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So often we look around and compare ourselves unfavorably with others. ‘I wish I were really intelligent like her. I wish I were as confident and accomplished as him. If only I had her gifts.’ But God made you to be you. And God does not make mistakes.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE

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Announcing a 13-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land

We will be leading a 13-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, from May 28 through June 9, 2018.  We believe that this pilgrimage could be a life-changing experience for you.  Visiting the Holy Land will help you to understand the land and the culture in which Jesus lived and in which many of the Bible’s stories take place.  Having a visual memory of these places will forever change the way you read and understand Scripture, and will transform your relationship with Jesus.  In addition, you will gain insight into the present-day situation in the Holy Land and be better able to understand its complexities.  We believe this trip will transform you in significant ways.

Four of our Brothers – David Vryhof, Jonathan Maury, Nicholas Bartoli and Keith Nelson – will be leading this pilgrimage along with our friend and guide in Jerusalem, Canon Iyad Qumri.  We are certain that the travel within Israel/Palestine, the teaching, the shared worship, the gracious Middle Eastern hospitality, and the fellowship will be a wonderfully enriching experience for you.

Download an 8-page flyer describing the pilgrimage, and a registration form.  On behalf of the community, I invite you to consider making this life-changing pilgrimage.


Compassion does not deny our clear perception of another person – our “take” on them, our being able to “size them up,” our being able to “see through” their gimmicks and games and posturing – but rather to see all this through new eyes. So much of what is irritating in life are people inarticulately, desperately asking for help.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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The “false self” is the self which is created and conferred by the culture in which we live. We become addicted to its expectations and demands, we worry about how we are seen and valued by others, and we lose touch with our “true self”, the self which is made in the image of God and finds its deepest fulfillment in living in union with God.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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Oh, it’s fine to admit our sins and weaknesses when we’ve decided what they are, and we might be right some of the time – but what about when someone else points out our sins and weaknesses? Do we have the humility to trust God, to snuggle in close under God’s wings, while we consider the painful truth or the well-meaning falsehood of what someone else has pointed out to us?

-Br. Robert L’Esperance, SSJE

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We need to appropriate our past – which is the experience of redemption and the makings for wisdom – and we need a vision of our place in God’s future – which is the seedbed for hope. We live, we need to live, where those two realities cross in our present time.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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The possibility of a wonderful future: Fall Appeal

As Christians, we are called to see hope and possibility. Through our vows, my brothers and I are called to embrace the risk of living on our faith, trusting God will work through the inspired kindness of others to support our life and our work. I am hopeful for our future, because as God works through the hands of our Friends, I see wonderful days ahead.

– Br. James Koester, Superior


Self-sufficiency is a delusion, a dangerous delusion. We are all, to a degree, interdependent. It’s a fact of life. It’s true. And truth sets us free. Truth opens the door to grace. Truth opens the door to blessing. Even if we cringe to hear it.

-Br. Mark Brown, SSJE

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Do something to make a difference in the world today, this week, this year. Don’t let the size of the task discourage you.  Do what you can. And remember these words of Jesus: “YOU give them something to eat.”

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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