Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

We believe passionately that God has given us a mission: to draw others to know and experience in their lives the love of God in Christ. Sharing this “Good News” is at the center of our call and our life. In our chapels and retreat houses, and our online teachings, we hope to offer a still point in the midst of the chaos of contemporary life. We hope that as you explore these pages, you’ll find “Good News” that will help you live authentically, responsive to God’s call of love.

The Gift of Pentecost – Br. James Koester

Jun 9, 2019

“Pentecost is important, not because of what it did once, for a group of people long ago, in a land far way, but what it means for us, here, today. We are not here as antiquarians, to freeze frame the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but to discover how those gifts are continuing to be manifested in us today.”

Preaching at the Order of the Holy Cross on the Feast of Pentecost, Br. James Koester celebrates how monastic communities – like all communities and practices of faith – are not vestiges of the past, but living revelations of God, who is ever present and ever new.

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Our Formation and Renewal

Jun 4, 2019

Our founder Richard Meux Benson led us to be “men of the moment.” In 2019-20, we are setting aside periods of time to discuss and refresh our vision of what it means to be SSJE Brothers in the 21st century. Our monastery guesthouse and chapel will continue to operate as usual, and we will pause our guest ministry at Emery House. We ask for your ongoing prayers and support during this season of our formation and renewal.

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Paul’s Secret – Br. David Vryhof

Jun 2, 2019

“When you are facing life’s trials, when life seems to be an uphill battle, when you fear being overwhelmed by fear or worry or grief, recall this image of Paul and Silas, beaten and bloodied, locked in chains, singing and praising God! This joy can be yours as well. This freedom belongs to you as a child of God. Nothing can destroy it or take it away from you.”

Br. David Vryhof looks to Saint Paul for an example of the life-changing freedom that comes with knowing, loving, and following Christ.

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Holding and Beholding Divinity – Lydia Simmons

May 31, 2019

“When God calls us, it’s certainly no sin to ask ‘why me?’ But in God’s judgment, you are the right person for the job. Your body is the right one to do the work you are called to. It is strong enough and holy enough.”

Former SSJE Monastic Intern, Lydia Simmons, celebrates the Visitation between Mary and Elizabeth with an inspiring message about how our bodies can magnify the Lord.

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Up, Down, and All Around – Br. Keith Nelson

May 30, 2019

“I understand that “direct flights” in the spiritual life are available only to angels. I do not understand the Ascension, anymore than I can levitate – or fly. But I love the Ascension because I love the Ascended Christ and I sense now more than ever what his Ascension means for us here below.”

Br. Keith Nelson reflects on his own transformed understanding of the Ascension, and its invitation to all of us to be Christ’s body in this in-between moment.

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Thank the Good Giver – Br. Sean Glenn

May 29, 2019

“Thanksgiving orders our hearts and minds rightly. We learn to thank God not because God needs our thanks, but because by thanking God we learn to use God’s gifts rightly and justly.”

Br. Sean Glenn invites us each to be true to our vocation as givers of thanks.

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Where Does the Light Go? – Nicholas Bartoli

May 28, 2019

“It’s only when we close our eyes, letting ourselves rest in stillness, that we cultivate a sense attuned to Christ’s Light. It’s like listening to the silence of our hearts, where we may begin to sense something very subtle, a light of incredible beauty and goodness, not light versus darkness, but Christ’s Light, embracing dark and light alike.”

Br. Nicholas Bartoli invites us to dance in and with the Light of God.

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A Parting Gift – Br. David Vryhof

May 27, 2019

“Perhaps you need to hear those words spoken to you this day. Perhaps you need to hear the steady, calming voice of the Savior saying to you, ‘Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let yourself be afraid. You have an Advocate, a Comforter, a teacher and guide, a companion and friend, who will never leave your side. Do not fear.’”

As we anticipate the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Br. David Vryhof invites us to embrace the wonder of being children of God.

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SSJE Announces re-election of Br. James Koester as Superior

May 25, 2019

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist has announced that Br. James Koester SSJE has been elected to serve a second term as Superior.  “I am honored and delighted to have this trust bestowed upon me by my brothers”, Br. James said. “It is a daunting, but exciting challenge.” The Regina, Saskatchewan native was ordained…

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Peace Which the World Cannot Give – Br. Keith Nelson

May 21, 2019

“Following Jesus opens us to receive his Peace in the midst of our flaws, not in spite of them. We hold the treasure of Christ’s Peace in clay jars, as grateful sinners.”

Br. Keith Nelson shares the peace of Jesus, the defining gift of Jesus’s now-and-future reign.

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