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Volume 33 • Number 2

Spring 2007

“We cannot see the things of God in the light of the world, we need another light. Jesus takes us apart that we may see. He delights to reveal divine glory in seclusion. He calls, and it is a joyous day when in His light we see visions of God.”

Richard Meux Benson, SSJE Founder of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Cover photo: Brs. Robert L’Esperance and Kevin Hackett in the monastery cloister. Br. Robert makes his Profession in Life Vows on Sunday, June 3, at the monastery. Br. Kevin has been appointed Vocations Director, taking leadership in our communication with men interested in exploring a vocation to SSJE.

©2007 by The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, North America

A Letter from the Superior Dear Members of the Fellowship of Saint John and other Friends, Curtis Almquist, SSJE


he word “icon,” part of the ancient vocabulary of the church, is now in much more common parlance in computer vocabulary. The internet now opens a window to endless images of our interconnected world. We now know the world, and the world knows us. For the Christian faith to be viable and to have integrity, our word and actions must be good news for the world which God so loves. At Eastertide we pray that God “stir up in the Church that Spirit of adoption.” We are the adoption agency. We who are followers of Jesus will be the agency through which others will know that they, too, belong to the family of

God and are inheritors of God’s love and God’s provision. Teresa of Avila, the 16th century Spanish Carmelite nun and mystic, said, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which Christ is to bless all people now.” In the last two years we have had opportunity to minister in eastern Africa. We have seen a great deal of abject poverty in terms of economics, access to clean water, adequate food,

The Rev. Canon Steven Bonsey, a member of the Fellowship of Saint John, the Rev. Canon Edward Komba, and Br. Curtis, with children in Tanzania in January.

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The monastery cloister garden in the spring.

health care, and education. We have also witnessed many riches among “poor” people. We have seen so many who are abounding in love, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, generosity, and courage. It’s wonderfully contagious. In the face and form of these, our sisters and brothers, the real presence of Christ is really present. You would have to experience this to know how this can be so; but once you’ve experienced such riches coming out of such poverty, you will never be the same. It’s the real deal. 4

In these settings we often experience one kind of poverty meeting up with another kind of poverty. You can know this same experience on the streets of most any town in North America: economic poverty meeting up face-to-face with a poverty of meaning for those of us who may have gained the whole world… but lost (or not found) our souls. There is something about one form of poverty meeting up faceto-face with another form of poverty that produces a double dividend of blessing for all. Everyone is blessed. The world is well served and we are well served by our keeping a “rule of life,” a formula that includes matters of personal economics and stewardship. • Something more than a rule of thumb; • Some prayer and some formula for us to keep in the stewarding of our resources and assets; • Something that will keep us from ignoring the two-thirds world; • Something that steeps us in reality, not in the escapisms we can flirt with as persons of privilege; • Something that keeps us in touch with the gift of life, a gift to be shared, not squandered. Our formula needs to be at least as clear and exacting as those provided by the Internal Revenue Service. I’ll call this the Eternal Revenue Service! Your rule of life on matters of personal economics and stewardship will likely look very different than mine. But then, SSJE

we’ve not been created to be clones; we’ve been commissioned to be missionaries, in very unique and diverse ways, to help build on earth the kind of kingdom we anticipate in heaven. This is to practice what we pray in the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” We are all on a mission from God, each in our own way, to place ourselves in the company of the least, and last, and lost. These are very challenging and very opportune times. As you will know, we minister to many people in many places. This year we have invited a number of volunteers to minister to us. We have formed a Finance and Investment Group to advise us on how to improve our financial management. We have also formed a Buildings and Grounds Committee to help us plan and prioritize the ongoing maintenance needs and the necessary renewal and renovation of our properties. Our friends on these two committees come with extensive professional experience, and we have been deeply blessed by their dedication and acumen. On Sunday, June 3, we anticipate our Br. Robert L’Esperance making his Life Vows. As we say in our own Rule of Life, “When a brother vows to abide in our community until death, the whole brotherhood rejoices in the gift of freedom that enables him to make this commitment after years of testing.” Br. Robert came to us with a background in business. He has become a gifted spiritual director and retreat leader. Alongside this ministry he also oversees our Emery House buildings and grounds, where he is able to invest skills honed over many years in gardening and landscaping for the brothers The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

and our many guests to enjoy. Br. Robert also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Episcopal Aids Coalition (NEAC). We ask for your prayers in anticipation of Robert’s Life Profession. We also invite you to join us on Sunday, June 3, at 4:00 p.m. in the monastery chapel for this wonderful celebration. I am also very pleased to announce Br. Kevin Hackett’s appointment as our Vocations Director. Br. Kevin is now coordinating our communications with men with vocational interest in our community. He and Br. Geoffrey Tristram, our Novice Guardian, are working together closely in ministry to new men who come to our community to test their vocation. We are hosting a “Come and See” weekend, ThursdaySunday, June 7-10, for men interesting in exploring our life together, our worship, and our work. We welcome and encourage interested men to be in contact with Br. Kevin at the monastery: We brothers seek God’s grace to surrender ourselves entirely to God, and to share God’s love with great generosity. We are dependent on you, our friends, for your partnership in this generosity. We are dependent on your prayers, your friendship, and your financial support for our sustenance. Your generosity is, for us, an experience of the good news of Jesus’ abiding presence, for which we are so thankful. Faithfully yours,

Curtis G. Almquist, SSJE Superior 5

A Life of Developing Response: Reflections on My Life Profession Timothy Solverson, SSJE

“Father Benson has taught us that the call of God in the religious life is continuous, abiding and progressive. Continuous, because in the communion we enjoy with God in prayer and worship day by day, the voice of the Spirit never ceases to call us into deeper union. Abiding, because the wisdom of God, communicated to us in our prayer and life, is absorbed into our hearts never to perish. Progressive, because God’s voice will come to us in the future ever new, calling us to fresh opportunities, and bringing gifts beyond what we know now. As profession brings to an end the period of probation, so it inaugurates a lifetime of developing response.” The Rule of Life of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, Chapter 39: Life Profession


ur Founder taught us that the call of God in the religious life is continuous, abiding, and progressive. Continuous, because in the communion we enjoy with God in prayer and worship, the Spirit never ceases to call us into deeper union. That deeper union took on concrete form when on January 28th, 2007, in front of friends, family, my brothers in religion, and the whole company of heaven, I slipped a ring on my finger saying these words: “Christ is my life and my joy.” Thus I continue the journey of living my life under the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience. The call to serve Christ in this way is for me a response to God’s love for me. I am a selfish man by nature. Consequently my concern with God’s will for my life had less to do with pleasing God than escaping punishment of some sort. 6

While this may have motivated my journey to the monastic life (believing I was going to do something good for God), God was instead accomplishing something good for me. I have learned through my prayer and my work in the Society, through living in the context of the Rule and integrating the vows into my life, that God is redeeming and transforming even my good intentions! I am being conformed to the image of Christ by being emptied out by love. Before coming to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist I prayed with Psalm 27:11 – “You speak in my heart and say, ‘Seek my face.’ Your face, Lord, will I seek.” This continues to be my prayer, but I understand more deeply that I am being converted in Christ by means of a vowed life in community. I am no longer praying that I “do something for God,” but rather that I SSJE

