News from the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery
excerpt from a submission to the current juried exhibit by Beth Andrews
Jan. 27 - Feb. 9, 2015

Jean Marbillon [a Benedictine monk and scholar who lived from 1632-1707] and others warn that unless reading and study are encouraged in the monastery there will not be a suitable pool of educated and intelligent persons from which to choose leaders for the monastic community...he cautions that at first one should read not to teach others, but simply to form oneself. Later, when one is involved in helping others, one can direct some of one's reading toward their instruction. However, he observes, the latter sort of reading tends not to touch one's own mind and heart so deeply. There also seems to be a law that things read and studied for their own intrinsic worth turn out to be more practical and pastoral than books that aim to offer practical and utilitarian guidance.


This meditation is from Essential Monastic Wisdom (HarperCollins, 1999), an insightful book about practical Benedictine wisdom written by Fr. Hugh Feiss OSB. Fr. Hugh will be facilitating Fostering the Contemplative Life on Feb. 26, 2015 and Essential Monastic Wisdom on Feb. 27-29, 2015 at the Benedictine Center.

S. Leanne Maerz  OSB Dies at Age 90


S. Leanne made her transition into heaven on Sun., Jan. 25, 2015 at St. Paul's Monastery.

S. Leanne was born July 17, 1924 in Long Prairie, Minnesota.  She entered St. Benedict's Monastery in 1939, made her first profession to the monastic way of life, July 11, 1943 and final monastic profession on July 11, 1945. She became one of the founding members of St. Paul's Monastery.


S. Leanne lived her calling to service as teacher, principal, Head Start program participant, Sacramental coordinator, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and a number of other roles supporting others in their journey of faith. For years she was a faith minister of hospitality for guests of the Benedictine Center.


Within the monastic community of St. Paul's Monastery, S. Leanne was appreciated as a woman of great warmth as she shared her presence and always a hearty welcome to all who crossed our threshold.  While we will miss her presence, we know she is praising God with the Christ she loved and served joyfully.                                                            


Seeing God: 2015 Juried Exhibit of Sacred Art
On Fire, by Beth Andrews (one of more than 35 artists in the exhibit)
Opening Reception Wed., Jan. 28, (7-8:30p)

The Art and Spirituality Team of St. Paul's Monastery is pleased to announce the opening of the 2015 Juried Exhibit of Sacred Art. The exhibit will feature the work of over 35 artists whose works are rooted in themes drawn from religious traditions, Scripture, nature, the human journey, and/or an interpretation of the mystery of life.

All are welcome to the opening reception of the exhibit on Jan. 28 from 7-8:30p. Refreshments will be provided and awards will be announced as part of a brief program at 7:45p.

The exhibit will be open to the public from 9a-6p daily through Mar. 6, 2015.
Introducing the Feb. 2015 Benedictine Keynote Speaker
Hello. I'm Fr. Hugh...

I entered Mt. Angel Abbey in 1960 and was ordained to priestly service in 1966. I did most of my subsequent graduate work in philosophy and theology at The Catholic University of America and Sant' Anselmo in Rome. I taught humanities, philosophy and theology for 30 years at Mt. Angel Seminary, and directed the abbey library at Mt. Angel for 10 years before coming to Ascension Priory (Jerome, Idaho) in 1996. 

Here the time not devoted to liturgy and other community activities, I spend teaching, writing and doing pastoral work, which along with my friends are my great loves in this world. I coordinate the monastery's oblate program and the Elderhostels offered in the monastery's retreat house/ministry center. I work with several distance learning programs in theology. My academic interests center on medieval religious thought and practice, monastic history, and theology about Christ and creation. I am also very interested in ornithology and natural history generally.
Essential Monastic Wisdom
Fri., Feb. 27, 7-9p public presentation
Fri., Feb. 27, 7p thru Sun., Mar. 1, 1p retreat
Fr. Hugh Feiss OSB
$25 Friday presentation only (Register online)
$100 presentation, retreat, commuting (Register online)
$175 presentation, retreat, shared room (Register online)
$225 presentation, retreat, single room (Register online)
During a Friday evening public lecture, author Fr. Feiss will identify figures and themes which are most significant as contemporary Christians strive to prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ. The evening overview will unfold into a deeper experience of those figures and themes for those who choose to stay and participate in the retreat through Sunday. See also Fostering the Contemplative Life on Feb. 26 for Christian leaders.

Imagination and Adversity
Fri., May 1, 7-9p
H. Emerson Blake,
editor of Orion Magazine
$25 Learn more

People are hungry for insight and inspiration which invite them to stand tall and step forward, and that makes imagination indispensable. H. Emerson Blake became an editor because he believes in the power of art and the potential it holds to unlock people's inner lives. He also believes that when people's inner lives are unlocked that outer change becomes possible.

Monastic Wisdom

for the Sake of the Planet

Sat., May 2, 9a-3p
Victor Klimoski, H. Emerson Blake,
and Others 
$40 includes lunch Learn more

The day begins with poet and teacher Victor Klimoski, exploring the way nature models the symbiotic character of true connection. H. Emerson Blake will then survey the global movement of writers and artists who work against the odds to inspire change. Lastly, we'll hear from a panel of representatives from grassroots efforts to improve food justice, safe water, and clean air. Be part of the conversation. Be part of the solution.
Pilgrimage in the Bold Footsteps
of Benedictine Women

Fri., Jun. 5, 8a thru Sat., Jun. 6, 3p (option to stay through 6p for Vigil and supper)
$175 for double lodging
$200 for single lodging (limited availability)

In this pilgrimage, we trace the bold footsteps of the women we have come to admire, from the founding of St. Paul Priory on Summit Avenue to St. Benedict's Monastery, and then the journey back toward St. Paul as if we were among the founding members. Along the way we will be joined by expert storytellers who will help us see how the past continues to shape the present and future of St. Paul's Monastery. The pilgrimage departs from and returns to St. Paul's Monastery. Includes transportation, meals, and overnight accommodations at St. Benedict's Monastery. Ideal for Oblates, volunteers, and friends of St. Paul's Monastery. Register online.
School of Lectio Divina
Fri., Jul. 10, 1p thru Wed., Jul. 15, 1p
S. Meg Funk OSB

$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. Limit 15. Learn more online.


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
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.
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Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery | 2675 Benet Road | St. Paul | MN | 55109