Spirituality and the Arts

The Spirituality and the Arts program at the Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude presents dynamic performances and retreats that engage artistic expression as devotion and makes possible the deepening of spirituality through creativity.

Mission Statement of Spirituality and the Arts at St. Gertrude

St. Benedict encouraged artistic expression in monastic life. The Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude fosters awareness of the sacred moment, tending the inner life and the beauty of creation.  An inclusive community, we welcome the manifestations of beauty in our world and nurture all artistic possibilities.

Art is essential to the contemplative path. It expresses new ways to “see” the invisible and participate with the Divine and the human. The visible and invisible inform each other. The monastic and the artist live parallel lives of devotion. Through communal sharing and hospitality, both honor the abiding mystery of creation.

We embrace the mysteries of spiritual experience and artistic expression. We provide silence, time and space for discernment, humility and focus. We wish to help the creativity in all to flourish and deepen. Beauty comes not only from head and hand, but also from heart and soul.

Artist in Residence at St. Gertrude

The Artist in Residence program at the Center for Benedictine Life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude is a month-long opportunity for women visual artists, musicians, and writers to spend time with their practices in a monastic setting amidst the Benedictine Sisters of Cottonwood, Idaho. The artist in residence lives in the Monastery, joining the community in meals and other aspects of community life.

Concerts in the Chapel

Concerts in the Chapel bring musicians and performers from Idaho and beyond to share their talents and insights, blending music and the spiritual in the exquisite setting of the monastery chapel.

Inviting Spiritual Formation through Art and Creativity

Spirit Center, on the monastery campus, offers facilitated retreats throughout the year in Benedictine spirituality, arts, and more.

Passion of the Earth

In 2003, the Sisters commissioned fabric artist Melanie Weidner to create The Passion of the Earth, a multi-media project which is a blend of the traditional Catholic Stations of the Cross devotion and the Universe Story, as presented in the work of Thomas Berry.

In seven brief, narrative stations, the story of the earth is told, from creation to the current moment when humanity must decide whether to care for this gift of God’s creation or whether to continue on the path of destruction.