Sister Teresa Jackson, a retreat leader and spiritual director at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, created “Living as a Monk in Everyday Life” for lay people.

“Living as a Monk in Everyday Life” with Sister Teresa Jackson is a nine-month Benedictine spirituality cohort program at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude. It begins with a week-long retreat September 10-16, 2018.

Sister Teresa was inspired to create the program several years ago after observing the number of lay people who are drawn to Benedictine spirituality but who don’t have opportunities for in-depth, structured formation. “The cohort is an opportunity for like-minded people to journey together as they develop a monastic lifestyle in the midst of a society that doesn’t understand this call,” says Sister Teresa.

After the first retreat, participants spend the next nine months taking online classes in Benedictine spirituality, participating in online discussions with other participants, exploring suggested readings, and doing regular integration and reflection exercises. There is a retreat midway in winter and a final retreat in the spring.

Past participants describe the program as both challenging and life-changing. “The retreat is also an opportunity to meet some exceptional people to share your journey,” says Sister Teresa. “An amazing bond and sense of community develops among the participants.”

“Living as a Monk in Everyday Life” is ideal for someone who has a sense of wanting more from their faith life. “It is a lot of work, it isn’t easy, and takes a substantial commitment of time,” explains Sister Teresa, “but most people who are intentional about doing the work find that their lives are never the same.”

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