The Rev. David Norgard, a member of the Fellowship of Saint John and Br.Timothy’s former rector, who encouraged Br.Timothy to explore a vocation with SSJE, with David’s partner, Joseph Oppold, at a festive dinner following the profession liturgy.

might be formed more fully into the man God created and desires me to be in Christ. I believe that I am supposed to be Br. Timothy Solverson, SSJE, a lover of God in prayer and service. I believe that the Rule, the vows, and our life together in community mediate my salvation as I work it out “in fear and trembling.” I cannot claim that I am no longer selfish, but my flaws as well as my gifts are being continuously transformed in Christ by the life I now live in SSJE. Knowing who we are in Christ, who God meant and means us to be, learning to know ourselves in our deepest level, is the goal of the Christian life. The vows are tools, a means of grace, for this purpose, and our community life provides the matrix. Poverty is a vow that draws one into humility because in this vow we can come to know that all of life is a gift from God. We have nothing in and of ourselves; everything we have and do comes to us from God. Celibacy gives me the courThe Society of Saint John the Evangelist

age to honor my body as a gift. There is a freedom to love without possession, to honor myself and others as sacred, and to serve God freely. Obedience gives me freedom to listen deeply to the heart of God and to my brothers, and to respond creatively. My life is a gift given to me by God, and offering that life back to God fully does not seem like a sacrifice, but rather a natural response. As the psalmist says, “How shall I repay the Lord for all the good things he has done for me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people” (Psalm 116:10 – 12). My continuing prayer is that I will respond in joy and freedom to the call of God in my life and that somehow others will come to know and believe that they too can live in this freedom, secure in the knowledge that they are loved by God.


Answering God’s Call: An Interview with Br.Timothy Solverson, SSJE

COWLEY: Timothy, what was most meaningful about your recent life profession? BR. TIMOTHY: The most meaningful part was having my family and friends here, having my nephews here, and bringing all the different spheres of my life together here at the monastery. The most meaningful moment was when I put the ring on and said, “Christ is my life and my joy.” That is the reason I’m here. I stay here because I find Christ in the brothers and in the people who worship with us and in those who come for retreats or spiritual direction–and through that I’m learning to have the image of Christ brought out in me every day. I’m actually different from the way I was when I arrived as a postulant. I’m quieter. I’m actually kinder. I’ve been allowed to experience love and through that I’ve been able to change. The longer I’m here the more meaningful the story of the prodigal son becomes. Which comes first – repentance? forgiveness? love? When you are forgiven and loved you are able to change, and both of those things have happened for me in the monastery. COWLEY: What has actually changed for you now that you are life professed? 8


BR. TIMOTHY: Nothing has really changed in the sense that my life here is the same: I go to the Daily Offices, I have the same job, the quality of the vows is the same. Nothing has really changed outwardly. What is changing are my interior attitudes. The novitiate was a nightmare for me in the sense that it was an absolute roller coaster emotionally. I was constantly asking myself, Should I stay or should I go? In initial vows there was still some of that, although not nearly as intense. I woke up the day after my life profession and thought, I’m here. I don’t have to worry about whether I’m coming or going anymore; that’s been decided. I said to Curtis, “What’s next?” He said, “Now you live.” That sounds good. COWLEY: Timothy, what might you say to men who might be considering a vocation with SSJE? BR. TIMOTHY: I would invite them to look to my example. The possibility of becoming a monk was the furthest thing from my mind eight years ago. I actually had a different trajectory in mind for my life and my life in the church, and when a wise friend suggested I might have a call to the monastic life, I laughed – until I started crying, because I felt it might actually be true. When you sense a call from God, the only thing to do is to test it, even if it seems ludicrous and scary. It is scary. Anybody who feels that kind of call should come and test it, because that’s what it’s about – testing. It requires continually seeking God in discernThe Society of Saint John the Evangelist

ment. You live with the questions: What is God asking me to be? Who is God asking me to become? Who am I in God? I think all these questions are answered in monastic vocation. And we will be asked these questions by God no matter what we do in our lives. When a man comes here he finds that it’s not that scary because we’re just people, people committed to live together under a Rule, and the Rule actually gives us life. I think some people come and they find out they are running away, and some come and find they are running to who they actually are. Whatever the case, it all works out in God some way, whether a person leaves with the knowledge he has something else to do, or whether he stays with the knowledge he is doing what God wants him to do. I think that all inquirers should just come. They should come and live as postulants for six months and ask the hard questions of themselves. The freedom to ask the hard questions and to hear the answers is also part of the call to the monastic life. It’s really about the freedom to move into fuller life. We say in our Rule that we should keep before us the model of the martyrs. A martyr is one who witnesses to fullness of life in Christ. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says to two men who are following him, “What do you want?” Then he tells them to “Come and see.” People who are drawn to monastic life should come and try it. If it doesn’t work, it’s OK. If it does, that’s even better. We all need to find out what God wants us to do with our lives. 9

Great Things (even from from little faith) Br. Robert L’Esperance

Jairus came and fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” Mark 5:22-23


reveal something of what he calls “the Kingdom of God.” Jesus was not out to heal everyone, then or now, but to save us from sin and death, the greatest healing of all. When he opened eyes, he showed how God opens our eyes to see him more clearly. When he opened ears, he showed how God opens ears to hear the voice of God – in scripture, in prayer, in each other, in creation. When he healed the lame, he showed how God strengthens us when we are weak. In the Gospels, those who seek Jesus’ healing most often initiate the conversation with him. They reach out to Jesus in an uninhibited way, with all their heart. If Jairus had hung back and sat on his faith – if his faith were just a status symbol, a social identification badge, or a “correct” set of theological principles – he would still be sitting there today! Tragically, his daughter would have died. Jairus reached out to Jesus, and touched his heart. His expectant faith was rewarded by the healing of his daughter. When we reach out with expectant faith, Jesus will not ignore us. He hears us! He answers us – not always in the ways we expect nor when we want – but he does answer in



ike any parents in a similar situation, Jairus and his wife would try most anything to save their child. There was no pediatric intensive care unit in which the child could be treated in their day. There were physicians, but they were few and far between, and maybe just as well. Remember how the woman who was healed of an issue of blood had “suffered much under many physicians [for 12 years], and had spent all she had, and was no better and grew worse.” Jairus was one of the “rulers of the synagogue,” an elder. He undoubtedly had heard how Jesus had healed the paralyzed man in Capernaum and blasphemed in saying that his sins were forgiven. Jairus would know of Jesus’ work on the Sabbath: the many healings, allowing his disciples to pluck grain, all of it a flagrant violation of Jewish law. Jesus was controversial, accused of “consorting with Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” Jairus was desperate and courageous enough to risk his reputation in his act of supplication at Jesus’ feet. Jesus was not trying to enhance his reputation as a faith healer. Often he tells others to give God the glory and leave him out of it. Jesus’ miracles

The meadow and hermitages at Emery House, where Br. Robert oversees the care of our buildings and grounds.

