BENEDICTINE SPIRITUALITY: Hospitality as a Paradigm of the Spiritual Life

Monday, 8 July 2024 5:00 PM - Friday, 12 July 2024 10:00 AM PDT

31001 N. Valyermo Road, Valyermo, CA, 93563, United States

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Monday, 8 July 2024 5:00 PM - Friday, 12 July 2024 10:00 AM PDT

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BENEDICTINE SPIRITUALITY RETREAT: Hospitality as a Paradigm of the Spiritual Life  


Chapter 53 of the Rule of St. Benedict emphasizes the role of hospitality in the life of the monastery. Virtually every Benedictine monastery has a guest house to provide the disciple-monks the opportunity to ‘welcome guests as Christ Himself.’  This retreat will show that the virtue of hospitality can be seen through the larger lens of human and spiritual relatedness.  We all have implicit and explicit relationships with God, with self and with others. In prayer, one makes room for God, the Initiator of our life and consciousness, commits time to the desire God has for us to be and to ‘be love’ in God’s likeness.  Being made in God’s image, we cannot be fulfilled without a daily and conscious devotion to the Source of our being.  In the interior life of the soul, God manifests His presence and divine will, leading us toward self-knowledge, ongoing conversion and human maturity. In our communal relations, the love of God is the Source that overflows in our families, friendships and ministries, in our welcome of pilgrim, stranger, neighbor, and the poor.


FR. FRANCIS BENEDICT has been a monk of Valyermo since 1967. He earned a BA in philosophy from Loyola-Marymount University and an MA in Theology from Mt. Angel in Oregon. He was ordained a priest in 1976. He served as the Abbey's first abbot [1992-2008]. His special areas of ministry include spiritual direction, preaching retreats, and working with 12-step recovery groups and individuals. In addition to many responsibilities at the Abbey, he also serves as the Director of Oblates.


ELIZABETH SEWARD has been an Oblate of Valyermo since 2000 and strives to practice hospitality ‘in so far as her state in life permits’ in her personal and professional life.  She has been a teacher for some 40 years and now leads an online international handwork teacher training program, sharing with others the human value of ‘the work of our hands.’ Her teaching has been deeply influenced by Parker Palmer’s books on education.  The core value of hospitality to ‘otherness’ in the classroom and beyond impelled her to seek a doctorate in Education, and most recently a second Master’s  in Education and Spirituality.



St. Andrew's Abbey Retreat Office

Phone: (661) 944-2178


Office hours: 8:30am-5:00pm

(Closed for Mass and lunch 11:45am-1:30pm)