Envisioning Benedictine Retreat Ministry for the Twenty-First Century

Team Members/Contributors

Samuel Rahberg Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

As North American Benedictine monastic communities are diminishing, the interest in Benedictine spirituality is increasing. Guests with diverse ecumenical commitments come to monasteries seeking resources for the spiritual life at the same time that the number of monastics available for spiritual direction, retreats, and teaching is decreasing. The commitment to share and teach Benedictine values has not wavered over the last thirty years, but the resources for embodying that commitment are changing. Today members of monastic communities, in partnership with lay leadership, are launching processes of study and discernment about how best to equip retreat ministries for the future.

These processes require thoughtful exploration of what monastic communities have learned in the last thirty years and conversation with scholars and pastoral leaders to help retreat center staff see more deeply into the contemporary context of that ministry. As an Oblate, a director of a Benedictine retreat center, and the Co-Director of the Association of Benedictine Retreat Centers in the U.S. and Canada, I propose to undertake a process of research and shared inquiry that provides St. Paul’s Monastery, as well as nearly sixty other Benedictine retreat centers, with firm footing to discern the vision for Benedictine retreat ministry in the Twenty-First Century.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
Enduring Ministry: Toward a Lifetime of Christian Leadership 2016 Book Samuel Rahberg
The Gospel of John in Poem and Image 2016 Book Samuel Rahberg
Natalie Rahberg
The Way Forward: A Collection of Benedictine Inspirations 2014 Book Samuel Rahberg