Sunday, June 22, 2008


I am currently in the midst of a week-long Benedictine Experience at Canterbury Cathedral. But before that, I spent two nights and a day at Salisbury and the weekend in Cambridge--both good experiences which gave me some time to prepare for the retreat part of the trip. Now I am staying at the International Study Centre, right in the Cathedral Precincts--a lovely new conference centre.

Our days (we are a group of about 30 people) are a reflection of the Benedictine life: Morning Prayer at 7:30 a.m., followed by breakfast, a little break and then a morning conference given at first by famed author Esther de Wall and then by Fr. Robert Hale. Then Eucharist at noon followed by lunch and another short break. Then we do some work around the Cathedral, followed by Evensong at 5:30, dinner, evening conference and Compline. It is a balanced day of prayer, study, work and rest, just as St. Benedict laid out in his Rule.

We are so fortunate to be able to do this at Canterbury Cathedral, which was for many centuries a Benedictine monastery. To be able to absorb the Cathedral, wandering its sacred spaces, hearing the music of the Choir of men and boys, and having our own services of Eucharist and Compline in the Cathedral is truly a privelege.

This has been a time of deep reflection and prayer, especially for the upcoming Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops from around the world, which will meet here in Canterbury next month.

The week has gone very fast. Tomorrow is our last day and on Tuesday I move on to Norwich and, in a few days' time, Scotland.

If possible I will try to write again on this trip, or will write more reflections when I at home.

Monday, June 9, 2008

On Pilgrimage

For the next two and a half weeks I will be in the U.K. The major reason for the trip is to join a group making a Benedictine Experience retreat at Canturbury Cathedral from June 17-24. A Benedictine Experience is a way of giving persons, both lay and ordained, who are devoted to ST. Benedict and sometimes are associates of religious orders a way of experiencing the Benedictine life of prayer, work and study.

One of my hopes is to spend time praying for the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops which will take place in Canterbury in late July/early August, specifically for peacful dialogue about the issues facing the world-wide church in the 21st century. On either side of the retreat week I will visit friends in England and Scotland.

I hope to be able to post some entries while I am in Canterbury and will add pictures later. In this way, perhaps you can share a bit of my Benedictine Experience.