What: An information and reflection session via Zoom with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates Community!

Come learn and pray with this community steeped in spirituality and justice.  Explore CSJ history and current ministries as well as a wide range of opportunities for deeper connection and growth.

When:  Thursday, October 22, 2020, 6:30-8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

For more information and/or to register, contact:

Joan Pauly Schneider at 651-690-7063, jpaulyschneider@csjstpaul.org , or
Jill Underdahl, CSJ, at 651-696-2873, junderdahl@csjstpaul.org.

June 1st, 2020

Filmed in 1928, this silent film directed by Danish Carl Dreyer features actor Renee Jeanne Falconetti in her only film role. The story of the French saint Joan of Arc is known to many: her life as a shepherd girl, listening to the voices of angels and saints, following their directive (minus clerical intervention) at the age of 17 to lead the French army to victory, getting caught up in the political and institutional church intrigues of her time, being burned at the stake as a heretic at 19 on May 30, 1431.

She was canonized as a saint nearly 500 years later. The script follows closely the actual transcripts from her trial. Her story evokes OUR compassion as we reflect on this young woman whose fidelity to her “voices” and to her God cost her her life.

Facilitated by Mary Kaye Medinger.

January 27th, 2020

Join a contemplative journey into 9 themes that converge when the 9 Enneagram types are aligned with ancient wisdom from the Tao Te Ching. Each pathway represents an ancient spiritual tradition that holds potent wisdom for our challenging times. Together, they invite us into a spirituality that is internally grounded and externally engaged with our world.

After encountering an overview of the Enneagram, the Tao, and their inter-relatedness, we will follow a contemplative process for each theme, including a presentation, silence for personal journaling, and group reflections.

Two books will guide us: Roaming Free Inside the Cage: A Daoist Approach to the Enneagram by William M. Schafer, and A Path and a Practice: Using Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching as a Guide to an Awakened Spiritual Life by William Martin. You are encouraged but not required to obtain and explore these books.

Facilitated by Scott McRae.

January 27th, 2020

Creating a more compassionate world asks us to tap even deeper into the source of compassion. Come explore how collective movement meditation—in the form of a circle dance—helps us both physiologically develop the capacity for compassion and spiritually connect to the Divine Source of compassion.

Our nervous system regulates our ability to be compassionate and connect with others through the vagus nerve. Many mind-body practices help stimulate this connection, including one of humanity’s oldest practices: dance. We will explore the many ways in which the simple Greek circle dance Issos Astypalaias reduces stress and stimulates our ability to be compassionate to one another.

Our dancing will also connect us with what dancer, ethnographer, and mythologist Laura Shannon refers to as a women’s dance-based mystery school with living roots in ancient Europe. The step patterns and song lyrics all point us to a deeper experience of our interconnection. We will explore the ‘embodied theology’ of the dance and what it can teach us about connecting to the Source of compassion.

Come and experience a new way to nourish your well of compassion. All movement abilities and all genders welcome; this dance can be experienced seated as well as standing.

Facilitated by Emily Jarrett Hughes.

January 27th, 2020

In the city fields 
Contemplating cherry-trees…
Strangers are like friends

Contemplation, as the Buddhist priest and poet Issa illustrates, is a field of intimacy, and writing is one entrance.  Writers Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew and Kyoko Katayama will share observations about writing as a mindfulness practice and lead us in writing exercises that encourage deep listening, responsive creating, and open-hearted becoming.

January 27th, 2020

On the 3rd Sunday of Easter, the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the Myrrh-Bearing Women. Mary Kaye Medinger, Joan Mitchell, and Karen Hilgers will create a liturgy to these women disciples, who are the first witnesses that Jesus has risen, namely, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, Joanna, Suzanna, Salome, the wife of Cleopas, Mary of Bethany, Martha of Bethany, Peter’s mother-in-law.

Please contact Joan (651-690-7012) if you are interested in developing the role of one of the women, studying what the gospels and women scholars say about her, and then telling her story in the first person as part of the liturgy.

January 25th, 2020

The Difficult Conversations Project is an initiative to help people have respectful, productive dialogues on the challenges that confront our communities, our nation and our world. This powerful set of research-based principles and strategies will equip you to engage in meaningful dialogue with anyone, regardless of social or ideological differences.