our own times of trial. Many times when Jesus heals he says to the person, “Your faith has made you well.” Here there is no mention of the little girl having any faith whatsoever. It is often hard for people who are seriously ill to have faith. Sometimes it is hard for those who love them and care for them day after day to have faith as well. This is where the whole faith community has the opportunity to intercede on behalf of the one who is sick. We carry that person to Jesus in prayer, bowing the knee of our hearts; praying earnestly what we feel in our hearts in seeking the healing of that person. And Jesus, to whom all desires are known and from whom no secrets are hid, will hear and answer according to his will of love. It seems to me we should never say to a sick and suffering person, “If you only had more faith, you would be healed,” or, “Just claim your healing…” We don’t need much faith to accomplish great things, according to Jesus. He names the mustard seed, the tiniest of all seeds. All it takes is faith of the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain into the sea! If what we want with all our heart is for someone to be cured, then we should, as always, be honest with God and express this. We The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

also must be prepared that God might say ‘no.’ (Sometimes in life we must say ‘no,’ and we have been created in the image of God, who sometimes says ‘no.’) If so, we may not understand it. We may not agree with it. But we can be sure that God will see us through it. God may have something else in mind for us, something better, in the fullness of time. (God is certainly not going to let people go around throwing mountain ranges into the sea all the time!) Remember the gospel story about the disciples rowing their boat across the Sea of Galilee and getting terrified when a sudden storm arose and the boat began to fill with water. Jesus was asleep on a cushion in the rear of the boat. When they woke him, he stilled the storm. He said, “Peace. Be still.” It didn’t take much faith on the part of the disciples to awaken Jesus in the back of the boat, but when they did, he saved their lives. God is with us through the storms of our lives. God became one of us to show us that. And if we just have a little faith, just enough to call on him, we too can have our eyes opened, our hearing restored, our weaknesses overcome, and new life: the life of the Kingdom of God, the same life that raised Jairus’s daughter, anointing our lives. Watch for a miracle! 11

The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) offer: • an unparalleled opportunity to make the world a better place. • a formal recognition that poverty can be solved when both the rich and poor world work together. • a practical and achievable set of targets for international development up to 2015. In a world where 1.2 billion people (one-fifth of the world’s population) currently live on less that US$1/day, and where 28,000 children die from poverty-related causes every day… Goal 1 seeks to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. In a world where 115 million school-aged children are not in school, and 133 million young people cannot read and write… Goal 2 seeks to achieve universal primary education for children. In a world where two-thirds of the world’s illiterate people are women, Goal 3 seeks to promote gender equality and empower women. In a world where over 11 million children under the age of five die each year, most from preventable diseases… Goal 4 seeks to reduce child mortality. In a world where more than 500,000 women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth every year, and more than 50 million women suffer from poor reproductive health and serious pregnancy-related illness and disability… Goal 5 seeks to improve maternal health. In a world where about 4.8 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2003 (more than 13,000 each day), where malaria causes more than 300 million acute illnesses and at least one million deaths annually, and where an estimated 2 million deaths result from tuberculosis each year… Goal 6 seeks to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. In a world where over 2.4 billion people lack access to proper sanitation facilities and 1 billion lack access to drinkable water, and where forests are disappearing at unprecedented rates globally… Goal 7 seeks to ensure environmental sustainability. In a world where cows receive more aid than people (Europe’s cows receive $2/day in subsidies), where many developing countries spend more on interest repayments on their debt than they do on health and education combined, and where only five of the world’s rich countries give the amount of aid they committed to in 1970… Goal 8 seeks to create a global partnership for development. [Source:]



Gospel Goals: Millennium Development Goals as Mission Goals Kevin R. Hackett SSJE


esus was abundantly clear about his mission. He was clear that it had practical implications for life and love in the here-and-now. In the Gospel according to Luke (4:14-21), just after he has entered the synagogue at Nazareth, he is given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. There he reads what we now know as Isaiah 61: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Jesus then claims this as mission and sets about doing those very practical here-and-now things. Later in his ministry, when it was still not clear to many of his friends and followers who he was, he is asked by some disciples of his cousin John, “Are you the one, you know, the One? Or should we be looking for someone else?” Jesus replies, “Go and tell John what you see and hear—that the blind are seeing, the lame are walking, the deaf are hearing, the dead are alive again, the poor, for a change, have heard some good news.” It is interesting to me that at a time in the life of the church, and the An-

Brs. Curtis Almquist,Thomas Shaw, David Vryhof, and Roy Cockrum, who ministered in eastern Africa in January and led a Lenten Preaching series at the monastery entitled, “Out of Africa.”

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glican Communion in particular, Jesus never makes mention of doctrine, order, or polity as signs of God’s presence (I should go on record here as saying I actually happen to believe that such things are one of the means through which God works in the world, but they are still fundamentally institutional concerns, and at best, derivative.) No, Jesus is saying that if the hungry are fed, the Kingdom of God is at hand. If the sick are healed, it is by the power of the Spirit. If those whose hope has died is somehow mysteriously resurrected, then he is somehow involved and surely present. I wonder if some of the present arguments that we are having in the church might take on a different tone if they were framed by such things as: 1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. 2. Achieving universal primary education for children.

3. Promoting gender equality and empowering women. 4. Reducing child mortality. 5. Improving maternal health. 6. Ensuring environmental sustainability. 8. Creating global partnerships for development. Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori has demonstrated just such a strong commitment to God’s mission in the world by making the MDG’s the centerpiece of the church’s mission strategy. Please join the brothers of the SSJE as we seek ways to make these Gospel goals concrete and practical in the here-and-now. For more information about the MDG’s and for suggestions for ways in which you can make a difference, visit

Some of the brothers’ hosts in Tanzania.



T. S. Eliot, Cambridge, and the Society of St. John the Evangelist Eldridge Pendleton, SSJE


n 1931 T. S. Eliot taught for a year at Harvard University. During that time he became friends with members of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, especially our Superior, Spence Burton, and was a frequent guest at St. Francis House, as the monastery was known in those days. Not only was he a daily communicant at the Eucharist, but he was also a generous benefactor, giving us autographed first editions of most of his works. From that year until his death in 1966 he would drop by and have dinner with us whenever he was in town. Wallace Fowlie, a Harvard undergraduate at the time who would eventually become a distinguished professor of French Literature at Duke University for many years, left these memories of Eliot and the Society. Two episodes occurred during the momentous years of Eliot at Harvard that moved me in a personal way, one of an almost comical nature, and the other of a spiritual nature. I had become interested in the AngloCatholic community of the Cowley Fathers whose monastery was in Cambridge, on the Charles River, and who served the parish of St. John the Evangelist on the back of Beacon Hill in Boston. The liturgy was admirably performed in the Boston church and the music, both plainchant and polyphonic masses, were skillfully directed by The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

