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"


The Church is not an edifice whose worth lies in the heavy stone pillars of its oldest cathedrals. Our sacred buildings point us to the Builder of Heaven and Earth, yet we must not forget that the Builder’s primary materials have always been and will always be you and me. The Church is alive, moving,…

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I cannot hope to glimpse the creating, saving, and unifying interrelationship within the Trinity without the unrelenting synergy of shared discipleship, by which I am who I am and through which I am yet becoming who God intends me to be. Just as God is not a self-sufficient monad, neither can I do this alone.…

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In the mystery of Christ’s Body, every genre of saint contains some glimmer of the others. Woven into our particular vocations – as monk, deacon, veterinarian, husband, or advocate for racial reconciliation – is a glimmer of the Apostle, a streak of the Martyr. How and to whom are you sent with the Gospel? For…

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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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