Monday, October 21, 2013

Companions in Justice, Companions in Prayer: A Month of Memory -- November Online Retreat

In Christian traditions, November is sometimes called the month of memory. It begins with the feast of All Saints on November 1, followed immediately by the feast of All Souls or All the Faithful Departed (November 2 goes by different names depending on the tradition).

"Saints" are not just formally recognized or canonized saints, though various traditions in Eastern and Western Christianity do have ways of formally recognizing holy women and holy men and of commemorating them. "Saints" is also the name the early Christians used for themselves and for those who had preceded them in life and death. Saints are our grandmothers and persons we have met on the street, people whom we know only by name and people we know well, companions in faith and struggle, role models and sources of wisdom.

One of the themes in my life's work, including in these retreats, has been the relationship between spirituality and social justice, or what the founding prior of Taizé, Brother Roger, called "struggle and contemplation." Dorothee Soelle, a favorite theologian of mine, spoke of "mysticism and resistance."  

I have found that there is among many people a hunger for deepening this connection between contemplation and justice, so I have designed an online retreat for the "month of memory" that focuses on holy women and men in whom this connection was and is alive. They can become faithful companions to us on our journey as we learn from and about their lives and their writings.

What, when, where

* A month-long online retreat, November 1-30.

* Read, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule and lifestyle.

* You'll need 15 minutes of focused time every couple of days.

 * Reflect on the life and writings of companions in justice and prayer, pray with them, learn from them.

* We will learn about and from three companions a week through

* a brief passage from each companion's writings (not always from a book; our sources are also journals, letters, speeches, poetry, sermons...);
* some biographical information;
* a spiritual exercise for you to practice or a prayer or meditation related to the companion of the day.
* Our companions will be mostly from this past century, many deceased, some still alive. They will include (among others) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, William Stringfellow, Pauli Murray, Oscar Romero, Desmond Tutu, Bayard Rustin, Clarence Jordan, Cesar Chavez, Maria Skobstova, and Mercy Amba Oduyoye


* $75 if you register (and mail your check) by Wednesday, October 16.
You may also take advantage of this discount (even if you register after Oct. 16) if you are a recently furloughed government worker, if you are unemployed, or if you are a student or retiree on limited resources.
* $90 if you register from Thursday, October 17 on. (You may join the retreat any time during the first ten days of November.)

* Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers daily resources (the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers mentioned above, with some images as well to nourish you visually) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.

* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.

* Once you register for the retreat, I will send instructions on the one-time sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

* Here is a recent article about online retreats in which I am quoted.


To register, write me, Jane Redmont, at I will send you full registration instructions with payment address and online sign-up information. (Both of these are simple.)

Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.


If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can  share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.

Initially posted September 12. 
Edited and reposted October 21 to move the announcement toward the top of the blog.

Note: I am also running a nine-day retreat (with daily check-in) focused on the life and wisdom of Dorothy Day, beginning October 31 and ending November 8: Dorothy Day: A Novena Retreat. Interested? Have a look here. Also note that there is a "package deal" if you wish to take both retreats.

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