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Date & Time Details:
February 21, 2024 at 1:00 pm Pacific Time
Concluding at 2:30 pm.

Location: Zoom

Contact: Tim Oberholzer

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Diffusions – Praying with the Desert Mothers : Introduction to the Desert Mothers

With Dr. Samantha L. Miller

February 21, 2024

The fourth- and fifth-century desert mothers lived the earliest forms of Christian life in the Mediterranean region. Praying with the Desert Mothers presents the stories and insights of these remarkable spiritual elders, who were known as ammas; that is, women of spiritual insight and direction. The book draws on the wisdom of ancient spiritual practices to provide reflection for prayer and meditation today.

— from the back cover of Praying with the Desert Mothers by Sr. Mary Forman, OSB.

This is the first in a series of Diffusions sessions based upon the book Praying with the Desert Mothers by Sr. Mary Forman, OSB. Beginning with the Introduction, we are progressing chapter-by-chapter through the book. Each session is facilitated to stand alone but the greatest benefit will come through participating in each session. Reading the chapter in advance will prime participants for the day’s discussion.

In this session, we will discuss “Introduction to the Desert Mothers.”

Future sessions:

  • March 13 : Ammas as Midwives of Wisdom
  • May 1 : Ammas as Scripture Scholars
  • TBD : Future Chapters

Note: Copies of Praying with the Desert Mothers by Sr. Mary Forman, OSB may be obtained through Liturgical Press or Amazon.


Diffusions offers online programs to further opportunities for prayer, learning, community, and spiritual growth from a Benedictine perspective. We look forward to bringing Wisdom from the Center to you, wherever you are.


Dr. Samantha L. Miller
Samantha L. Miller, (Ph.D., Marquette University) is an assistant professor of theology at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Her most recent books are John Chrysostom and African Charismatic Theology in Conversation: Salvation, Deliverance, and the Prosperity Gospel (Lexington Press) and Chrysostom’s Devil: Demons, the Will, and Virtue in Patristic Soteriology (IVP Academic). Her research interests are early church history and spirituality, and her human interests are canoeing, hiking, and everything outdoors.
Learn more about Dr. Samantha L. Miller