Focusing on the question, Who do we need to be to have the conversations we need to have?, this workshop will help you:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics that turn conversations into conflicts.
  • Discover how one critical shift in thinking can turn a negative interaction into a creative and constructive engagement. Understand how our personal story can be a tool to both build bridges and burn them.
  • Learn how to look “beyond” our personal story to access more easily and deeply our innate capacity for connection, creativity and collaboration.

Workshop participants experience how their personal story shapes their perception.

January 25th, 2020

In January 2017, Kern Beare and his son Will embarked on a cross-country “conversation road tour” to talk to as many people as possible about the state of our country and how we could move forward together. From that experience, Kern developed and has been facilitating a workshop called Difficult Conversations: The Art and Science of Working Together.

Come hear Kern and Will share stories and insights from their cross-country adventure and workshop experiences.

Participate in an interactive exploration of some of the social, psychological and even neurological dynamics that often prevent men from constructively conversing with one another in the face of disagreement, including the fear of vulnerability and the impulse to “win.” Learn some specific strategies to work through those dynamics, allowing us to stay engaged in “difficult conversations” creatively and compassionately.

January 24th, 2020

In a day and age when compassion and community can seem in short supply, we turn to Etty Hillesum (1914-1943). In early 1941, Etty Hillesum was coming of age intellectually, spiritually and socially in Amsterdam when she began keeping a diary. It was less than a year after the Nazis had occupied Holland, and as Etty’s external world became smaller with each successive restriction of Jewish freedoms, she carefully tended her space within, stocking it with all that she cherished and needed for the challenges ahead of her.

Etty once wryly noted there was so much barbed wire at Westerbork that it could be hard to tell whether one was being fenced in or out. Fittingly, her journals offer us wise guidance for crossing the barbed divisions of our own time. She demonstrated another way, a way of love that she consciously cultivated and equally consciously passed on to others in her written pages.

“It is sometimes hard to take in and comprehend, oh God, what those created in Your likeness do to each other in these disjointed days. But I no longer shut myself away in my room, … I try to look things straight in the face, even the worst crimes, and to discover the small, naked human being amid the monstrous wreckage caused by [people]’s senseless deeds. …. (134-135) 

Realizing that the struggle for inner peace is one with the struggle for justice and the end of war, Etty refused to accept escape from the Nazi transit camp and continued her search for meaning through her own reflections and in service to others.

How do we shoulder the common challenges of our times — not only with all of humanity but with the Earth itself and all life upon it?

These three sessions invite us to explore her philosophical and theological reflections to discover how Etty’s story can be a source of healing for all of us.

April 14: Etty Hillesum as Witness to Healing and Wholeness.
Mary Kaye Medinger, MA, writer, editor, spiritual director, retreat leader, will speak of her own relationship with Etty across time and space.

April 21: She Did Not Speak.
Leslie Morris, PhD, Professor of German and Chair of the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, where she served for ten years as Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, shares how Etty’s writing helped her process the emotional and medical trauma of her own Holocaust family history.

April 28: Can Religion Help Heal a World Broken by Trauma? Etty Hillesum as our Ancestor in the “Qahal goyim” (sacred assembly).
William (Bill) McDonough STL, STD, professor of moral theology, coordinator of the Master of Arts in Theology program at St. Catherine University, and two-time presenter at the Etty Hillesum International Conference, will use Etty’s writings to feed our moral imagination.

January 24th, 2020

Compassion—the key to creating communal hospitality, to overcoming division and creating a place of belonging for ourselves and others—begins in our capacity to sense and feel, attuned to our lived experiences of suffering. Compassion is being in touch with the power of our feelings and thus, being at home in our own bodies. Being in tune with the range of emotions—attuning to the energy of our own bodies—is the condition for the possibility of being open and hospitable to others. Being compassionate is rendered more complex in our world of racialized violence and oppression. Yet the yearning to belong to our own true selves in harmony with one another sounds forth in our fractured lives. Leaning into and enlarging our capacity to be compassionate is to live in the freedom of love.

This three-part series speaks from and to the importance of navigating the flow of emotions in and among us; acknowledges the formidable impact of colonized bodies; draws upon traditions of contemplation and movement in the practice of being present to our bodily selves; plays with sacred and ordinary stories of compassion; engages in self-reflective activities; and trusts in the work of the Spirit to enliven our time together. Our exploration acknowledges the larger spiritual journey of individual growth and development, and the company of trusted others, to include book wisdom. My Grandmother’s Hands will ground our conversations even as it will continue to be a resource for you.

Facilitated by Rev. Dr. Karin A. Craven.

January 24th, 2020

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