Monasteries of the Heart

Community News

Read news about MOH communities — and let us know what your on-site or online community is doing!
Email info@monasteriesoftheheart.org

Welcome Mount Hope Monastery

Welcome to Mount Hope Monastery (of the Heart) located in Tiverton, Rhode Island. This new onsite monastery is actively seeking members to join them in prayer, lectio, and good works in their little corner of the Ocean State.

Leadership Training Adapted for L'Arche

A new closed online MOH monastery, L’Arche Greater Washington DC Monastery was created by Bob Jacobs, a participant in the leadership training program at MOH.

Students visit monastery and MOH

Greg Baker brought his Catholic Spirituality class from Mercyhurst University, Erie, Pennsylvania, a small group of six students, to the Benedictine monastery for a brief tour and a discussion with Sister Mary Ellen Plumb, MOH staff member, about monastic life and Monasteries of the Heart.

Online MOH stretches to Rwanda

The online community, Community of Saint Anna Monastery stretches now to Rwanda. One of their members, Maureen, a nurse from England, is currently living and working in Rwanda. She reports in when she can from a very isolated and remote location in rural Rwanda.

MOH at Call to Action

If you plan to attend this year’s Call to Action assembly at the Memphis Conference Center, in Memphis, TN, Nov. 7 to 9, please join Kathy Schatzberg, MOH member and leader of the online community, Monastery of Our Stories at the Monastery of the Heart table during Wide Open Fridays.

First MOH webinar

When Joan Chittister and the Monasteries of the Heart staff offered our first free live-stream webinar on “Love, Forgiveness and Reconciliation” this past weekend, Sister Joan’s one hope was “that this kind of discussion would be a good event, a real learning experience, a genuine spiritual momen

Ora et Labora will gather online for the webinar

Members of Ora et Labora Monastery, an online MOH, will view Sister Joan’s webinar, “Love, Forgiveness and Reconciliation: A Call to Full Humanity,” this Saturday, September 20, at their variety of locations. Then, they will use it for their discussion over the next week or so.

Ron Beathard's blog on Krista Tippet's On Being

Ron Beathard, leader of Benedictine Spirituality and Addiction Recovery Monastery, an online MOH, and one of the Monks in Our Midst bloggers, has a reflection published with Krista Tippets, On Being, an online spirituality blog.

The Story of the Storytelling Monastery

Reflection by Kathleen Schatzberg, leader of the online community, Monasteries of our Stories.

Welcome to new onsite MOH in LaBelle, Florida

We welcome a new onsite community, The Companions of Blessed Margaret of Castello Monastery, meeting in LaBelle, Florida. The description of their monastery shares the story of Blessed Margaret of Castello. “Blessed Margaret was born in Medieval times to a noble family who wanted a son.

Luther Memorial MOH at Chautauqua
Carol Smith, Elaine Keen, Marilyn Rositer, and Joan Chittister.

This year’s July gathering of Luther Memorial MOH—an onsite monastery in Erie, PA, was at Chautauqua Institution listening to Sr. Joan Chittister lecture in the Hall of Philosophy.

welcome Oblate Cistercians de Guadalupe Monastery

We welcome, Oblate Cistercians de Guadalupe Monastery, a new online monastery accepting new members. Leader PadreBob, (Fr.

Prayer request from St Symeon MOH

Members of St. Symeon the New Theologian Prayer of the Heart Monastery have asked for prayers for their leader, Fr Ioannis. They have not heard from him for the last month. After Easter he had a three- week bout with pneumonia, exacerbated by weak lungs from a history of asthma.

Joining in prayer and good works

MOH’s online monasteries have to be creative about ways to connect for good works and for prayer. St. Symeon the New Theologian Prayer of the Heart Monastery is gathering virtually for prayer, fasting and acts of kindness this Friday, May 2nd.

A Meeting of the Monks

Two years ago, when US members of Ora et Labora, an online monastery at Monasteries of the Heart, gathered at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery in Erie, PA, Betty traveled by train from Texas to be present.

MOH receives grant for leadership training

Monasteries of the Heart has been awarded a combined $20,000 from Fetzer Institute and the Notre Dame University Institute for Church Life for a pilot online leadership training program entitled: Listen with the Heart: Becoming a Benedictine Leader.

Add prayer intentions for the Feast of Benedict
St Benedict

Near the end of his life, Benedict had a mystical vision where he saw the whole world gathered within a beam of light. For the March 21st feast of St. Benedict, may we, as a Monastery of the Heart community, hold those around the world, and the earth itself, in the light of grace.

