Benedictine symbol/Monastery of St. Gertrude

Retreat teaches participants how to live as monk

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Simple changes practiced consistently can yield major life-giving transformations. According to a press release, this is the deep heart of monastic living and a major focus of “Living as a Monk in Everyday Life” with Sister Teresa Jackson, a nine-month Benedictine spirituality cohort program at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude.

It begins with a week-long retreat September 10-16 at the monastery, located in Cottonwood, Idaho. Then, over the next nine months participants will take online classes in Benedictine spirituality, participate in online discussions with other participants, explore suggested readings and do regular integration/reflection exercises.  The program will consist of four separate units:

  1. The spiritual journey;
  2. Benedictine prayer;
  3. Values and structures of Benedictine life;
  4. Reading the Rule of Benedict.

Sister Teresa was inspired to create the program several years ago after observing the number of lay people who are drawn to Benedictine spirituality but who don’t have opportunities for in-depth, structured formation.

“The cohort is an opportunity for like-minded people to journey together as they develop a monastic lifestyle in the midst of a society that doesn’t understand this call,” she said in an announcement.

Participation in the program will be limited to eight people who will be accepted through an application process.  A donation of $1,500 will cover the retreats, food, lodging and program costs after acceptance into the cohort program.

To apply, or for information, call (208) 962-3224.

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Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Journalism Instructor at Washington State University.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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