Kaley and Katie are summer interns in the Monastic Immersion Experience focused on caregiving.

The Monastery of St. Gertrude offers unique opportunities to experience monastic life through the Monastic Immersion Experience with focus areas in caregiving and arts. This summer, two students from Whitworth University, Katie Waltar and Kaley Alness, are participating for ten weeks through the Ekklesia Fellowship program at their school.

“I like learning more about the Catholic mindset, the symbols and practices,” says Katie. “I have always been interested in more formal liturgy.”

Katie grew up in Post Falls Idaho and will begin a Masters of Divinity at Duke University this fall. At Whitworth, she studied English literature and theology. Last summer she served as a parish assistant in Scotland through the Ekklesia program.

Students apply for the Ekklesia program and then are sent on summer internships based on their interests, from church life to non-profits. Both Kaley and Katie expressed interest in community health and monastic life and were placed at St. Gertrude’s. They will engage in 20 hours of caregiving a week on the assisted living floor of the Monastery and then engage in classes on Lectio Divina and other topics in monastic spirituality.

Kaley was recommended for the Ekklesia program by a professor. She grew up in Auburn, Washington and has had most of her ministry experiences working with youth. Kaley is a junior majoring in Public Health.

“I didn’t know how comfortable I would be here,” she says. “I am generally not around anyone over the age of 50 and I have never been to a monastery. I would say it’s been a pretty easy transition.”

The Monastic Immersion Experience offers opportunities year-round to experience monastic life. Learn more…