the organist-composer [Everett] Titcomb. A few friends—graduate students in French and English—and myself attended the Christmas Eve mass at St. John’s. We expected or half expected to see Eliot there because he was a daily communicant at the monastery chapel in Cambridge. When we entered, we did see him in the center of the church, fairly close to the altar. We found a pew three or four rows behind him, on the aisle. The service was solemn high mass. Long before it began, the church was crowded. When the service was over, the people moved slowly on leaving the church. There was only one doorway, at the end of the central aisle. We waited until Mr. Eliot had passed us before getting into the aisle, and during the slow progress of the crowd we could see him ahead of us. I noticed another student, whom I did not know but recognized, having seen him in the Harvard yard. He was obviously trying to move closer to Eliot. Finally, when he was almost directly behind the man, and, in the silence in the back of the church, he recited in a clear voice Italian words which later I knew to be: Perch’io non spero di tornor giammai. Eliot gave no sign of recognition, and continued moving toward the door. When we got outside, and the people were disappearing in every direction in the cold night, we 15

consulted among ourselves on the mysterious words but could only guess they were Italian. About a week later, in the yard, I saw the same fellow walking ahead of me. Contrary to custom at Harvard, I approached him, told him I had heard him recite a line of poetry after midnight mass at St. John’s, and asked what the line was. He looked at me scornfully: “Haven’t you ever read Guido Cavalcanti?” The tone of his voice would not have been different if he had asked: “Haven’t you ever read Hamlet?” I confessed my ignorance of Cavalcanti, and he enlightened me. “It’s the opening line of a canzone Eliot took over without modification as the opening line of Ash Wednesday. I wanted to let the old possum know that someone else knew where he had found his line.” No critic had as yet pointed out the source of the line. When during that year we began realizing that many of the elements of the poem came from Dante, we began studying Italian, and believed we were in some way emulating Mallarme who, in order to read Poe, studied English. The Harvard students who had associated themselves with the Cowley Fathers were asked to choose one morning a week when they would help “serve” the seven o’clock mass. My day was Tuesday. During his year at Cambridge, Eliot was a daily communicant at that mass and on Tuesdays he and I were often the only ones with the priest in the chapel. (This was the very small chapel used before the large Ralph Adams Cram chapel was built.) One of those Tuesdays has remained memorable for me. Only the three of us were present. At the time of the communion Eliot had risen and come up to the altar to receive. The priest and I had 16

T. S. Eliot

turned back to the altar, and I could hear Eliot rise and return to his place. At that moment there was such a heavy thud, as if Eliot had fallen, that the priest and I turned around. Eliot was flat on his face in the aisle, with his arms stretched out. It was obvious at a glance he had not fallen. Under his breath, and as if speaking to himself, the priest said, “What shall we do?” I suggested, “Let’s finish here first.” So, we turned back to the altar. The one aisle in the chapel where Eliot lay was so narrow that the priest and I could not have walked there in order to reach the sacristy. The priest finally said to me, “I think you should help him up. Something may be wrong.” I went on ahead and put my arm under his shoulder. He came with me easily. Almost no physical effort was required on my part to help him back to his seat. I realized that Eliot had just undergone a mystical experience. A few years later, in New York City, I was doing some translation work for Jacques Maritain in his apartment. One evening after dinner, when our work was SSJE

finished, he asked me some questions about Eliot’s poetry. Maritain was just beginning to read and study poetry written in English. At one point in the questions, he interrupted them by asking, “Do you think Eliot was truly a religious man?” I replied affirmatively and told him the story of the Tuesday mass at Cambridge. He was so moved that he began weeping. “I am thinking of myself,” he said as he wiped his eyes, “and I am going to tell you a similar story on myself which is not without its comic side.” “It was my first year at Chicago, the first year President Hutchins invited me to lecture at the university. That winter I attended the early mass each morning at five o’clock, in the Cathedral of the Holy Name. Very few people came to that mass.

One morning after receiving communion, I had what must have been an experience similar to Eliot’s. It was a desire to worship God, and I stretched out face down at the altar rail when I had received. The priest and the acolyte had gone back to the altar which was at a considerable distance. I was praying when I heard a man speak gruffly to me. He nudged me on my side with his foot, and said, ‘Hey, we don’t allow drunks in this church.’ I didn’t respond immediately, and he kicked me again and began pulling me up from the floor.” The janitor at the Catholic Cathedral of Chicago did not treat Jacques Maritain as gently or as respectfully as we treated T. S. Eliot in the Anglican chapel at Cambridge. I have always thought of both of them as exemplary religious men of our day.

The Holy Spirit Chapel of the monastery in 1931.

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The Fellowship of Saint John (FSJ) is comprised of men and women throughout the world who desire to live their Christian life in special association with the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. They have a vital interest in the life and work of the brothers, and support our life and ministries with their prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts. The brothers of SSJE welcome members of the FSJ as partners in the gospel life, and pray for them by name in our daily prayers, following a regular cycle. With us the FSJ members form an extended family, a company of friends abiding in Christ and seeking to bear a united witness to him as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” following the example of the

Beloved Disciple. For more information, please contact Br. Jonathan Maury, the Director of the FSJ, at the monastery.

Br. Jonathan Maury, the Director of the Fellowship of Saint John, with Mr. Frank Simpson of Stanford, Kentucky, and the Rev. Michael Horsburgh, of Glebe New South Wales, Australia, who were received as members of the Fellowship of John in the monastery chapel during the month of January.

Society of Saint John the Evangelist The Friends of SSJE Annual Fund 2007 Information on Giving US Giving

SSJE Friends in the USA can make tax-deductible gifts to SSJE. Checks: Please make checks payable to: SSJE and send to: The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, P.O. Box 382601, Cambridge, MA 02138 Online: Credit card donations can be made via Stock Gifts: Please email for details. Monthly Gifts: Please email if you would like to make monthly payments by credit card. Pledging: If you would like to pledge please email your pledge to Tax Receipts: After the end of each calendar year receipts will be sent for Chapel gifts made by check and for all pledge payments received.

Canadian Giving

SSJE Friends in Canada can make tax deductible donations through The Bank of Nova Scotia Trust. At this time we cannot accept Canadian gifts paid by credit card. Please make checks payable to: SSJE and send to: “SSJE” c/o Scotia Trust Co., Attn: Mrs. Vi Bunclark, Trust Administrator The Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company, Exchange Tower, PO Box 430, Stn First Canadian Place, Toronto, Ontario M5X 1K1

UK Giving

SSJE Friends in the UK can now donate through Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). This method allows SSJE to reclaim the taxes paid by the donor as is allowed under UK tax law. You can open a CAF Charity Account either online at or by calling 01732 520 050. Please specify The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, Boston when making your gift.



