November 2018


EDITH STEIN: Her Journey from Darkness into Light
Friday, November 2 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Join us as we reflect on the life and times of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a brilliant philosopher and poet, a mystic and searcher of the truth, and a Jew -- a daughter of Israel. Her encounter with the cross in the life of a Christian friend sparked an inner transformation that led to her baptism into the Catholic faith. Her reading of the life of Teresa of Avila brought her to the door of the Cologne Carmel where she began her contemplative journey as a Carmelite nun. Her Jewish identify and her Catholic faith collided with the oppressive Nazi regime and led to her martyrdom at Auschwitz.

Presenters: Fr. Joseph Brennan, OSB; Cheryl Evanson, Obl.OSB; Michaela Russell, Obl.OSB
Room, board, and tuition: $250 single / $200 each shared

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.

Cheryl Evanson is an oblate of Valyermo and former administrator of the Retreat Center at St. Andrew's. She earned an MA in Education from the University of Denver and was an educator/curriculum specialist for over 30 years. She has facilitated retreats and workshops including team-building, balancing work and prayer, women in scripture, and Edith Stein.

Michaela Russell is an oblate of Valyermo. She has a BA in International Studies/East Asia and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced International Affairs. Michaela spent many years in Asia and is fluent in Mandarin. She has co-facilitated retreats on the desert mothers, women scripture, and Edith Stein.


PRIESTS' RETREAT: Challenges in Our Priestly Ministry

Monday, November 5 - Friday, November 9, 2018

Much has been written about ministry burnout and restoration of pastoral energy through renewed personal balance. Compassion Fatigue is one way of describing a major pitfall in ongoing enthusiasm for the sacrificial loving demanded in our vocation. Many studies of PTSD can be helpful in renewing our call toward holiness of life which must include self-care, deep prayer, and our personal human development as persons and as priests. These themes will be explored together.

Presenter: Fr. Francis Benedict, OSB
Room, board, and tuition: $400 single

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.


Wednesday, November 21 - Friday, November 23, 2018

This non-directed retreat provides time to reflect on all God has given to us and to enjoy the festive celebration of Thanksgiving with the monastic community.

Room and board: $200 single, $175 shared


BECOMING THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY: The Spirituality of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
Friday, November 23 - Sunday, November 25, 2018

This retreat will focus on the spiritual writings of Elizabeth of the Trinity, early 20th century French Carmelite nun, recently canonized by Pope Francis. Retreatants will learn the major themes of her spiritual teaching through conferences and reflection on significant texts she composed during her 5 years as a Carmelite, prior to her death in 1906 at age 26. Her spirituality is rooted in the hymn that begins the Letter to the Ephesians, from which she drew her understanding of her vocation "to become the praise of His glory."

Presenter: Fr. Stephen Coffey, OSB Cam
Room, board, and tuition: $250 single / $200 each shared

Fr. Stephen Coffey, a Massachusetts native, is a monk of the Camaldolese Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict and lives at the Monastery of the Risen Christ in San Luis Obispo, where he is director of oblates. He is a retreat director, spiritual director, and is involved in other formation ministries at the Hermitage in Big Sur and at San Lorenzo Seminary in Santa Ynez. He is a graduate of St. John's School of Theology in Collegeville, MN and holds degrees in Christian Spirituality from Creighton in Omaha and in Pastoral Leadership from Chaminade in Honolulu.

st elizabeth

Friday, November 30 - Sunday, December 2, 2018

On this first weekend of Advent we will offer a potpourri of monastic insights, enabling participants to experience the Advent season as a time rooted in scripture, history, art, music, and liturgy.

Presenters: Monks of Valyermo
Room, board, and tuition: $250 single / $200 each shared


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