Seminar for prison chaplains in CA

“Do you prefer to pray in the dark or in light?” a prison chaplain asked her small scripture group. And a prisoner answered, “You don’t understand. We don’t know what darkness is—it is never, never dark in here.

Intro Monasteries of the Heart retreat

A one-day Introduction to Monasteries of the Heart Retreat will be offered at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Oxford, MD on Saturday, March 22, 2014.

Before Lent is "Mardi Gras"

“Laissez les bon temps rouler.” Or, “let the good times roll.” Mardi Gras developed in Europe as a Christian response to the hedonistic celebrations of the pagan Roman Empire.

Lent and your monastery

How will your monastery celebrate Lent this year? What have you done in the past? What are your learnings and experiences from past Lenten celebrations? Onsite and online monasteries might celebrate quite differently. Please share your wisdom, or just your questions, to help other monasteries.

reflection on hospitality from Community of St Anna MOH

From Jane, leader of the Community of Saint Anna:

How will your MOH celebrate St. Scholastica?

The feast day of St. Scholastica on February 10 is fast approaching. The story of the final meeting of Scholastica and Benedict is told in The Dialogues of Gregory, Book Two, attributed to Pope Gregory the Great:

Welcome new member from Japan

Yuri recently joined Monasteries of the Heart from Japan, where, she explains, only 1% of the population is Christian.

Heart to Heart MOH at SOA protest
Marge and Neil Himber at SOA

Neil Himber, member of Heart to Heart Monastery, an onsite community in Youngsville, PA, reflects on the recent trip he and Marge made to participate in the protest against the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, GA, Nov 21 – 23, 2013.

Welcome back to Fr. Ioannis

We welcome back Fr. Ioannis, a founding member of an online community, St. Symeon the New Theologian, Prayer of the Heart Monastery, who had been off-line for over six months.

MOH at Call to Action
Jo Drueke and Mary Jo McEvoy at CTA

Pictured here, Jo Drueke, member of Care for Creation MOH, talks with Mary Jo McEvoy, member of Ora et Labora MOH, who volunteered to staff the Monasteries of the Heart table at the recent Call to Action Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Good News from New York

Pat Cuccia (pictured here at this year's Reader's retreat with Sister Joan) is the leader of one of our earliest on site monasteries, the Seaford, Long Island monastery, who has been meeting on the last Wednesday of each month since August, 2011.

A New Venture

"Spending time with others who have the same heart for the incarcerated was absolutely freeing for me and took a huge weight off my shoulders to know that I don't have to save the world all by myself.

Heart-to-Heart MOH on retreat
Heart-to-Heart MOH members on retreat at Mt. St. Benedict

It was synchronistic: all the members of Heart-to-Heart Monastery, Youngsville, PA, registered for the same retreat at Mount St. Benedict monastery, October 4 to 6th. It helped that three of them were leading a session.

MOH raffle winner at Reader's Retreat
Sister Joan and Georgette Oestreicher at the Reader's Retreat

Remember last spring when donors contributing $100 or more to the MOH annual April appeal were entered into a drawing for a spot at Sister Joan’s Reader’s Retreat? Well, the winner was Georgette Oestreicher from Bernardsville, NJ, and the retreat just finished. Her comment on it?

Friday Morning Muffins? Yes!

With a name like Friday Morning Muffins Monastery, it’s no surprise that this community is going strong at the United Church of Christ in Lincolnville, ME. Pastor and community leader, Rev. Dr. Susan Stonestreet, begins each weekly session with a reading and silent meditation.

In Our Own Words

Monastery of Our Stories: 
In Our Own Words
Submitted by Kathleen Schatzberg

Congratulations to Linda on new book

Congratulations to MOH member and frequent contributor, Dr. Linda L. Bielowski, on the release of her latest book, The Prayer Afghan. Linda shares that many of the prayers for it were composed for and posted on MOH.

a blessing for granddaughter's coming-of-age

We received this request and are putting it out to the MOH community for your response.

Tattoos on the Heart

When they heard that Jesuit Greg Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart and known for his work with prisoners and former prisoners in gang-infested LA, would be presenting at nearby Chautauqua Institute, Sisters Mary Ellen Plumb and Rosanne Lindal-Hynes jumped at the educ

Fr. Greg Boyle visits prison MOH

It was better than front-row seats at Chautauqua Institute in New York for the MOH community that meets in SCI Forest, a Pennsylvania state prison. Because they couldn’t travel there to hear Fr.

