Suggested Donation
  • Single Occupancy – $495.00
  • Shared Occupancy – $870.00

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: Monday, June 20 - Friday, June 24, 2022
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.
Check-out is after the midday meal.

Location: Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude

Address: 465 Keuterville Rd.Cottonwood, ID 83522

Marilyn Uhlenkott

Email us about program

Spirit Writing

With Cheryl Johnson, Andy Kennaly, Sr. Teresa Jackson, OSB, Linda Plamondon and Sr. Carlotta Fontes, OSB

June 20 - 24, 2022

“The path is made by walking,” says Antonio Machado.  Spirit Writing invites you to do that—slowly walk the woods and grounds of the Monastery or the labyrinth; follow images and words and see where they take you.  Attend to what shimmers within. Teachers are everywhere.  The Spirit invites us into deep awareness–the buttercup in deadwood for a poem; the Psalm for your new creation; the hermit crab that finds a dwelling for your story; a simple crayon drawing that leads you on a pathway of wonder to your 8-year-old self; the circular path of Tai Chi.

Writing engages the present moment.  It demands quiet listening, a deepening, not only of craft but heart.  It is a spiritual practice like the daily rhythm of life in a monastery, with time “out” for solitude and renewal.   Come join us on this path.  You don’t have to be a writer.  We are here to listen to the Spirit in the practice of writing.


Cheryl Johnson
Now that I’m retired from teaching, when someone asks, what do you do?  I answer, Write, as a spiritual practice.  The reaction is usually, Oh, you’re a writer then.  Yes and no.  I don’t write for tenure now, or my name in lights.  I contemplate world and word, waiting for a spark to light and invite the experience of awakening.  For me, writing seeks to engage a deeper current in life, not just the horizontal hubbub, but a vertical exchange that informs it even when the ember seems buried deep in ashes.  I seek to honor the mystery of Creation,…
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Andy Kennaly
The art of writing expresses and explores aspects of mystery and grace.  Mystical expressions of contemplative faith resonate between silence and words as I listen and write.  With intention, my voice invites awareness to overlapping circles of creation and the Christ within it all.  The creative process is dynamic, has a relational quality, and gives insight gained through honest spiritual struggles of an open heart and mind.  I value retreats as a safe space to learn, labor, and be vulnerable to others and oneself.  This helps us find our voice, craft words into story, and honor our own unique expressions.…
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Sr. Teresa Jackson, OSB
Sister Teresa made First Profession in 2000 and began working with the retreat ministry. As part of an outreach program, she traveled across Idaho, Washington, and Oregon facilitating retreats as well as organizing meaningful experiences for often overlooked groups – parish secretaries and women pastors, for example – at the Monastery. She began to co-coordinate the oblate community with Oblate Jeannette Kelley in 2006. In 2007-8, Sister Teresa earned her Certificate in Monastic Studies from St. John’s University in Minnesota. She believes Benedictine life is not just for sisters. In 2012 she began “Living as Monk in Everyday Life,” a cohort program at…
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Linda Plamondon
I am an artist and writer who, by way of images and words, dreams, memory, and fairy tales, brings a Jungian perspective to my work as an art therapist, addiction counselor, and spiritual director; I offer contemplative, creative workshops that touch on the passion of our hearts, the beauty of our souls, and the mystical in our lives.
Learn more about Linda Plamondon
Sr. Carlotta Fontes, OSB
Sister Carlotta was born in Taunton, Massachusetts. Her father was in the Air Force and the family lived in several places including Japan. They moved to Boise, Idaho, in 1974 upon his retirement. As an adult, Sister Carlotta worked in a manufacturing company. Then, in 2000, she went to Europe, inspired by the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. While praying in a chapel, she saw a group of nuns enter the sanctuary. “I watched them pray and felt an overwhelming sense of wanting to belong to something like that,” she says.  Later, a friend brought her to…
Learn more about Sr. Carlotta Fontes, OSB