Public Evening Presentation by Kathleen Norris
Finding the Sacred in Our Everyday Lives
We will reflect on selections from a variety of contemporary writers who are finding God in the moments of daily life and consider the ways in which they are re-envisioning and re-imagining the idea of the sacred. Some are writing about their work as doctors and nurses; others are committing radical acts of Biblical interpretation; and others are Buddhists illuminating everyday acts with spiritual insight. My goal is to have an evening that is both edifying and entertaining.
Free. Open to the public.
Dominican Sisters Center, 1520 Grand Ave, San Rafael, CA
Contemplative Retreat with Kathleen Norris
Into the Hands of the Living God—Spirituality for the Real World
Genesis tells us that creation itself was a daily event. Each day God labored to make our world, and then blessed it by calling it good. On the seventh day God rested. Our lives are daily as well, but that often seems more a drudgery than a blessing. True Sabbath leisure and restorative rest are increasingly hard to come by.
During this week’s retreat we will explore a spirituality for the real world, by taking a look at the dailiness of life, and asking where God finds us, and where we find God in the midst of our daily chores and responsibilities. As Thomas Merton reminds us, “All of our salvation begins on the level of common and natural and ordinary things.”
In this retreat we will consider the sacred in the everyday, ways in which we might come to see our daily lives not as a grind but as a gateway to holiness.
Kathleen Norris is the award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington. Kathleen is also an experienced teacher and retreat leader. Currently she is a visiting professor at Providence College in Rhode Island. Exploring the spiritual life, her work is at once intimate and historical, rich in poetry and meditations, brimming with exasperation and reverence, deeply grounded in both nature and spirit, sometimes funny, and often provocative. We welcome this opportunity to have Kathleen share her wisdom and experience during this week.
Fee: $625. Discounted fee for early registration by May 28: $575
Registration deposit: $210
Contemplative Scriptural Retreat with Jude Siciliano, OP and Patricia Bruno, OP
Crying Out Loud: Psalms, the Songs for Real Life
The Psalms have been called poetic prayers. They draw their power from a range of human emotions: awe, praise, complaint, thanksgiving, repentance. We will bring ourselves and our world to the Psalms this week and let these poetic prayers speak to our hearts. And we will listen! We will also draw on contemporary poems to help us bridge the gap between the ancient world of the Psalms and our own. If you like, you might bring a favorite poem with you that has uplifted your spirit or spoken a truth to you.
Fr. Jude and Sr. Patricia travel throughout the United States presenting parish retreats. As a preaching team, they have taught the art of preaching and are each actively engaged in the work of their own communities, Sr Patricia as a member of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, and Fr. Jude as a member of the Southern Province of the Dominican Friars. They bring a wealth of preaching and teaching experience to their retreat work and are gifted in leading groups and reflection and ritual.
Fee: $625. Discounted fee for early registration by July 2: $575
Registration deposit: $210
Writing Retreat with Carrie Fountain
Moving Toward the Eye of the Storm: Finding Peace at the Very Center of our Lives through Writing
A reading and writing retreat with award-winning poet and teacher Carrie Fountain. In our time together, we will seek meaning, respite, and renewal by exploring the spiritually transformative practice of writing. We will explore how writing can guide our lives as spiritual beings and meaning—who are peace-seeking individuals. We will reflect on the many ways a writing practice can draw us into a creative space of being and discovery, and the many ways in which we can be transformed by it. A variety of texts will guide us. The retreat is open to newly budding writers, as well as those whose lives have long been shaped by the craft.
Carrie Fountain’s poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Tin House. Her first collection, Burn Lake, was a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series Award and was published by Penguin in 2010. Penguin published her second collection, Instant Winner, in 2014. Carrie is writer-in-residence at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her husband, playwright Kirk Lynn, and their children.
Fee: $425. Discounted fee for early registration by August 13: $375
Registration deposit: $150
Merton Centenary Retreat with Bonnie Thurston
Encountering the Other: A Contemplative Introduction to Thomas Merton’s Interfaith Experiences
Thomas Merton was a pioneer in interfaith dialogue. His inner journey opened him to exploring the contemplative across spiritual traditions. We are honoring Merton’s profound gifts to the spirituality of the 20th and 21st centuries as we commemorate his 100th centennial by an exploration of some of Merton’s ideas and writings about interfaith dialogue. We have invited Merton scholar, Bonnie Thurston, to guide us in understanding Merton’s contemplative center in Christianity, his interest in and the gifts he received from Buddhism and Islam, and his principles for interreligious encounter. We hope sharing Merton’s insights will help us expand our own understanding of and capacity for contemplation and engaging the Other.
Bonnie Thurston, Merton and New Testament scholar and theologian, taught at the university level for thirty years. She is an experienced spiritual director and retreat leader and her poetry frequently appears in religious periodicals. She was a founding member of the International Thomas Merton Society, served as president and lectures widely on Merton in North America and Europe. She has a particular passion for his poetry and interreligious thought. We welcome Bonnie back to Santa Sabina from her quiet West Virginia hills for this Merton centenary retreat.
Fee: $425. Discounted fee for early registration by October 8: $375
Registration deposit: $150
Advent Retreat with Patrick Marrin
Imagination is another name for the biblical “heart,” where all ideas, hopes and promises first take form. During Advent, Mary models for us how to welcome the Incarnation. She heard the Word with such deep faith in her heart that it became flesh in her womb. As she conceived, carried and gave birth to Jesus, she “pondered all these things in her heart,” again modeling for us how to find God in all things—especially our own unique, human experiences. Where such faith is present, Advent imagines Christmas, the Christ in us quickens and comes to birth, which is the goal of the Christian life.
The rich imagery in the Bible reveals the face of God, the living presence of Jesus, the mystery of the “Christ in us” found in St. Paul’s letters. Art, music, literature and all our relationships also reveal God. It has been said that if we cannot imagine something, it cannot happen. Advent encourages us to stir up our imaginations and to long for God with all our hearts.
Pat Marrin is the editor of Celebration, the worship resource of the National Catholic Reporter. He produces a daily blog of sketches and scriptural reflections called “Pencil Preaching” and is the creator of “Francis the comic strip,” which appears in NCR and is syndicated on GoComics.com. Before joining NCR in 1997, he chaired the Journalism department at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and worked as newsroom illustrator, editorial cartoonist and book review editor at a daily newspaper in Topeka, Kan. Pat is married and lives in Kansas City, Mo.
Fee: $375. Discounted fee for early registration by October 29, $350
Registration deposit: $150