May 2020

MAY 2020

CANCELLED THE REALITY OF THE UNSEEN: Looking at Mysticism and Religious Experience as a Gift of Being Human
Wednesday May 6-Friday, May 8, 2020

This retreat will reveal and illumine our inner experience of God, in its subtle and its dramatic forms. Being human is acknowledging our dependence on the Unseen, the Transcendent, the Creative Source--God. Made in God's image and likeness, mystics experience this more-than-human knowing and loving that comes from their Creator. Are we not all called to be in mystical communion with God? Paying attention to God's interventions in saintly lives can illumine our personal path of religious experience that draws us closer to God and to our true selves. The works of William James, Evelyn Underhill, and Bernard McGinn will be a few sources in our explorations.

Fr. Francis Benedict, OSB and Tony Verhallen
Room, board, and tuition:
$220 single; $192.50 each shared

Fr. Francis Benedict has been a monk of Valyermo since 1967. He earned an MA in Philosophy from Loyola-Marymount University and an MS in Theology from Mt. Angel in Oregon. He was ordained a priest in 1976. He served as the Abbey's abbot for 16 years. His special areas of ministry include spiritual direction, preaching retreats, and working with 12-step recovery groups. In addition to many responsibilities at the Abbey, he now serves as the Director of Oblates.

Tony Verhallen is a retired high school teacher. He taught courses on Ethics, Church History, and Scripture at Pius X High School in Downey, St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, and Servite High School in Anaheim. He does volunteer work for the Western Service Workers Association, an organization that assists low-income families, and weekly conducts discussions and reflections on the Scriptures at St. Boniface parish in Anaheim.



Friday, May 8-Sunday, May 10, 2020

The attitude of spiritual poverty is not meant just for those in religious life. As the soul tries to obtain closer union with God, it realized that it must die to self in order for the Lord to increase. Scripture says, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn 3:30). It also tells us, "Do not love the world, or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world (1Jn 2:15-16).

This retreat will provide an opportunity to discover, or perhaps rediscover, the true wealth which comes to us from living a life of spiritual poverty. This retreat will use as a launching point, Poverty of Spirit by Joannes Baptist Metz, and will explore the nature of spiritual poverty as well as the different types of spiritual poverty to which we are called. We will look to monastic perspectives, Scripture, and the lives of the Saints to further support our study.

Presenter: Fr. Angelus Echeverry, OSB
Room, board, tuition: $275 single; $220 each shared

Fr. Angelus Echeverry has been a monk of Valyermo since 2011. He holds a Masters in Classical Music Composition and is currently Organist and Choir Master. He has a deep love for what he calls "The 4 M's of my life": Music, the Mystical life, the holy Mystery we call Trinity, and Mary, the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God. To listen to Fr. Angelus' music, please visit:


CANCELLED PRIESTS' RETREAT: Walking in the Way of the Heart Through the Gospel of John...
Monday, May 11-Friday, May 15, 2020

. . . Rekindling the mystical dimension of our priestly life and ministry. To aid us on our journey together during these days of retreat we will be reflecting on two works: Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John by Jean Vanier, and Written That You May Believe: Encountering Jesus in the Fourth Gospel by Sandra M. Schneiders. (This retreat is also offered March 23-27)

Presenter: Fr. Joseph Brennan, OSB
Room, board, and tuition: $440 single

Fr. Joseph Brennan has been a monk of Valyermo since 1994 after having served as a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for over 20 years. He is a spiritual director at the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for priests in Los Angeles as well as St. Andrew's Prior.



Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, 2020

This retreat will be conducted via zoom. If interested, click the "make reservation" link or call the Abbey at 661.944.2178.

In this workshop we will explore the growth of monastic spirituality from its beginnings with the fathers and mothers of the desert, through the time of St. Benedict, up to the development of Gregorian Chant. This will provide us with an opportunity to see how early monks and nuns sought to experience God in Sacred Scripture, in interpersonal relationships, and in contemplation of the World to Come. We will look at examples from the rich heritage they have left behind and reflect on how we can make use of these treasures in our own spiritual lives.

Presenter: Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB; Ph.D.; M.D.
Room, board and tuition: $275 single; $220 each shared

Fr. Luke Dysinger has been a monk of Valyermo since 1976. He is a priest and a physician who writes and teaches in the fields of mystical theology and biomedical ethics. He received a D.Phil. in patristics at Oxford University and is professor of church history and moral theology at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, CA.



Friday, May 29-Sunday, May 31, 2020

This retreat will be conducted via zoom. If interested, click the "make reservation" link or call the Abbey at 661.944.2178.

This preached retreat is for oblates of St. Andrew's Abbey or anyone interested in Benedictine spirituality. The focus of the retreat is the Rule of St. Benedict and the liturgy of Pentecost.

Presenters: Monks of Valyermo
Room, board, and tuition: $275 single; $220 each shared


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