What Our Work for the Brothers Means to Us Five Volunteers Offer Their Reflections


n the chapter in our Rule of Life on “The Witness of Life in Community,” we recognize the wider fellowship that surrounds our community and the many people who “support us in innumerable ways in prayer, through their gifts and voluntary labors, by teaching and inspiring us, and by working together with us in Christ.” In this article we have a chance to hear from five women who have given significant time and energy as volunteers this year. Three of them – Mary Anderson, Elizabeth Sherlock and Summer Finnell – have served as acolytes at our daily Eucharists. Charlene Arzigian has been baking our communion bread for several years now, and Kari Peterson has volunteered time on Saturdays to produce bulletins for our services and to assist us with the revision of our Daily Office book. We are so grateful – not only for their labors on our behalf, but for their friendship and partnership in the ministry God has given us. Mary Anderson is an artist and PhD. student at Harvard University. She writes, The gift of serving with the brothers, in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, has opened my life into an active, living witness to Christ that both originates in, and draws nourishment from, a contemplative source. Their invitation to serve has awakened my seeing and growing into this sacramental relation of the contemplative to the active; The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Mary Anderson

it is guiding the outward turning of my heart. Like the movement of breathing, serving within the Sacrament traces a vital exchange between my being present to Christ in the interiority of prayer and my being present to the visible face of Christ in humanity. To serve God in this way, through the brothers and the community they cherish, is a deep, humbling joy. This joy holds me in awe, and in turn, holds me accountable, as I try to live into this bond of witness to Christ’s humanity – as I pray, as I teach, as I write. My serving at the monastery is a gift that incorporates and instructs my need to listen for, and respond to, the love of God in the fabric of my life. When I received an invitation to present at a colloquy in India this June, I found myself writing to the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, asking for an opportunity to serve the dying poor. Through this sacramental light, a two19

day conference has become a sevenweek pilgrimage; with God’s help and a deep gratitude to my brothers, I will begin four weeks of ministry at Nirmal Hriday (“Pure Heart”), on the feast of the Sacred Heart.

ters involving the censor, the marble stairs, the live flames and my cassock. However, when I serve, I am given a gift beyond measure. I look members of the community in the eye and offer the cup, subsequently sharing my greatest joy, hope and consolation. As I prepare for ordained ministry, serving as an acolyte draws me back to my vocation. I am reminded that my calling rests in blessing and sharing, serving and being served, in communion with the presence of God in the elements and in those gathered at the table. When I approach the altar to receive the bread and pass the cup, I remember my own dependence on that bread, on a community, and on God for nourishment.

Elizabeth Sherlock

Elizabeth Sherlock is an MDiv. student at Harvard Divinity School. She writes, When I first began attending the Eucharist at the SSJE last spring, I became obsessed with bread. The beauty and touch of bread brought me back to that incredible gift I received at the table - a bringing-into-being of holiness in the world. I was hungry for the offerings of the table. I yearned for the space to join in giving thanks for the gifts of creation, and for being created. I yearned to look someone else in the eye and to be assured that this is the bread of life, this is the cup of salvation. When I was first asked to serve as an acolyte, I was not convinced I would be up to the task – I was too clumsy, too goofy and obviously not holy enough. And sure enough, I have had more than a couple of harrowing encoun20

Summer Finnell

Summer Finnell is an MDiv. student at Harvard Divinity School. She writes, For a night owl like me, a 7:45am Eucharist comes awfully early. But when Br. Kevin asked me if I would be willing to serve at the altar at SSJE once a week, I never hesitated—in fact I probably would’ve said yes had the Eucharist been at 6 a.m. (I think.) Kevin explained that the commuSSJE

nity had recognized the need for more female presence at the altar, and was also seeking to give the brothers a bit more opportunity to experience worship as participants, instead of always as leaders. By asking me to help meet this need, SSJE has allowed me to experience the joy of giving something back to the community which has blessed my life so richly through their retreats, their liturgy and prayer, and many conversations—long and short, serious and not—with individual brothers. Serving at the altar and feeling that I am contributing to their common life in some small way, has taught me what a gift it is to allow people the opportunity to serve others. In my own life, I have often refused to reach out to others for help or support, afraid of being a burden, and unwilling to reveal my own inadequacies. I now see that in doing so, I was not only denying myself the assistance and support that they might have provided, but also denying them the opportunity to minister to me, to express their love, and to be drawn into God’s work in the world. God enters our lives at precisely these places of need or imperfection, using our willing service to make each other whole. I am grateful to the SSJE for showing me that. Kari Peterson is a medical administrator at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital. She writes, At one level, my work at the monastery is simply a gift–my way of tithing, if you will. I love the brothers–both as individuals and as a community–so naturally, it is meaningful to give them a gift. And not surprisingly, I am deeply gratified that the gift is graciously welcomed. Yet that’s really only part of the story. Both the SSJE community and the The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Kari Peterson

regular round of worship in the chapel are important to me at a very fundamental level. Although I am personally in the monastery only once a week for worship (and sometimes not even that), I often remember that the brothers are at prayer as my alarm goes off early in the morning, during my lunchtime, while I’m commuting home at the end of the day, and after supper in the evening. Although I’m not called to the intensity of prayer that defines and shapes religious life, working on the materials used by the brothers in worship connects me in a special way to their daily rhythm and faithful practice of prayer. Being tied into their prayer enhances my spiritual life–and sometimes, I must confess, substitutes for my own prayer even as it draws me back towards renewed spiritual vitality. I suspect that there are many like me both in the vicinity of the monastery itself and strewn across all parts of the country and the globe. Whether we realize it or not, we count on the rhythmic “drum beat” of the brothers’ daily prayer in the background or foreground of our lives to keep us faithful in our own practice of prayer and in our commitment to life in the Spirit. 21

Charlene Arzigian

Charlene Arzigian is an administrative assistant at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She writes, It’s become an integral part of my life, baking batches of bread for Eucharist at the monastery. Rarely has a week has gone by during the past nine years that I haven’t thought about when the next batch is needed. It’s easy to get caught up in the logistics – Do I have enough honey or milk at home? When does the next batch of bread need to

be delivered? Have I let the brother-incharge know that bread is on the way? But, what is it that I really am doing? As I make the bread I pray for all the people, known and unknown, who will be recipients of my small and ordinary gift of baking bread. Through the sacrifice of thanksgiving at the Holy Eucharist the bread will be transformed into the redemptive love of Jesus for the many people who worship at the monastery. And one of the great gifts of the monastery is that the brothers welcome all to the Table, just as Jesus welcomed all to his table. I am extraordinarily blessed to have been given the gift of this ministry, and remain humbled by and grateful for it. “Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name.” (from Eucharistic Prayer C, The Book of Common Prayer, p. 372)

Wooden stamp for altar bread



Join the SSJE Brothers on pilgrimage to

The Holy Land 2007 July 19 - 28, 2007


a pilgrimage for seminarians Brs. Curtis Almquist & David Vryhof Program, accommodations,& all meals - $2,075 ■

October 17 - 26, 2007

ABRAHAM, YESTERDAY AND TODAY an interfaith pilgrimage Br. Mark Brown Program, accommodations,& all meals - $1,800 ■

February 1-14, 2008


Brs. Kevin Hackett and Roy Cockrum Program, accommodations,& all meals - $2,180 ■

June 20 - July 1, 2008

ICONS IN CYPRUS Br. James Koester

(Program cost not yet available) SSJE brothers serve as course chap­lains. We lead in the daily prayer and worship, offer meditations and spiri­tual reflections, and give guidance to the pil­grims on how to “pray their own lives” amidst the sacred landscape where the life, death, and resur­rec­tion of Jesus Christ unfolded. Outstanding faculty, gracious accom­mo­da­tions, and delicious meals are pro­vided through Saint George’s Col­lege, a con­tinuing edu­ca­tion center for the entire Ang­li­can Com­mun­ion.

