Monasteries of the Heart

Community News

Read news about MOH communities — and let us know what your on-site or online community is doing!

Tantur: Encounters in the Holy Land

Kathleen Schatzberg, long-time member and leader of the online community, Monasteries of Our Stories, sent this update and reflection.

Tantur: Encounters in the Holy Land

What would your O Antiphon be?

Eileen Burns, long-time Monasteries of the Heart member and first leader of the online monastery, Ora et Labora, regularly hosts prayer/ritual gatherings in her home. She sent the piece below about a recent gathering, focused on Advent and O Antiphons.

Generous Benedictine Hospitality

“Time after time, these woman teach me about the real meaning of Benedictine values—like hospitality, for example,” Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski shared recently.

MOTHs Faithful Women in CA prison
Barbara and Jane

After four years, Barbara and Jane are still faithfully ministering to two different Monasteries of the Heart communities, (MOTHs), in a California prison for women.

Monasteries of the Heart at Oblate World Congress
Monasteries of the Heart workshop at Oblate Congress

A workshop about Monasteries of the Heart followed Sister Joan Chittister’s keynote address at the 4th World Congress of Benedictine Oblates.

Welcome the new community at Coleman Corrections in FL

A new Monasteries of the Heart community is meeting at the Federal Corrections Center in Coleman, FL, led by Deacon Michael Balchus. He writes, “The prison I minister in is the largest Federal Correction Center in the US. It has around 8,000 inmates incarcerated in 5 different penitentiaries.

Monasteries of the Heart grows inside Ohio Reformatory for Women

Returning for their fourth day-long retreat Heart within the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW), Sisters Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski and Anne McCarthy were amazed by the growth of Monasteries of the Heart there.

Overnight Retreat for Listening Hearts
Listening Hearts all in a tree

Listening Hearts, the Monasteries of the Heart experience for women in inner-city Erie facilitated by sisters, Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski and Anne McCarthy and Cherylann Carter, held an overnight retreat at the Benedictine Sisters’ Glinodo Center on Lake Erie.

A message from Mary Ellen
Sister Mary Ellen Plumb

To the Monasteries of the Heart community,

Listening Hearts Reunion
prayer circle at reunion

Listening Hearts, a Monasteries of the Heart experience for women in poverty in inner-city Erie facilitated by Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski, Anne McCarty and Cherylann Carter, held a reunion July 24 for all former participants at the Benedictine Sister’s Glinodo Center on Lake Erie.

Luther Memorial Onsite Monastery Visits the Mount
Luther Memorial Monastery Visits Mount Chapel

“We are so fortunate to live in Erie, to be able to hear Sister Joan speak, to be invited to attend events at Mount St. Benedict Monastery,” stated Marilyn Rositer, leader of two onsite monasteries, each meeting twice a month at Luther Memorial Church located in downtown Erie.

Welcomed by Open Path Monastery

We met at the local coffee shop in Olympia, WA. After quick introductions, they dove right in, quickly reaching that deep level of sharing— on life, family, spiritual questions, readings, challenges.

St Benedict Behind Bars
photo of Jackie Burns

This article was submitted for the Ohio Department of Corrections website by Jackie Burns, co-facilitator or Sacred Sisters. She agreed we could share it here. We are grateful for her spreading the word about Monasteries of the Heart.

St Benedict Behind Bars

Monastery visit

Monastery of the Heart member Debbie Krohn recently traveled to Erie from her home in Marietta, GA, to attend a retreat at Mount St. Benedict Monastery.

Prayers as Alice becomes oblate

Alice, a member of the Sacred Sisters Monastery of the Heart at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, (ORW) and Monks in Our Midst blogger will make her oblation as an oblate with the Benedictine Sisters of Immaculate Conception Monastery, Ferdinand, IN in a ceremony on Tuesday, May 2nd at 1:00 pm EDT.

