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.
Celebrating a martyrdom is a paradox. On the one hand, many martyrs have died an appalling death, fraught with suffering, and those who have loved them and looked to them for inspiration will grieve their absence. The promise we hear in the Book of Revelation, that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes,” is a very real need, for martyrs and loved ones alike. On the other hand, a martyr’s witness will oftentimes sow the life of faith into the coming generations.
-Br. Curtis Almquist, 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
“Don’t wait for a big plan. Start with a small practice, and the ripples of grace will have a power that can do infinitely more than you can ask or imagine.”
Br. Curtis Almquist reflects on how we can put into practice Jesus’ instruction to “Love your enemies” and our Baptismal promise to “respect the dignity of every human being.”Read More >
“She turned to God, and told God all that was on her heart. As she spoke, she started to weep, as she said in a hushed voice, that was the first time she had told God anything really important.”
Br. James Koester shares a memory that enriches his reading of Mark’s Gospel as he highlight one of its unremarkable lines, which nevertheless has much to teach us.Read More >
“When did things begin to change? When did it happen that Jesus’ message and mission – not just to Jews but to the whole world – begin to enlarge? With the magi. With the visitation of the wizards at Bethlehem. Jesus, of course, was an infant. Mary and Joseph took it all in. Something very significant happened in their encounter with the magi from foreign lands, and they were forever changed.”
On the Feast of the Epiphany, Br. Curtis Almquist looks to the Magi and marvels at God’s ongoing revelation.Read More >
“Does this story of Nathanael inspire you to use prayer and meditation as a way to know Jesus?”
As we move from the season of Christmas to Ordinary Time, also known as “Missionary Season,” Br. David Allen finds many expressions of mission in following Jesus.Read More >
“Even though the world may be chilled and anxious, a prophet’s strange words herald the darkness’s retreat: ‘Here is the Lamb of God. I myself did not know him; but I came that he might be revealed.’ A light shines in the far country of our heart, in a region we may have long ago decided was barren, lost, or dead—lost forever to our long exile.”
Br. Sean Glenn reflects on the words of John the Baptist and how, even amid the darkness of our unknowing, God prepares our salvation.Read More >