Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

Keith Nelson, SSJE grew up first in New Jersey, then in Alabama. He studied at Kenyon College and Harvard Divinity School. Prior to his arrival at SSJE in 2014, he worked in secondary and adult education, as well as in church administration. He was life professed in 2019, and has served the community as Assistant Superior, Novice Guardian, and director of the Monastic Internship Program. He enjoys drawing and painting, journaling, hiking, spending time with trees, and foraging (a new hobby!).


Learn more about Br. Keith's Catch the Life journey to monastic life >

Selection of Br. Keith's teachings from "Brother, Give Us a Word"


Without some empty space, there will be no room for God to abide. In order to fully live out our callings, we must come to know the withdrawal of Christ to the lonely mountaintops, if only from time to time.-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJERead More and Comment >

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The days and hours of Advent continue to invite us to the work of waiting and watching: by lamplight, by starlight, and in the darkness before dawn. Truth dawns gradually, nearly imperceptibly, in dense constellations. -Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More and Comment >

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We gaze upward, because we love the one who has taken our hearts with him to our eternal home. We gaze down because this is our sphere of action. And we gaze around because these are the holy companions with whom we journey homeward and find ourselves already home. -Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More…

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Selection of Br. Keith's writing

Prayer with Substance

“It is quite easy to heap up empty phrases. In such moments, what hope do we have? For me, it is the Lord’s Prayer.”

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Letter from the Deputy Superior – Advent 2022

“It is humbling to know and feel that we belong: that the threads of our being are woven into a fabric so much bigger than we can comprehend, and all for the fulfillment of God’s purpose.”

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A Heart of Flesh in Place of Stone: God-with-us in the Midst of Climate Grief

“What if the awakening of our conscience to profound new layers of the world’s pain is a sign – not of God’s absence, but of the Spirit of God excavating strata of our personhood and our collective attention that we are now called to engage? And what if the path of grief thus sensed could become a sober and conscious choice – claimed and lived, come what may, as the cost of our full becoming?”

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