Suggested Donation
  • Obedience - 1 person – $310.00
  • Obedience - 2 people – $540.00
  • Obedience - Commuter – $135.00

The suggested donation is the minimal amount needed to help us meet expenses. Those blessed with more may wish to contribute more and those who have less may give less.

Date & Time Details:
Friday, Nov. 15 - Sunday, Nov. 17, 2024
Check-in from 1:30 - 5:00 pm.
Supper is served at 5:30 pm.
The first session begins at 7:00 pm.
The final session concludes by 11:30 am.

Location: Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude

Address: 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, ID, USA

Contact: Tiffany McWilliams

Email us about program

Don’t Tell Me What To Do: A Monastic Obedience Retreat

With Tim Oberholzer

November 15 - 17, 2024

The novice to be received comes before all in the oratory and promises stabilityfidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience. This is done in the presence of God and the saints. — Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 58:17-18

People often share that they would be a good fit for monastic life, “if it wasn’t for that obedience thing.” What is “that obedience thing?” Why is obedience considered onerous? What about “blind obedience?” Isn’t that equally problematic? Where is the virtue in obedience? Let’s find out together.

For St. Benedict, obedience is much more than “doing what someone tells you to do.” We will consider Benedictine obedience as listening, gift, and spontaneity. We will also look at the motivations for (or against) obedience. In the Rule, Benedict offers fear, desire, love, and conversion as motives for obedience.


The Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude and Spirit Center present three retreats based on the vows of Benedictine life: stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience. Each retreat explores one vow and its applicability for individuals, families, churches, workplaces, and any other community. The retreats stand alone; participation in one does not require participation in the others.


Tim Oberholzer
Tim Oberholzer is Executive Director of the Center for Benedictine Life. In addition to managing the operations of the CBL, Tim facilitates in-person retreats and on-line programs. Tim also accompanies others as a spiritual director. Tim spent five and a half years as a Trappist monk at New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa.  Deep prayer and reflection led him to leave the community prior to making solemn profession. He moved to Idaho to be closer to his parents, discovering the Monastery of St. Gertrude through a job posting for the innkeeper position at the Inn at St. Gertrude. Tim earned…
Learn more about Tim Oberholzer