Welcome to SSJE
We are a community of men giving our whole selves over to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rooted in the ancient monastic traditions of prayer and community life, and critically engaged with contemporary culture, we seek to know and share an authentic experience of God’s love and mercy. We live a common life shaped by worship, prayer, and our Rule of Life.
We invite you to explore these pages to learn more about how we live and pray, the tradition that grounds us, and the call that draws us onward day by day.
Starting Lent 2020
Join us this coming Lent as we explore the riches of our worship traditions, liturgy and sacraments, and the art and architecture of our worship spaces, revealing the full meaning of these signs, deepening our experience of Christian vocation and guiding us toward ongoing conversion.
The majesty of the Prologue of John, or the poignancy of the Foot Washing at the Last Supper, or the beauty of the Psalms are not to be missed. However, there is more to Scripture than majesty, poignancy, and beauty. There is also the ordinary routine of daily living. It is there, in the ordinary routine of daily living, that God can be found as well.
-Br. James Koester, SSJE
Silence. Flickering candlelight. Sunlight streaming through stained glass. Soak in the beauty of our sanctuary, open morning to night. Pray, ponder, or participate in the Brothers’ daily office. Service Schedule >
Birdsong. Meadow grasses waving in the breeze. Stars overhead. At our rural retreat house, we invite you to pray as you hike, light a fire, weed the garden, and bask in the beauty of Creation. Retreat information>
Recent Sermons from the Chapel
“The author of Mark is pouring out a necessary medicinal draught for us—we, the religious of our own time. While its taste may be bitter to the palette, we do well to drink all of it down, and slowly. For I believe Mark intends us to see our own reflection in this brew. That which we are easily tempted to deride about the scribes and Pharisees in this encounter may well be the very same hops and malt fermenting away in our own corporate body.”
Br. Sean Glenn hears in Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees a provoking, provocative reminder to us all about how we should relate to our own faith and the faith of others.Read More >
“It is not enough to pray. We must act. It is not enough to press forward with our own goals and agendas; we must consider our brothers and sisters, especially those who have fallen behind. Only then will we see God’s glory revealed in our world; only then will we recognize the face of God in these, God’s children.”
Br. David Vryhof reminds us that we cannot say that we know and love God if we are indifferent to the needs of the poor among usRead More >
“May we be spared shedding our blood as a martyr; nonetheless, there will be countless occasions to give “witness” to Christ. There will be more than a few opportunities for us to “lay down our life” for someone, another child of God, probably even today.”
Br. Curtis Almquist considers the mundane, everyday ways that we are called to the witness of martyrdom.Read More >
“Following Jesus, walking by faith is so often more like walking around the house at night when there’s a power outage holding a tiny candle. At first it’s quite fun, but it soon gets frustrating because the candle only lights up a small area around it, just enough to take the next step forward, but most of the rest of the room is still plunged in darkness.”
On Candlemas, Br. Geoffrey Tristram invites us to walk by faith as we follow the Light of the world.Read More >
“Next time your heart sinks, your stomach flips, you strain at the oars battling the wind and waves of life, don’t be afraid to cry out, as did the disciples, ‘Teacher, do you not care that [I am] perishing?’ And then open your ears. You might just hear above the noise of your fear, Jesus speaking words of peace.”
Br. James Koester invites us to join the disciples in the storm-tossed boat and listen for Jesus’ words of peace.Read More >