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.

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Jesus paid attention to the periphery and saw those looked down on or overlooked. Jesus saw humans with dignity and worth. How do we learn mercy? Pay attention not only to those close to you. Look to the periphery, see and welcome the outcast and stranger.

Br. Luke Ditewig, SSJE
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Recent Sermons from the Chapel

A Tree and Its Fruit – Br. David Vryhof

By Br. David Vryhof | September 16, 2023 |

“What is needed is ongoing vigilance and constant discernment of the voices inside us that beckon us to do one thing or the other.  We need to constantly ask ourselves, ‘Is what this inner voice is suggesting to me now from God or from the evil one?  Will this choice turn me towards God or away from God?  Will it lead to good or to evil?’”

Br. David Vryhof encourages us, as we listen to the voices urging us on, to choose the way of love and goodness, that our lives may bear good fruit.

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If You Listen: Rejoining the Earth Community – Br. Keith Nelson

By Br. Keith Nelson | September 10, 2023 |

“Looking into the face of the Navajo Jesus, whose face was all around me, I learned like never before to listen from a place of crucified helplessness. I learned afresh to stay put at the foot of the cross wherever I found it in people and circumstances, and not to turn away. I was shown by Navajo Christians how this could be, and is, the place of Resurrection. I was shown that, even in the desolation of the abandoned uranium mine, the earth herself turns her face to us and listens.”

Br. Keith Nelson reckons with the painful legacies of ecological devastation and colonialization that he encountered first-hand in Navajoland this summer, and urges us to join him in a recognition of our sins and an engagement with deep listening to help heal the wounds of generations.

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Inbreaking Consolation – Br. Lain Wilson

By Br. Lain Wilson | September 9, 2023 |

“Our consolations often come in unexpected ways, breaking in upon the demands of our daily lives. And these consolations often provide us with the unexpected grace and strength to meet those demands. How often, amid your own busy lives, does something break in on your awareness, pull your attention away from the flurry and frenzy of activity? How often does that something prove to be exactly what you need to get you through, to meet the demands of the next day, the next hour, the next moment?”

Br. Lain Wilson remembers the Martyrs of Memphis and finds in their witness of nursing during the yellow fever epidemic an example of the ways that God’s endless consolation can enable us to do extraordinary things.

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And God Waits – Br. James Koester

By Br. James Koester | September 8, 2023 |

“What we rejoice in today is not some pious legend about an elderly couple whose prayer for a child was finally answered. What we rejoice in today is not some biological or historical event that culminated in the birth of someone. What we rejoice in today is that before time, and in time, and after time God, has chosen us, just as he chose Mary, to love forever. Think of it: long, long before you were born, God loved you. Long, long after you die, God will continue to love you.”

In the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Br. James Koester finds the truth that it at the center of our being, at the center of God’s heart, at the center of the universe.

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Unshakable Faith – Br. David Vryhof

By Br. David Vryhof | September 5, 2023 |

“The true meaning of faith has to do with living in a life-giving, life-transforming relationship with the One we have come to know as God – a relationship characterized by mutual love, fidelity and trust.  It is not primarily a matter of assenting to certain state-ments or claims about God, but of believing in God, and of being willing to trust in God, even in the most difficult circumstances.”

Br. David Vryhof encourages us to believe, with all our hearts, that even when everything seems wrong, it can still be all right.

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