Welcome to the Mount

MOH members Anne Ierardi, an artist, pastoral counselor, and spiritual director, and Judith Recknagel, a wholistic physician, stopped for a short visit at Mount Saint Benedict on their way to a week at Chautauqua Institute in New York.

Making Connections

While many of our onsite monasteries are registered on our website, others are not. We would like to take this opportunity to encourage onsite monasteries to register on our website especially if you are open to new members so that the seekers and the monasteries can find one another.

P.I.E.S. anyone?

Congratulations to Ora et Labora Monastery beginning their 3rd year as an online community at MOH. We asked Eileen Burns, MOH leader, to share her community’s experience. Her response: “Building a virtual community, an on-line Monastery of the Heart, is challenging.

Beer, Pizza and St. Benedict

Ron Beathard, leader of the online community, Benedictine Spirituality and Addiction Recovery Monastery of the Heart, sent a copy of his article published this month in St. Anthony Messenger magazine, titled, “Beer, Pizza and St. Benedict.” An oblate of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana,

Celebrating the Feast of St. Bendict

How will you celebrate the Feast of St. Benedict, July 11th? A special meal? A favorite activity? A beautiful liturgy? Last week we suggested spending time with the Daily Prayers for a Global Heart on the prayer page. You might use the beautiful St.

Heart to Heart in Celebrity Circles

Recently, Margie and Neil Himber, leaders of the Heart to Heart onsite monastery in Youngsville, Pennsylvania, attended the Thomas Merton Center award ceremony and reception at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland, Pennsylvania.

Parish Renew Community is foundation for MOH

Pictured are 7 of the 10 members of the Small Christian Community/ Monastery of the Heart associated with Assumption Church in Geneva, Ohio at their last monthly gathering.

Welcome First Broad Street Monastery of the Heart

First Broad Street MOH is an onsite community meeting weekly at the United Methodist Congregation in Kingsport, TN. Their focus is on contemplative prayer. Margaret Deans, Minister of Christian Formation at United Methodist, says they have been meeting for 6 years.

Poetry book flows from MOH Lenten eCourse

What began for MOH member Dr. Linda L. Bielowski, as a 40-day Lenten journey with sacred texts from diverse wisdom traditions [Christian, Zen, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Native American, etc.] as walking sticks and guideposts became both an epiphany and a manuscript.

Desert Heart Monastery is One Year Old

Desert Heart Monastery of the Heart is an online community which is always open to accepting new members, no matter how large they become. The focus is on desert spirituality, specifically the early Christian monastic spirituality.

MOH community in England?

Looking for an onsite Monastery of the Heart community in England? So are others. We have received several requests recently from new MOH members in England looking for onsite MOH communities.

Heart to Heart onsite MOH is seeking members

The onsite monastery in Youngsville, PA has actually been meeting weekly for 3 years. They began as a discussion group of members of St. Luke RC parish there. In July 2011, they jumped at the chance to become an MOH community, still based with their parish.

Summer plans?

Does your monastery, onsite or online have plans for the summer? Do you take a break? Gather less often? Read a different book? Read extra books? Do you have special plans for the Feast of St. Benedict on July 11? Please share your summer plans by commenting below.

Welcome Listening Heart Community

Welcome an onsite monastery meeting at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Gaithersburg, MD. Listening Heart Community at Ascension Monastery has been meeting twice a month, on Monday evenings for lectio, contemplative prayer, reflection, sharing and social.

Welcome Forest Meadows

Welcome to Forest Meadows Monthly, an onsite Monastery of the Heart in Burnaby, BC. A potluck is integral to their monthly meeting and discussion. They meet in different homes on the second Saturday of each month from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Faces of the Community

Have you noticed the faces of community members after you log in at MOH on the new front page? The images rotate randomly and include all registered members who publish a picture with their account. The visual can unite us as we pray daily for the community.

Community Prayer Practice

The online MOH community, Ora et Labora, has a new way of connecting and holding each other in prayer. Mary Jo McEvoy, a member, recently visited Erie and told us, “We agreed that at the same time each day, no matter where we live, we would stop and take a moment to quietly pray for each other.”

St. Symeon opens for new members

St. Symeon the New Theologian, an online-only MOH community which has been meeting for over a year has been meeting now for over a year as a “closed,” (not accepting new members) community. They have decided to re-open and welcome new members at this time.

