Monasteries of the Heart

When you become a member of Monasteries of the Heart you receive free weekly practices that can help you develop a monastic spirituality—prayer, lectio (reflective reading), good works, study and community. You also receive free inspirational words each week from three monastic blogs, including one by Sister Joan Chittister. And you join a worldwide community whose members discuss meaningful issues and are intent on impacting the times.

A Minute w/ Joan Chittister

Sample Lectio

Sit with this icon, Romero by Robert Lentz, in a prayerful setting. What does the icon say to me? What feelings or thoughts does it evoke? What is God’s message for me as I reflect on it?

In addition to new weekly content, Monasteries of the Heart offers regular online courses, retreats and book discussions. While some of this curriculum content is free, many of the courses and retreats have a small fee. Courses and retreats usually include several emails a week, exclusive video or audio content and a facilitated discussion. Click here to see all available offerings. You must have a free membership and be logged in to register for and access courses and retreats.

Course or Retreat in session now

Instruction on monastic spirituality and way of life is essential if members of Monasteries of the Heart are to carry forward and keep alive the ancient Benedictine tradition.

Initial Monastic Formation for New Members
Study based on the book
The Monastery of the Heart by Joan Chittister

A Gentle Invitation

In her book, Insights for the Ages, Sister Joan explains that the Rule of Benedict "is not concerned with a single time and place, a single set of devotions, or a single ministry...

Stretch your monastic heart

CLICK HERE for a list of all available eCourses including:
Lectio Divina A Summer Experience
Sacred Moments Lectio with Ordinary Time
Respond with Nonviolence
Friendship of Women
Give Me a Word
Monastery Scribes
How Shall We Live
Great Monastic Women
Beatitudes of Peace
Gift of Years
Creating a Monastery of the Heart
Praying the Psalms
All You Holy Women
Heart of the Rule
Empower Yourself, Empower Others
Nonviolence and the Rule of Benedict
Monastic Wisdom for the Workplace
Love, Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Lectio Divina: Finding Your Sacred Center
Thomas Merton and Peacemaking
Mary of Nazareth: Reflections from Joan Chittister
God Speaks in Many Tongues: A Personal Retreat

Next Course or Retreat to be offered

Four to six courses and retreats are offered each year at Monasteries of the Heart. This is our next online offering.


Everything about food—growing and preparing; blessing and sharing it; not having enough of it; protecting our earth that provides it—has meaning in our lives. Using a lectio process, together we will look at and deepen that meaning as we grow and share our monastic hearts with food. This three-week eCourse runs September 9-27. >>>FULL DESCRIPTION