Monastery without Walls

In a period such as ours... we might do well to lay aside some of our prejudices about monasticism and look again at its history as a possible source of images for us today - Harvey Cox

The search for wisdom, the attempt at understanding oneself with the help of others, and the healing of deep wounds by opening to the transcendence are at the core of the universal monastic experience in every religion. Christian monastics throughout the ages have joined such search to their faith in Jesus Christ as teacher, healer, and conduit to God. Today, it is possible to draw from some of the treasures of the monastic experience without living in a monastic community, thus our expression "Monastery Without Walls".

During our meetings, we learn and practice contemplative prayer, we read passages from monastic theology and spirituality, and we share some of our life journeys. Awareness, balance, and compassion are among the virtuous habits of the heart that we learn by spending time together and staying open to the action of the Holy Spirit.

"Each of us is a mirror of eternal contemplation, with a reflection that must surely be that of the living Son of God with all his works" - Mechthild of Madgeburg

A Franciscan saint in our courtyard
Memorial garden detail

Groups meet once a week. Participants to this program make a commitment to be part of the group for as long as they desire (for example: one month) and they are invited to join as much as possible in the liturgies at Christ Church.

The program is led by Fr. Gianluigi Gugliermetto, to whom participation requests should be directed:

What participants say about the program:

Why a monastery without walls? We each carry the light of Christ within us. When we come together with the intention of listening and waiting together, this very light is magnified, and we are made aware, even for a moment, of God’s love for us. We are sheltered and fed whenever we gather. With or without walls we make a movement toward community - m. roberts

We are exploring the possibility to extend this program to Monday evenings with the creation of a new group. For inquiries, contact Fr. Gianluigi.

On top of page: St. Elizabeth of Hungary meditating on sacred texts (detail of a work by Liz Aurilia - Christ Church courtyard)