Welcome St. Bennie's Belles

Welcome St. Bennie’s Belles, an onsite monastery meeting in Lima, Ohio. Actually, they have been meeting for years for prayer, discussion and good works. Then they read The Monastery of the Heart book and decided to become an MOH monastery.

New Venture at MOH

Sister Mary Ellen Plumb is used to giving retreats. She's directed dozens for students and for adults. But the Monasteries of the Heart retreat she led for twenty-four deacons in Dallas, Texas was a first for her and a new adventure, a new possibility for members of Monasteries of the Heart.

News from Heart to Heart Monastery

The Heart to Heart MOH monastery is currently studying "The Nonviolent Moment" by Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB. Using the stories and poetry found in this studyguide our group is gaining the wisdom to discern and pursue a non-violent lifestyle.

Solidarity with Sisters

Betty Thompson, a member of Monasteries of the Heart, posted the following on the Solidarity with Sisters blog on January 19 -- it is worth sharing. Thank you, Betty, for your support and for letting so many know what MOH and living with a monastic heart means to you.

Welcome Loaves and Fishes MOH

Welcome Loaves and Fishes Monastery of the Heart, a new onsite community on Erie’s east side. Christine Lundt, an oblate of Mt. St. Benedict, who leads the MOH is inviting others to join.

Desert Heart MOH doing Advent Desert retreat

Desert Heart online Monastery is doing a special retreat for the Advent season. Anita, a Desert Heart member, with the assistance of Debra, the leader, offered the content for the members to discuss online. Here’s their outline, based on the special focus of the Desert Heart monastery:

Welcome Northern Lights MOH in Southern Ontario

We welcome our first listing of an onsite MOH in Canada. Northern Lights Monastery of the Heart has been meeting twice a month in Southern Ontario and invites others in the area to join them. They just listed their open onsite MOH on the website.

Welcome Anam Cara

Welcome Anam Cara Monastery of the Heart

When Joan Chittister spoke at a conference in Duluth, she encourage Mary Bridget to list her onsite monastery. So they did.
Anam Cara is an onsite Monastery of the Heart with an online presence to connect the members between gatherings.

Heart of Listening MOH visits Erie monastery

For their regular Friday community gathering, The Heart Listening MOH community from Fairport, New York, met at Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie. Though it was quite a commute for them, it was well worth the trip for each of them and for the Erie community.

Welcome Maranatha MOH

We welcome the Maranatha Community of Nashville, Tennessee. They have recently registered as an MOH on site community. They are an ecumenical contemplative community inspired by the Monasteries of the Heart movement, attracted in particular to the concept of “a monastery without walls”.

Getting to Know Stepping Stones Monastery of the Heart

Eve Davila, the group leader of the Stepping Stones on site community in Elmira, New York, shares the following about her community who joined Monasteries of the Heart on August 11, 2011.

How is your small community experience unfolding?

Heartlinks MOH meets on Skype

The first online monasteries are now a year old and they are reflecting in different ways.

Happy Birthday, Care for Creation

The online MOH community, Care for Creation is celebrated their one-year anniversary on August 31st with “joyous celebration, prayerful reflection and hopeful resolutions.”

An online space for young adults
Joshua 1:9 MOH image

Joshua 1:9 Monastery is an online place specifically for young adults for whom purpose and direction and looking to share the spiritual journey with others. It is led by Kathleen Vogtle, a former intern at Monasteries of the Heart. The special focus is on discernment.

A Tribute to Joan Marie Cavanaugh (1940 - 2012)

The Seaford (Long Island) Monasteries of the Heart community announces the sudden passing of one of its founding members, Joan M. Cavanaugh on June 11th. Joan (pictured, left) was an active member of the Seaford MOH community since its founding in May, 2011.

An MOH gathering

On Friday, July 20, when Ora et Labora, an online community, and the two women coordinators of MOTHS (seekers of light) Monastery which meets in prison at the California Institution for Women, Corona, CA, were visiting in Erie, we invited the other MOH communities meeting in the area for an eveni

MOTHs and Ora et Labora MOHs visit Erie

The staff is preparing to welcome two MOH communities to Mount Saint Benedict in Erie next week: Ora et Labora, an online community and the two women coordinators of MOTHS (seekers of light) Monastery which meets in prison at the California Institution for Women, Corona, CA.

Welcome Living Wisdom Community MOH

We welcome a new onsite Monastery of the Heart meeting at Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park, CA. In their description they explain, “We recognize that Jesus first invited people into a community of belonging that engaged together in spiritual practice.