Saima Scott and Open Path Monastery of the Heart

Saima Scott, the leader of the Open Path Monastery of the Heart in Olympia, Washington, visited friends in Erie recently and while there, visited the MOH office and met with Janice Etchison, staff member and contact person for onsite monasteries. Saima shared many wonderful stories about the Open Path Monastery and the life-giving good works they offer to several communities in Olympia. She described the monastery, in existence since 2012, as an informal group of retirees who are committed to both spiritual development and peace and justice activities.

Saima wrote the following to share with the Monasteries of the Heart community:

Monasteries of the Heart at Decatur Correctional Center

Each week Sr. Regina Marie Bernet, OP, 82 years old from Springfield, IL, spends two days a week giving classes in prison.

Making connections through the retreat in Erie

Janice Etchison, (addressing the group in the photo) Benedictine oblate and resource person for onsite monasteries at Monasteries of the Heart, gives a tour through the website during the November 4 to 6, 2016 retreat held at Mount St. Benedict monastery, Erie, PA.

At the National Catholic Prison Ministry Conference

“We talked with several chaplains already using Joan Chittister’s Monastic Way with those in prison.

A Visit to Heart to Heart Monastery

A Visit to Heart to Heart Monastery by Janice Etchison, Monasteries of the Heart staff member.

Ora et Labora online monastery inviting new members

Thin Spaces, leader of Ora et Labora, sent this invitation:

Overnight retreat for Listening Hearts

October 14 and 15 were sunny and in the 70s with brilliant color in the trees--perfect conditions for Listening Heart’s 24-hour retreat at Glinodo Center on Lake Erie, across the road from Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, PA.

Ora et Labora members visit Mount St. Benedict

Liz, the leader of Ora et Labora Monastery of the Heart, an online community, sent this report/reflection after three members visited Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, PA.

Sacred Sisters Monastery Annual Retreat at ORW

Sisters Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski and Anne McCarthy returned to the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) for the Sacred Sisters Monastery of the Heart annual retreat on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. The Sacred Sisters Monastery is thriving with 45 members. Thirty six were able to attend the full day.

Monastery of the Lake at Wangi Wangi

Janet, leader of the onsite community, Monastery of the Lake at Wangi Wangi (pronounced wonjee), sent this update:
Yesterday we had a morning gathering to which we invited several of our friends, including the two Sisters who offer us hospitality in their retreat centre. We opened with our usual group reciting of a verse and a brief silence, and then watched the DVD of Sister Joan speaking on Love, Forgiveness and Reconciliation: A Call to Full Humanity.

Living with the Sisters Taught Me...

Last week the NCR Global Sisters Report web page published an article by Breanna Mekuly, this summer’s intern with Joan Chittister at Monasteries of the Heart and Benetvision, titled, “Living with sisters taught me what I really want out of life.”

Interview with Ruth Everhart
Ruth Everhart

Breanna Mekuly, a summer intern at Benetvision and Monasteries of the Heart, took the opportunity this summer to interview Ruth Everhart, pastor, author and member of Monasteries of the Heart in anticipation of the upcoming release of Ruth's second memoir,

Welcome Seekers and Discerners

Welcome to a new online community, Seekers and Discerners Monastery created by Jacqueline Small (right) and Breanna Mekuly, already know to Monasteries of the Heart members as Monks in Our Midst contributors.

Anniversary for Oblate Cistercians de Guadalupe

PadreBob, leader of the online monastery Oblate Cistercians de Guadalupe, sent this message:

for peace after violence in Orlando

Susan sent this message:

Save the Date: Monasteries of the Heart retreat in Erie, PA

For the first time, Mount St. Benedict monastery will host a Monasteries of the Heart retreat in Erie, PA from Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6.

Webinar on nuclear disarmament will feature Joan Chittister

Joan Chittister will present on a webinar aimed at mobilizing the US Catholic community to work for nuclear weapons abolition. The free webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 17th at 4 pm Eastern.

New member wins Annual Appeal Drawing

Thank you to those who responded to our 5th Annual April Anniversary Appeal. Your help makes this community of Monasteries of the Heart possible for many.