For more information and to regi­ster for a course, contact: Saint George’s College, Jerusalem email: telephone: 011 972 2 626 4704 The Society of Saint John the Evangelist


The Society of Saint John the Evangelist


An Invitation to Join The Friends iof SSJE

“Monastic life is so important in the overall life of the Church. SSJE is grounded in the classical Christianity of prayer, scripture, the daily offices, and daily Eucharist. We need to remind ourselves constantly that we are different because we are Christians and need to commit to who we are. The monks help us do this.” Rev. Hill Riddle, New Orleans, Louisiana and Interim Rector, Saint Michael & All Angels, Texas

The Rev. Hill Riddle

“When I came into the chapel I found stone and light: a magnificent stone space with light pouring through the stained glass. It takes you out of the bustle of life and lifts you up out of yourself to make you aware of the transcendent nature of the divine.

Kristin Hennessy

“In my interactions with the brothers and the people who come to worship here I experience a solidity of friendships and trust as well as the lightness of playful joy and delight.

“This space has built in me a stillness, and when I am lucky a kind of peace, a sense of tapping into something as unchanging as stone, and along with this, illumination. “Stone and light.” Kristin Hennessy, Massachusetts



Becoming a Friend Please consider becoming a Friend today. A tax-deductible contribution may be made by check (payable to “SSJE”), credit card, or a gift of securities. Gifts may also be made online through our website.


Friends of SSJE The Society of Saint John the Evangelist 980 Memorial Drive Cambridge, MA 02138 Tel (617) 876-3037 ext. 24 Email:


“SSJE” c/o Scotia Trust Co. Attn: Mrs. Vi Bunclark Trust Administrator The Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co Exchange Tower, 130 King Street West, 20th Floor, PO Box 430, Stn First Canadian Place Toronto, Ontario M5X 1K1


For UK tax deductible donations please donate via the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Contact or telephone 01732 520 050. Please specify “The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, Boston” when making your gift.

“I have put SSJE in my will because in 1966 as a teenager I met the SSJE brothers at Bracebridge, Canada, and they changed my life. I came from a very small town in the northern part of Ontario, a very desolate little town, and my prospects seemed very dim. Yet I have gone on to build an international consulting firm and have done well financially. “The brothers were able to connect with me as a teenager as they had coffee shop called ‘There,’ and they invited bands to play. They were hip, and very knowledgeable about the world. The brothers were so encouraging, so inspiring, so extraordinarily Christian. For the first time in my life I realized I was worthwhile. I went to university with their encouragement. I learned from the brothers that if you want to change the world, change yourself. “Most people in life who fail, fail not just because of their own behavior but also because of the lack of opportunity provided them. We often are benefited by people whom we do not really acknowledge at the time. We think we are self-made, and every victory is ours alone. But the truth is, life is collaboration, people come into your life, then leave your life, but they leave a mark on you, and they change you forever. “Being able to honor, to thank God, is very fulfilling. It is a very warm thing.” Daniel Rouse, Virginia Please let us know if you would like a copy of the Ways of Giving brochure to learn how you can include SSJE in your estate planning. Friends of SSJE The Society of Saint John the Evangelist 980 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02138 Tel: (617)-876-3037 ext. 24 E-mail: The Society of Saint John the Evangelist


COMMUNITY NEWS Brs. James Koester and Jonathan Maury were chaplains on a ‘Palestine of Jesus’ pilgrimage to Israel/Palestine January 5-18.

Brs. Curtis Almquist, Roy Cockrum, and David Vryhof with the Rev. Peter Kihiyo, Dean of St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral in Korogwe,Tanzania.

Brs. Curtis Almquist, David Vryhof, and Roy Cockrum traveled to Tanzania on December 29 to lead a clergy retreat in the Diocese of Tanga. They then met up with Br. Thomas Shaw on Zanzibar, Tom having just led a pilgrimage for university students to Kenya. Brs. David and Roy then traveled to Kenya to teach a course on Johannine spirituality at St. Philip’s Anglican Theological College in Maseno, Kenya. Br. Curtis was joined by FSJ member, the Rev. Canon Steven Bonsey, who traveled to the Diocese of Tanga in Tanzania to offer a week of continuing education to clergy of the diocese.

Brs. James Koester and Jonathan Maury with Fellowship of Saint John members Michael Stevens, Pat Warren, Charlene Arzigian, and the Rev. John Fritschner in Jerusalem.


Br. Robert L’Esperance was invited to join FSJ member the Rev. James McReynolds, Founder and President of the Telios Foundation, on a pilgrimage to Russia January 1-9. The Telios Foundation serves elderly Russian women who are without family or any other source of support, other than a meager pension (St. Petersburg Babushka Program) and needy families with children in Russia and Nepal.

Novice Brothers Bruce Neal and Jude Smith

Br. Jude Smith was clothed as a novice on Sunday, February 4, in the monastery chapel. Br. Jude comes to us from New Orleans, where he worked with the federal courts. Brs. Geoffrey Tristram, Gerald Beauchamp, Bruce Neal, and Jude Smith participated in the Trinity Institute conference in New York City January 22-25, on the theme: “God’s Unfinished Future; Why It Matters Now.” SSJE

School at Yale for the junior, middler, and senior classes. Brs. Kevin Hackett and Jude Smith led a weekend program at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia, February 22-25. St. Stephen’s rector is the Rev. Gary Jones, a member of the Fellowship of Saint John. Brs. Geoffrey Tristram and Thomas Shaw

Br. Geoffrey Tristram studied Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico, February 5-March 7. He now serves as chaplain to the House of Bishops, and met with the bishops of the Episcopal Church, gathered at Camp Allen near Houston, Texas, March 15-22 (where he used his Spanish!). Among the bishops was our Br. Thomas Shaw, the Bishop of Massachusetts. Br. Mark Brown

Br. Mark Brown was hosted by Trinity Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, February 28-March 3, where he led a Lenten program and a diocesan Clergy Day of Reflection. Br. David Vryhof teaching at Christ Church, Pensacola, Florida

Brs. David Vryhof and Bruce Neal preached and offered two workshops (one on Compassion and the other on Finding Inner Freedom) and an evening presentation at Christ Church, Pensacola, Florida, February 8-11. Brs. Geoffrey Tristram, David Vryhof and Mark Brown have offered Saturday retreat days in November, February and March at the Berkeley Divinity The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Brs. Jonathan Maury, Kevin Hackett, David Vryhof, and Timothy Solverson, with Fellowship of Saint John member, the Rev. Maria DeCarvalho.

The Rev’d Maria DeCarvalho, founder of “By Another Way,” which offers 27

training in compassionate communication, spent a morning with the entire community on March 5, helping us learn to “speak the truth in love” with one another. Visit her website at www. Br. Timothy Solverson led a weekend retreat for parishioners of Saint John the Evangelist Church, San Francisco, California, March 9-11. Br. Gerald Beauchamp led a weekend Lenten retreat at DeKoven Center, Racine, Wisconsin, March 9-11. His reflections on the Cross were inspired by Ann Michaels’ Fugitive Pieces, a novel about the Holocaust.

