“More than anything, the Monastery represents a respite from the stressful atmosphere my peers and I navigate every day. Over the past year, I have encouraged many of my friends to attend the Monastery. I tell them how the space cultivated by the Brothers is a wonderful one of quiet, contemplation, and peace, a far cry from the anxiety-ridden college environment. In my experience, I have found that students are always looking for ways to escape, albeit briefly, the worries of school. SSJE is a space in which I feel comfortable bringing my friends who have no or very negative experiences with faith (this is unfortunately hard to find). I love the quietness of the space and the holiness that pervades its walls. The Monastery is many things to many people – a place of contemplation, a place to pray, a place to hear a challenging sermon. More than that, however, worshiping at the Monastery has placed within me a desire to simplify my spiritual life. I feel much less attached to the spiritual trappings that I used to cling to to make myself feel connected to God. The Brothers have taught me that following Jesus doesn’t mean having resources or a calling to be great, but rather a desire to be used by and loved by Jesus.”

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