiritual traditions to underscore a primary conviction:
"Our capacity to lead a deeply engaged life stems from the qualities--that is, the habits, dispositions, attitudes, and skills--we bring to our everyday relationships and responsibilities." (xviii)
By including everyday relationships and responsibilities, Millis makes room for all readers to learn and apply what they read to their own unique expression of listening and leading. Even so, the reflections are solid and rich in ways that sustain those who consider themselves experienced leaders.
Click here to learn more about Diane Millis and her work.

2016 Pilgrimage to South Korea,
Land of the Morning Calm

May 24 - June 2, 2016

Estimated cost $2,935

(includes transportation, lodging and meals)


Email with your initial interest before May 31. Limited to ten participants.


Despite great suffering, Benedictines in South Korea exemplify new life. The political persecution in the mid-1900s that attempted to destroy the missionary zeal of the early founders, actually served to steel the Sisters' commitment. As St. Paul's Monastery has learned through the friendship of S. Isaac Bae OSB and S. Anna Yu OSB, Benedictine spirituality in South Korea thrives on the memory of sacrifice and a resilient hope, giving this mystical place the name "Land of the Morning Calm."


This pilgrimage offers an intimate number of participants the opportunity to experience the global character of Christianity through the lens of Korean Benedictine life. The values will be familiar, but the cultural context is entirely new. Encounter the stirring language, landscape, heritage, and flavors of South Korea as a universal invitation to prayer and renewal. Pilgrims will be accompanied by Missionary Benedictines in Seoul and Daegu, as well as Sam Rahberg, S. Carol Rennie OSB, and poet Victor Klimoski.




1          Depart Minneapolis/St. Paul for Seoul Priory, South Korea

2          Day of Prayer and Reflection with the Sisters

3          Morning prayer, tour of Seoul, supper and evening prayer with the Sisters

4          Travel to Daegu Priory

5          Day of Prayer, Work and Reflection with the Sisters

6          Day of Sabbath

7          Day of Prayer, Work and Reflection with the Sisters

8          Day of Prayer, Garden Liturgy

9          Return to Seoul, Festive Dinner

10        Return to Minneapolis/St. Paul


Email with your initial interest before May 31. Limited to ten participants. 

School of Lectio Divina
Fri., Jul. 10, 1p thru Wed., Jul. 15, 1p
S. Meg Funk OSB

(also Feb. 19-25, 2016 with Kathleen Cahalan)
$700 includes lodging and meals 


If you have been waiting to join S. Meg Funk OSB for a sustained retreat, now is the moment of opportunity. S. Meg plans to step aside from the leadership of the Benedictine Center Schools after July 2015. Do not delay in reserving your place.


Enter 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.


Limit 15. Download materials online or email


Click here for description. Download a brochure.


Click here for PDF application


Click here for Word application


The Latest Benedictine Center Publication

The latest edition of Listen is now available. To request a copy, please email the Benedictine Center. Alternatively, download a PDF copy now or  explore online the upcoming opportunities for retreat, prayer, and rich conversation.
Recommended Reading
The Way Forward:
A Collection of Benedictine Inspirations
Timeless meditations connecting Benedictine wisdom to everyday life. Available in print and digital editions.
Matters of Life and Death by Victor Klimoski
Poems that capture ideas that will not let go, including what it means to live up to the day we die. 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
Other Events/Resources of Related Interest


Two Rivers Gallery Exhibit on View: May 15 - June 5, 2015. Please come and show your support for local Native art. More online at


Saint Paul Vocal Forum hosts "Night of the Soul: A Choral Journey" on May 30, 7:30p at the Church of Saint Peter, North Saint Paul, and May 31, 4p at Saint Michael's Lutheran, Roseville. Visit for more information.


Michael Dennis Browne is giving a reading in Iowa City in June on June 15 (at Prairie Lights) and teaching a weekend workshop, "The Art of the Short Poem," from Friday evening June 12 to Sunday afternoon June 14. Register soon as there is room for one more! Visit


City House, a nonprofit organization offering spiritual listening to those on the margins is seeking a new program director. Email for details.


Sam Rahberg
Sam Rahberg, Director
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