Brs.Timothy Solverson and David Vryhof with Dr. Richard Gaumer and the Rev. Susan Gaumer

Brs. David Vryhof and Timothy Solverson traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, March 13-18, at the invitation of the Rev. Susan Gaumer, a member of the Fellowship of St. John and rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. They led a day of reflection for clergy and had three sessions with members of the congregation around the theme of “Finding Faith in Difficult Times.” The brothers also visited St. Andrew’s School to talk with students about monastic life. Timothy spent a day gutting houses with a volunteer work crew. 28

Brs. Curtis Almquist, David Vryhof and Mark Brown co-taught a fourweek winter-term course at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, on “Teaching Others to Pray.” Br. Tom Shaw was the keynote speaker at a think-tank on ministry to and among young adults held at the Trinity Conference Center in West Cornwall, Connecticut, March 28-30. Br. Kevin Hackett (last year’s keynoter) attended as a participant. The focus of their time was the role of pilgrimage in faith formation. Br. Curtis Almquist was hosted by St. Michael and All Angels Church, Dallas, Texas, February 23-27, where he led a weekend retreat, and met with nearly 20 members of the Fellowship of Saint John, among them the Rev. Hill Riddle, the interim rector. Br. Curtis also offered an evening program for the parish on the theme of Hope. In March Br. Curtis led retreats for the clergy of the Dioceses of New Jersey and Vermont. He spoke to the clergy of the Diocese of Vermont on Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week.

Thomas Ely, Bishop of Vermont, and Br. Curtis Almquist, in a chapel built by Arthur Hall, who was an SSJE brother at the time of his election as Bishop of Vermont.

Brs. Eldridge Pendleton and Timothy Solverson represented SSJE at the annual Conference of Religious Orders in SSJE

the Americas (COROA), meeting in Racine, Wisconsin, April 24-28.

begin producing our own altar candles from the beeswax, honey is an important ingredient in the communion bread recipe we use. The Rev. Gerald Beauchamp chose to withdraw from the novitiate shortly after Easter. He will return to his homeland (England) with the Society’s prayers and blessings, and with gratitude for all he has contributed to our life and ministry. Br. John Goldring, who has lived and served at Emery House for the past five years, has moved back to the monastery. Br. Eldridge Pendleton has now taken up residence at Emery House where he, too, has served before in past years.

Br. James Koester at the beehives

Br. James Koester smokes the new bee hives at Emery House as he prepares to inspect them. Two hives of bees were set up on Easter Monday when a queen and about 10,000 bees were installed into each hive. By early summer we can expect about 50,000 bees to inhabit each hive! If all goes well, we should be able to harvest between 75 and 150 pounds of honey from each hive beginning next summer. Beekeeping has been a monastic tradition for centuries and while we don’t expect to

Members of the Fellowship of Saint John and other friends gathered at the monastery on May 5 for our annual celebration of St. John’s Day. Br. Curtis Almquist, our Superior, was the preacher at the liturgy.

Consider Becoming an SSJE Brother!

“Come and See” – June 7-10, 2007 We welcome men interested in learning about a vocation to SSJE to join us for a “Come and See” weekend at the monastery. For those who cannot make it to this weekend program, we will be glad to schedule another time for you to visit us. For more information, please visit our website at or contact our Vocations Director, Br. Kevin Hackett, at the monastery or by email: The Society of Saint John the Evangelist


Retreat Programs and Workshops: The Society of Saint John the Evangelist Monastery Guesthouse, Cambridge, Massachusetts Emery House, West Newbury, Massachusetts

September 2007 - April 2008 The brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist have for years offered hospitality to those seeking a place of quiet and renewal. At the monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts and at Emery House in West Newbury, Massachusetts, we invite you to find space to pray and renew your spirit. We are pleased to welcome you to these sanctuaries of beauty and reflective stillness. Generous gifts of land and money from Isabella Stewart Gardner, Elbridge Gerry, and the family of then-SSJE member and later superior Spence Burton enabled the Society to begin developing the property along Memorial Drive. Today’s guesthouse, designed by the famous twentieth-century American architect, Ralph Adams Cram, and built in 1924-1928, was the original monastery building. In the mid-1930’s, Cram designed the chapel and monastery buildings. Built at the height of the Great Depression, the buildings, completed in 1936, are another legacy of the Burton family’s philanthropy. The renowned American landscape designer, Fletcher Steele, designed the guesthouse garden in 1934. The monastery is located along the Charles River, near Harvard University and the Episcopal Divinity School. Guesthouse facilities include large and small meeting rooms, chapels for private and corporate prayer, a library, garden, and single bedrooms, each with its own sink; showers and toilets are nearby. Linens and towels are provided. Guests join the brothers for three meals daily, eaten communally and normally taken in silence, accompanied either by a brother reading aloud or recorded music. Emery House and its 120 acres of undeveloped meadow and woodland were gifts to the Society from the Emery family, who homesteaded the property in 1641. Over the past two decades, we have been joined by generous benefactors and friends in our efforts to conserve the house, woodlands, and meadows as a beautiful sanctuary for retreat. Emery House is located in West Newbury, Massachusetts, about forty-five miles north of Boston and is adjacent to the 380-acre Maudsley State Park. Emery House features spacious and fully-equipped “hermitages,” period guest rooms in the 1745 main house, two rustic wood cabins, and three meals daily, taken communally in the main house. Guests are welcome to join the brothers in daily monastic worship. Emery House is easily accessible by public transportation. Out-of-town guests may board regularly-scheduled buses leaving from Logan Airport and South Station, Boston for Newburyport. 30


If you would like to visit us or attend one of our retreats or workshops, please contact the appropriate guesthouse brother: The Guesthouse Brother Monastery Guesthouse 980 Memorial Drive Cambridge, MA 02138-5717 Email: (617)876-3037 x10

The Guesthouse Brother Emery House 21 Emery Lane West Newbury, MA 01985-1333 Email: (978)462-7940 x10

The monastery guesthouse and Emery House are open to guests seven nights a week. Guests may arrive from Monday afternoon through Saturday morning. Resident guests may choose to stay in the Monastery guesthouse on Sunday night. Public worship is not offered, nor are there any meals served from Sunday Evening Prayer until Morning Prayer on Tuesday (the community’s Sabbath time).

Parking at the monastery:

Parking at the monastery is extremely limited; we encourage guests to use public transportation if at all possible. Space cannot be guaranteed, and guests requiring parking must call ahead to check availability. There is a $10 per day fee for parking at the Monastery.

Please note:

The Society reserves the right to decline applications for retreats or place applicants who have made a number of retreats with us in the past on a waiting list. Brothers may also exercise discretion over admissions based on other priorities. Deposit checks are returned to applicants in the event they are wait-listed or declined.

