The 20,000 international members of Monasteries of the Heart receive formation in the core elements of monastic life—prayer, lectio (sacred reading), good works, study and community—through a website created and managed by members of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA.
“For over 1,500 years Benedictine hospitality has provided a welcoming presence for diverse individuals who step through the monastery doors.” explained Joan Chittister, the creator and animator of the movement. “Now, through Monasteries of the Heart, this healing presence is carried beyond the monastery walls and into homes, and offices, and schools, and marketplaces, and prisons. Everywhere people are learning to live an ordinary life, extraordinarily well.”
The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life by Joan Chittister (BlueBridge) is the basic and inspirational text for the movement.
For more information on Monasteries of the Heart, click here. You must create a free member account to access all the content on the site.
From the Heart: letters from members of Monasteries of the Heart
For me, the main elements of the monastic tradition are what I'm looking for from Monasteries of the Heart. And I find them here—lines from a Psalm, a short poem, a challenging good work, and the community conversations—it’s a beautiful mosaic.
I looked into the Monasteries of the Heart website and was delighted to find this new community. I travel a lot, often working in different countries and different states when I am at home in the US. My husband is from Italy and so I'm never settled in one place for long, although lately I have been asking for a community, ready to alight someplace for a long while. I appreciate the new home that I will have with you at MOH and simply wanted to say thank you! I look forward to being together.
Like others, I have been waiting. I heard the invitation, rather the summons, years ago and started the walk. I left it. Now, the new desert is rich in quiet, solitude, barren simplicity. In this monastery of the heart, I am removing my shoes for this walk on holy ground.