MOH member profiled by National Catholic Reporter

Molly Linehan, a member of Mary the Apostle Monastery of the Heart, an on-site community in Erie, PA, was one of 12 young women highlighted by the National Catholic Reporter for their impressive work.

Welcome Heart Listening Monastery

Welcome Heart Listening Monastery, an onsite community meeting in a United Methodist Church in Fairport, NY.

Welcome Kyrie Eleison Monastery

Welcome to Kyrie Eleison Monastery of the Heart in lowertown St. Paul, MN with a special emphasis on prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and special work with homeless vets and families.

Ora et Labora MOH accepting new members
logo for Ora et Labora Monastery

Looking to join an online community? Ora et Labora, an online monastery almost one-year-old, is accepting new members again for a short time. Ora et Labora closed when it had 25 members but now has a few openings.

Welcome, Desert Heart Monastery

Welcome to a new open online community, Desert Heart Monastery, lead by Debra. This new MOH already has nine members. The description reads: Monastery for seekers eager to learn and follow Benedictine traditions. This monastery is for those of us who are hermits at heart.

The Waggle Dance -- from Care for Creation MOH

Care for Creation is a group monastery within MOH in which its members share
and discuss a keen interest in the importance of the interdependence among
all that makes up Creation: from the smallest moss or insect to the largest

Sr. Marian on MOH at SCI Forest

Erie Benedictine Sister Marian Wehler sent this note about the MOH monastery she facilitates in prison at SCI Forest, Marienville, PA.

Visitor shares about on-site MOH

There was nothing startling about the fact that we had a visitor at the monastery this past weekend – like most Benedictine houses, our home is rarely without them.

Welcome, Sunday Circle

Welcome to a new onsite monastery with an online presence, The Sunday Circle Monastery, meeting at the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, TX, a congregation of the United Church of Christ. We know other communities have formed and are gathering, but are not yet listed. Let us know if you’d like help listing your onsite monastery.

Lenten Soup Suppers, St. Hilary’s, Hesperia, CA

The Benedictine Study Group members of St. Hilary’s Episcopal Church in California’s high desert city of Hesperia helped coordinate the church’s Lenten studies with the Rev. Shannon Collis. The Benedictine members wore their aprons symbolizing hospitality and served homemade soups and breads.

Welcome, Community of St Anna MOH

The newest online Monastery of the Heart community is for adult single women.
Here’s how leader, Janey, describes it: “The Community of Saint Anna will be a non-residential ecumenical community of single women who dedicate themselves to witness to the compassionate and understanding presence of God through prayerful listening and intercession for all."

MOH Retreat in Newbury Port, MA

Twenty-five people participated in a Monastery of the Heart retreat last Saturday, in Newbury Port, MA, facilitated by Sr. Anne McCarthy and sponsored by In Sacred Awareness

Online Monastery for Young Adults

Would you like to join a spiritual community during Easter break? Or, do you know what you’re going to do this summer? Discern with some help from your peers.

How will your Monastery celebrate Lent?

Janet, leader of “Our Care for Creation” monastery reports: Our Care for Creation community discussed what we would do in Lent.

Marquette MI MOH at Call to Action

These three members of the Monastery of the Heart meeting in Marquette, MI attended the Call to Action Conference in Milwaukee Nov 4 to 6. Pictured are Sarah, Martha and Cindy. Their MOH meets weekly and currently has six members.

Sr. Carolyn visits

Sr Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski attended a meeting of the St Luke MOH community in Youngsville Pa on 10/16/11.

Mary the Apostle MOH at Occupy DC

First day of Occupy DC and 10th anniversary of the US war/occupation of Afghanistan and 5 members of our MOH community (and 2 kids) were there.

MOH Group motivated by Kathy Kelly
Kathy Kelly & Himber's Monastery of the Heart group

Margie and I and some members of our “Monasteries of the Heart” group heard Kathy Kelly , founder of “Voices In The Wilderness” speak at St. Bonaventure on Thursday, September 15.

New MOH Community

I just returned from our intentional community Eucharistic celebration where Cheryl Bough was our guest speaker. Our theme for the liturgy was MOH and Cheryl did a great job sharing the homily. Basically, she shared her story of being a "seeker" and told the story of the creation of MOH.

New MOH community: Mary the Apostle House community

Mary the Apostle is an on-site Monastery of the Heart group meeting at Mary the Apostle Catholic Worker house. Our monthly meetings are usually on the first Friday of the month. We will gather for prayer, meal, discussion and song.