We depend on your help to make this ministry possible. The brothers of the SSJE offer hospitality to guests regardless of their ability to pay. We offer reduced fees to full-time students. But fees cover only about 50% of actual costs. We depend on guesthouse income to support our life and ministries. Published fees are suggested amounts. Individuals with limited resources are asked to give as they are able; those with ample resources help us continue to offer reduced rates to those who cannot afford to pay by increasing their giving beyond the suggested fee. Your additional gift may be wholly or partially tax deductible. The Society of Saint John the Evangelist


Retreats at The Monastery Cambridge, Massachusetts 2007-2008

For information about retreats at the monastery, visit our website at or contact the guesthouse office at (617) 876-3037 or NOTE: Retreats listed in bold type-face are available for registration. For full program descriptions and to register, visit our website at Continuing education credits are offered for programs marked by an asterisk (*). NOURISHING THE SOUL August 31-September 2, 2007 NOURISHING THE SOUL September 7-9, 2007 PARISH RETREAT September 13-16, 2007 Assisted by Br. MARK BROWN NOURISHING THE SOUL September 21-23, 2007 *WORKSHOP: “FINDING GOD IN SEMINARY” September 22, 2007 Led by Br. Kevin Hackett GROUP RETREAT September 27-30, 2007 Hosted by Br. ROY COCKRUM BINDING UP OUR WOUNDS – a retreat for members of the armed services and veterans returning from places of war October 4-7, 2007 Led by Br. ROY COCKRUM AND JEFFREY COX PARISH RETREAT October 12-14, 2007 Led by SSJE Br. BRUCE NEAL GROUP RETREAT October 16-20, 2007 Led by Br. JONATHAN MAURY


*WORKSHOP: “DISCERNMENT IN PRAYER” October 20, 2007 Led by Br. DAVID VRYHOF PARISH RETREAT October 25-28, 2007 Led by Br. DAVID VRYHOF NOURISHING THE SOUL November 2-4, 2007 PARISH RETREAT November 8-11, 2007 Led by Br. BRUCE NEAL NOURISHING THE SOUL November 16-18, 2007 *WORKSHOP: “CENTERING PRAYER” November 17, 2007 Led by Br. ROY COCKRUM NOURISHING THE SOUL November 23-25, 2007 WAITING FOR THE LIGHT – an Advent retreat November 30-December 2, 2007 Led by Br. ROY COCKRUM “COME AND SEE” WEEKEND – a program for men interested in exploring religious life with SSJE December 13-16, 2007


Led by Br. KEVIN HACKETT, Vocations Director

NOURISHING THE SOUL February 15-17, 2008

NOURISHING THE SOUL December 14-16, 2007



PARISH RETREAT February 28-March 2, 2008 Led by Br. BRUCE NEAL NOURISHING THE SOUL March 14-16, 2008

GROUP RETREAT January 15-20, 2008 Led by Br. DAVID VRYHOF


NOURISHING THE SOUL January 25-27, 2008



NOURISHING THE SOUL April 18-20, 2008



Retreats at Emery House

West Newbury, Massachusetts 2007-2008 For more information about retreats and programs at Emery House, visit our website at or contact Emery House at (978) 462-7940 or NOURISHING THE SOUL August 31-September 2, 2007 NOURISHING THE SOUL September 7-9, 2007 PARISH RETREAT September 13-16, 2007 Led by Br. JAMES KOESTER The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

PARISH RETREAT September 21-23, 2007 Led by Br. ROBERT L’ESPERANCE PARISH RETREAT September 27-30, 2007 Led by Br. DAVID VRYHOF


Retreats at Emery House continued *FIVE-DAY COMPANIONED RETREAT October 9-14, 2007 Led by Brs. JAMES KOESTER, ELDRIDGE PENDLETON, and TIMOTHY SOLVERSON PARISH RETREAT October 26-28, 2007 Led by Br. ELDRIDGE PENDLETON ROCKS, RIVERS AND TREES November 9-11, 2007 Led by Br. MARK BROWN BEING GAY, BEING IN LOVE, AND BEING CHRISTIAN – a retreat for gay couples November 16-18, 2007 Led by Br. ROBERT L’ESPERANCE NOURISHING THE SOUL November 23-25, 2007 *HIS GARMENT’S HEM: RECEIVING AND OFFERING CHRIST’S HEALING TOUCH November 29-December 2, 2007 Led by Br. JONATHAN MAURY and Ms. PATRICIA WARREN ADVENT QUIET DAY FOR CLERGY December 12, 2007 Led by Br. ELDRIDGE PENDLETON NOURISHING THE SOUL January 11-13, 2008 NOURISHING THE SOUL January 25-27, 2008 *TIME FOR GOD – a week of renewal for clergy January 29-February 2, 2008 Led by Br. JAMES KOESTER and ELDRIDGE PENDLETON




SATURDAY WORKSHOPS AT THE MONASTERY 980 Memorial Drive • Cambridge, Massachusetts 2007-2008

Workshops begin at 10:00 a.m. (registration begins at 9:30 a.m.) and end by 3:00 p.m. The normal fee for a Saturday workshop is $75 ($40 for full-time students), which includes lunch. To register, call or write the guesthouse office at: Tel: (617) 876-3037 Email: web: FINDING GOD in SEMINARY – a workshop for seminarians September 22, 2007 - (Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm) One of the ironies of theological education – engaging in study of and about God – is that God often seems to disappear in the process. This workshop will offer practical guidance for those who wish to deepen their relationship with God in prayer in the context of their seminary education. Led by Br. KEVIN HACKETT DISCERNMENT in PRAYER – a workshop especially for young adults (though all are welcome) October 20, 2007 - (Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm) One of our most popular programs, this workshop offers practical guidance for praying about significant life choices drawn from the wisdom of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Led by Br. DAVID VRYHOF CENTERING PRAYER November 17, 2007 - (Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm) A day of teaching, discussion and practice on Centering Prayer, based on the principles taught in Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, by Cynthia Bourgeault (Cowley Publications, 2004). Led by Br. ROY COCKRUM HEALING TOUCH January 12, 2008 - (Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm) Using a Christ-centered approach to healing touch, and employing prayer, meditation, scripture, reflection, and “hands on” practice, this workshop invites participants to experience God’s healing love and to be channels of that love and healing power to others. Led by Br. JONATHAN MAURY and Ms. PATRICIA WARREN. (Noted Christian healer Patricia Warren has traveled the world studying and teaching Buddhist, Sikh and Christian methods of healing for the past twenty years). Suggested fee for this workshop: $100 (half-price for full-time students) FORGIVING and BEING FORGIVEN February 16, 2008 - (Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm) Forgiveness is central to Christian living, yet it is one of the most challenging aspects of discipleship. This workshop will explore the biblical basis of God’s forgiveness as well as the practical dimensions of forgiving and being forgiven. Led by Br. CURTIS ALMQUIST BEGINNING TO MEDITATE April 19, 2008 - (Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm) For those who are beginning to pray or want to deepen their experience of prayer, this workshop will offer teaching on meditative prayer and opportunities to practice it. Led by Brs. TIMOTHY SOLVERSON and BRUCE NEAL

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist


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Cowley Magazine - Spring 2007  

The SSJE brothers magazine

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