FALL 2007

Benedictine Spirituality and the Land

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The Monastery of St. Gertrude

The Monastery of St. Gertrude is a Benedictine community that has found new and innovative ways to live their historic vows. Uniquely located on 1400 acres at the edge of the Camas Prairie in north-central Idaho, the monastery was originally established by Swiss Benedictine sisters in 1882. The community continues to follow the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the sixth century. In recent years, however, the sisters have shifted their ministry focus to ecological land practices as well as eco-spirituality retreats and courses. By re-envisioning the historical Benedictine vows of stability, obedience, and conversatio morum (constant conversion), the sisters have found new and innovative ways to explore their relationship to God. Their vows are lived on the land as well as in the choir stalls. Through interviews with current members of the St. Gertrude Benedictine community, this photo-essay explores the ways that the sisters connect the vows of their Benedictine tradition with a renewed emphasis on care and responsibility for the land.