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"


Contemplative prayer assumes the perspective that all our thoughts and feelings belong. A space of safety, gentleness, and sanity opens in the heart in response to God’s love, which exists independently of our fleeting thoughts or momentary feelings. We are set free to name and acknowledge our thoughts and feelings for what they are. Then,…

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Openness to the compassionate solidarity of those who share your burdens – whether their burdens are identical to yours or not – can help you stay grounded in your true identity as a child and heir of God and a citizen of God’s kingdom. -Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read More and Comment >

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Jesus knows that we will drop him or worse, countless times. The mystery of grace, of living in the full knowledge that we are beloved sinners saved by Christ, is that each time we drop him, we are given a new chance to stretch out our hands to receive him. -Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE Read…

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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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