January 2019


Friday, January 11-Sunday, January 13, 2019

The greatest human and spiritual truths are often embodied in stories and narratives. Today much of the burden of storytelling is carried by movies. We will view four mainstream films and have intensive discussions on how spiritual realities are shown through their plots, symbols, acting, and so forth. These films will be chosen around a theme and are traditionally kept a mystery. This workshop seeks to raise and focus consciousness of the medium and offer ways to use it in the ongoing project of spiritual growth. (The summer session is offered July 26-28)

Presenter: Nikki Tucker, Obl.OSB
Room, board, and tuition: $275 single; $220 each shared

Nikki Tucker is an oblate of Valyermo and a private Marriage and Family Therapist. She earned a BA in Art History at UCLA with a focus on Medieval Art and an MA at Fuller Seminary. She has lectured and given retreats on art and spirituality and has facilitated several cinema workshops.

Winter Cinema

FOUR SPANISH MYSTICS: Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, & Maria de Agreda

Monday, January 14 - Friday, January 18, 2019

This extraordinary group from the "Golden Age" of Spanish mysticism both reformed religious life and profoundly impacted the practice of Christian spirituality. Their far-reaching influence continues today. Through their writings, we will explore the vision and prayer practices of these Jesuit, Carmelite, and Franciscan men and women which drew them into ever-deeper relationship with Christ. We will invite these holy ones to share the fruit of their spiritual gifts, as they guide and accompany us on our own paths toward spiritual transformation.

Presenter: Laura Dunham, Obl.OSB; Ph.D.; M.Div
Room, board, and tuition: $440 single; $385 each shared

Dr. Laura Dunham, former academic, retired Presbyterian minster, and Catholic convert in 2012, is an oblate of St. Benedict's Monastery in MN. She holds a PhD, MDiv, and Certificate in Spiritual Formation. Teaching and writing about Christian spirituality, guiding the Ignatian Exercises, and leading retreats and group studies of the mystics are her current work. Laura is the author of Path of the Purified Heart: The Spiritual Journey as Transformation (Cascade Boons, 2012) and Extraordinary Time: Spiritual Reflections from a Season with Cancer, Death, and Transition (Cascade Books, 2018). A resident of Riverside, CA, she invites inquiries about her work through her website, www.laura-dunham.com.

Four Spanish Mystics

Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 10:00a.m.-3:00p.m.

Life has way of making so many demands on our time and energy. Sometimes the harder we try the more frustrating it can become. Taking time out to slow down and refocus can do wonders for our mind, body and spirit.

Life often offers us many challenges but you do not have to go it alone. On this one-day retreat to be offered one Wednesday each month, you will learn some very valuable and workable techniques that can assist you in your daily life. Christ is present among us and offers us His "Light" to guide our way. It is possible to turn a life of chaos into a life of peace and calm.

Presenter: Sr. Joan Marie Sasse, OSB
Donation: $45 per person includes tuition, morning beverages, and lunch after Mass

Sr. Joan Marie Sasse
is a Benedictine Sister who was a member of Holy Spirit Monastery in Grand Terrace for many years. When the Community left California in 2012, she joined St. Lucy's Benedictine Community in Glendora. Sr. Joan Marie has earned degrees in Education, Theology, and Neuro Linguistic Programming. She was a teacher and school administrator in various elementary schools for over twenty years and served as a Parish Administrator or Pastoral Associate for thirteen years. Sr. Joan Marie was a Retreat Director at Serra Retreat House in Malibu for five years where she published five Meditation CD's and two CD's for self-improvement. Sr. Joan Marie currently gives weekly Retreats at Grand Terrace, CA.


MID-WINTER DANCE WORKSHOP: The Sacred Dance Into Divine Love

Friday, January 18-Monday, January 21, 2019

Come experience and embrace anew a truth of the ages: sacred dance as a universal language of humankind. Through the work of the weekend we will dance to connect heart, mind, body, and spirit to the divine; to envision a world community committed to living life in compassion, creativity, and in service to the greater good. We will offer our work this year also in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the International Sacred Dance Guild and its commitment to these values and visions.

Dancers, musicians, artists, liturgists, and poets of faith are called together this weekend to transform the Divine Love within humankind into work reflective of our care for and commitment to one another. The days are full of scripture, dance, prayer, and fellowship. Participants will have the opportunity to offer the work of their days in a worshipful setting. Bring comfortable clothes to explore nature and to move with ease.

Presenter: John West, Obl.OSB
Room, board, and tuition: $385 single; $316.50 each shared

John West is an oblate of Valyermo and founder of the Valyermo Dancers. A gifted dancer, choreographer, and liturgist, he has been conducting workshops at St. Andrew's and Holy Spirit Retreat Center as well as at the international and national collegiate and university levels. His professional associations include serving on the board of the Sacred Dance Guild and as a member of the prestigious North American Academy of Liturgy.


Saturday, January 26, 2019, 9:00am-4:00pm

In his mercy God planned for beginnings in our lives. Birthdays, anniversaries, seasons, and cycles are all examples of beginnings. The month of January brings with it the opportunity to begin again.

Perhaps 2018 presented you with trials and heartaches. Perhaps it was a year of triumphs and milestones. Regardless of how the year played out, it is important not to move forward too quickly. The whole of our experiences are part of this journey of life.

Join us for this annual retreat. Take the opportunity to reflect on how God was at work in your life last year, and anticipate how He will be present to you in the coming year. A gentle day of Reflection and Anticipation. Short reflections and directed quiet activities will be given by the presenter. The Abbey gardens and grounds provide the perfect setting for contemplation. Rest, reflect, and anticipate, knowing that God, who was with you in the past year, will be with you in the coming year as well.

Presenter: Lisa Marion, Obl.OSB
Donation: $45 per person includes tuition, morning beverages, and lunch after Mass

Lisa Marion is an oblate of Valyermo and Spiritual Director in Orange County. An energetic leader, she has over 25 years of pastoral experience ministering to people of all ages and stages of life. Leading numerous events both locally and nationally, she conveys her awareness of God and his love with a subtle yet honest sense of humor. For more information about Lisa and her ministry visit: www:dailypax.com -- subscribe to join her growing community of those seeking peace and spiritual growth.


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