November 2019


EDITH STEIN: Her Journey from Darkness into Light
Friday, November 1 - Sunday, November 3, 2019

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 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 identity and her Catholic faith collided with the oppressive Nazi regime and led to her martyrdom at Auschwitz.

Fr. Joseph Brennan, OSB, Cheryl Evanson, Obl.OSB & Michaela Russell, Obl.OSB
Room, board, and tuition:
$275 single; $220 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 on 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 in scripture, and Edith Stein.

Edith Stein


Monday, November 4-Thursday, November 7, 2019

This retreat is open to artists at all levels including beginners. Photographers, sculptors, and writers are also welcome to come and experience the colors and beauty of the high desert in the setting of the monastery. Escape the stress of daily life while deepening a spiritual vision in your art. (A materials list will be provided.)

Deloris Haddow, Obl.OSB
Room, board, and tuition: $330 single; $287.50 each shared

Deloris Haddow is an oblate of Valyermo. She is an artist and educator who studied in Europe, Ukraine, and Iran. She is involved with the California Plein Air Association and is a member of Faith and Forum, a liturgical art organization. She is a spiritual director/facilitator for adults, leading retreats and workshops on centering prayer.


PRIESTS' RETREAT: Ministry & Priesthood Inspired by the Writings of Pope Francis
Monday, November 11-Friday, November 15, 2019

This year's priests' retreat will reflect Pope Francis' themes in his exhortations Evangelii Gaudium and Gaudete et Exsultate as well as select sections of his encyclical Laudato Si' emphasizing universal communion, the ecology of daily life, and the pursuit of the common good of all people. Priests accompany the faithful in their spiritual strivings by their own pursuit of a holy and a joyful life.

Presenter: Fr. Francis Benedict, OSB
Room, board, and tuition: $440 single

Father 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 20, 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.


PRAYING IN THE CAVE OF THE HEART: The Spirituality of Bede Griffiths
Friday, November 22-Sunday, November 24, 2019

This retreat will consider the life story of Benedictine monk Bede Griffiths and his search for the other half of his soul in India. Retreatants will be invited to pray with texts from his writings, especially The Golden String and New Vision of Reality. Conferences will be based on Cyprian Consiglio's Prayer in the Cave of the Heart, an exploration of Bede's spirituality.

Presenter: Fr. Stephen Coffey, OSB Cam
Room, board, and tuition: $275 single; $220 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.

Praying in the Cave of the Heart

GOD IN AMERICA: Judeo-Christian Values in American History
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 9:00a.m.-3:30p.m.

There is ample evidence that American was founded on Judeo-Christian values. They are written in the Declaration of Independence, declared in the words of the Founding Fathers, memorialized in our National Monuments and heard in our expression of gratitude to God for the freedoms we cherish and enjoy. For over 200 years statesmen and leaders (American or not) have acknowledged the role of Providence in the life of this unique nation. This workshop will graphically present some of that evidence. You will find it entertaining, informative, and uplifting.

Presenter: John D'Isacco, Obl.OSB
Donation: $45 per person includes tuition, morning beverages, and lunch after Mass

John D'Isacco has been an Oblate of St. Andrew's Abbey since 2004. He attended the Pontifical College Josephinum from 1951 to 1962. He has a B.A. degree in Philosophy. In the 1960s, he served in the US Army as a German/Russian/English interpreter on the East/West German border. John has been teaching Scripture at American Martyrs, his parish in Manhattan Beach, for over 21 years. He and his wife have led four Pilgrimages to the Holy Land (100 pilgrims). He has pursued post-graduate studies in Theology at Loyola Marymount University.


Wednesday, November 27-Friday, November 29, 2019

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: $220 single; $192.50 each shared


Friday, November 29-Sunday, December 1, 2019

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: $275 single; $220 each shared


Sábado, 30 de Noviembre, 2019 9:00a.m.-3:30p.m.

Adviento significa "venida". Es el tiempo en que los cristianos nos preparamos para la venida del Señor. Se dice que el Antiguo Testamento fue el gran tiempo de espera y después de esa espera de muchos siglos, Cristo se manifestó en toda su gloria dándonos la oportunidad de una nueva vida en el Espíritu. En nuestro caso, no tenemos que esperar siglos para su venida. Los que han ansiado la venida del Señor siempre han estado listos para el encuentro con el Amado. Durante este taller y a través de una reflexión teológica tendrás la oportunidad de un encuentro con Jesús donde Él pueda renovar y restaurar tu vida.

Presentador: Carlos Obando, Obl.OSB
Donación: $45 incluye café o té en la mañana y el almuerzo

Carlos Obando nació en Costa Rica y vive en Los Estados Unidos desde 1966. Está casado, tiene tres hijos y tres nietos. En el año 2009 obtuvo una maestría de la Universidad de Loyola Marymount, Los Ángeles, en Teología Pastoral, es instructor en la Universidad de Loyola en el Centro de Religión y Espiritualidad, el Instituto para el Ministerio Pastoral y también para la Escuela de la Renovación Carismática en la Diócesis de Orange. Ha sido Director Espiritual por más de 20 años. Trabaja con la comunidad hispana desde 1979 en los condados de Los Ángeles y Orange en la formación de líderes y dando retiros a jóvenes y adultos.


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