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“The Art of Amounting to Nothing: A Poetic Exploration of Poverty of Spirit, Meditation and Peace” 

with Br. Paul Quenon, Abbey of Gethsemani

April 2, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is March 28th. 

The Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount begin with the teaching, “Blessed are the poor of spirit.” This is the first step on the road to peace. It means a life of peace, prayer, meditation, silence and nonviolence.

“Inner poverty is the inevitable result of a life of meditation, and reduces one to a humility that is the only ground for authenticity,” Br. Paul writes. “If you cannot be at peace with yourself and your limitations, you cannot be at peace with the world, and will spread the contagion of your own restlessness and hostility.”

In this zoom session, Brother Paul will speak to us live from the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, and reflect with us on his life of solitude, prayer, meditation and peace, and use his own poetry, and the poetry of Emily Dickenson and Tagore, as well as his friend and teacher Thomas Merton. Join us for this special session on prayerful peace and meditation that we might deepen our inner lives of nonviolence.

Br. Paul Quenon entered the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky in 1958 and was a novice under Thomas Merton. He has been a monk for over 62 years. Br. Paul is a poet, photographer, cook, cantor and the author of ten books, including Amounting to Nothing, Afternoons with Emily, The Art of Pausing, and his memoir In Praise of the Useless Life which received the Catholic Press award for memoirs in 2019. He is a longtime friend of John Dear.

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is March 29th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“The Trouble with Our State: The Poetry of Daniel Berrigan” 

Bill Wylie-Kellermann and John Dear

May 7, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is May 2rd. 

In this special zoom session, John Dear and Bill Wylie-Kellermann will celebrate Daniel Berrigan’s 101st birthday on May 9th, by reading from and commenting on their new collection of Daniel Berrigan’s most political poems called The Trouble with Our State (www.wipfandstock.com, edited by John Dear with an introduction by Bill Wylie-Kellermann).

Jesuit priest Rev. Daniel Berrigan was one of the leading voices against the Vietnam war, spent years in prison, was on the cover of “Time” magazine, helped found the Plowshares disarmament movement and wrote some fifty books. But he was first and foremost a poet. He first attracted international fame when he won the Lamont Poetry Award in the late 1950s for his first book of poetry, “Time Without Number.” In 1997, John Dear edited “And the Risen Bread: The Poems of Daniel Berrigan.” Dan died in April 2016.

This session will be a celebration of Dan’s poems of peace and resistance. We recommend that participants buy and read ahead of time their new collection “The Trouble with Our State,” and maybe even “And the Risen Bread.” John and Bill will take turns reading a Dan poem and commenting on it. After a while, they will open up the zoom to others to share their favorite Dan poems, comments and reflections. Together, we will be inspired by Daniel Berrigan’s poems to carry on our work for peace! This zoom session will be a time to enjoy the Dan’s word of peace, that we might take it to heart and become better peacemakers.

In that spirit, here is one of Bill’s favorite short Dan poems:

For every 10,000 words
there’s a deed
floating somewhere
head down, unborn

Words can’t make it happen
They only wave it away
unwanted.
Yet Child, necessary one
Unless you come home to my hands
Why hands at all?
Your season your cries
are their skill
their reason.

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is May 3rd.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“The Mystical Foundations of Nonviolence”

Jim Finley

June 4, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is Monday, May 30th. 

Join us to listen to the one of the world’s greatest teachers on mysticism as he explores, for the first time, its connection with nonviolence.

“Nonviolence is the inevitable expression of mysticism,” Jim Finley teaches. “It’s the natural outcome. In our Christian tradition, we are invited to a profound communion with God’s love. There’s something profoundly nonviolent about that. The more we deepen in our awareness of God’s infinite love for each one of us, the more we deepen in our love for every human being as a sister or brother, which means, the more nonviolent we become. The more grounded we are in our awareness of God’s love, the more we enter into the peace ‘that surpasseth understanding.’ How do we experience God’s love and live nonviolence? Through prayer and deepening in love. It’s mystical, not explainable.”

Author and lecturer Jim Finley is one of the world’s greatest teachers on mysticism. As a monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton was his novice master, spiritual director and friend. Later, Jim published a ground-breaking book called “Merton’s Palace of Nowhere” to share Merton’s lessons on mysticism. These days, he works with Richard Rohr as a faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation, where his podcasts are heard regularly by some 300,000 people. Join us!

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is Monday, May 30th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: My New Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Disarmament”

with Archbishop John Wester of New Mexico

July 2, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is Monday, June 27th. 

On January 11th, a seismic shift quietly took place in the US Catholic Church. 

Archbishop John Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, published “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament.” It is the first official document in US Church history calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. What’s more, it comes from the land where the atomic bomb was invented, and where all nuclear weapons continue to be made and maintained. 

 “We can no longer deny or ignore the dangerous predicament we have created for ourselves with a new nuclear arms race, one that is arguably more dangerous than the past Cold War,” Archbishop Wester writes. “In the face of increasing threats from Russia, China, and elsewhere, I point out that a nuclear arms race is inherently self-perpetuating, a vicious spiral that prompts progressively destabilizing actions and reactions by all parties, including our own country. We need nuclear arms control, not an escalating nuclear arms race. Further, we need to figure out concrete steps toward abolishing nuclear weapons and permanently ending the nuclear threat.  

 “If we care about humanity, if we care about our planet, if we care about the God of peace and human conscience, then we must start a public conversation on these urgent questions and find a new path toward nuclear disarmament. 

I invite us to step into the light of Christ and walk together toward a new future of peace, a new promised land of peace, a new culture of peace and nonviolence where we all might learn to live in peace as sisters and brothers on this beautiful planet, our common home.” 

 To read the full document, visit www.archdiosf.org 

 Join us for this special time with Archbishop John Wester as he walks us through his historic document and makes his case for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and then takes your questions and comments. 

 Archbishop John Wester became Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2015. Before that, he served as the bishop of Salt Lake City, and before that, the auxiliary bishop of San Francisco.  

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is Monday, May 30th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“On Pilgrimage: Dorothy Day’s CW Writings in the 1960s and 1970s” 

Robert Ellsberg

July 23, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is July 18th. 

Last year, author, editor and publisher of Orbis Books, Robert Ellsberg led a memorable zoom session on “The Beatitudes and the Saints,” based on his best-selling book, All Saints. But long ago in the 1970s, Dorothy Day asked young Robert Ellsberg to edit the Catholic Worker. Since then, Robert has edited her diaries, letters, writings, and now, her famous “On Pilgrimage” columns in two volumes, “Dorothy Day: On Pilgrimage: The Sixties,” and “Dorothy Day: On Pilgrimage: The Seventies,” (both available from Orbis Books). These two great books gather her best writings from those last two turbulent decades in her life.

In these writings, Dorothy Day shared her work among on the poor in New York City, as well as her reflections on the times, her opposition to the Vietnam war, and Thomas Merton, the Berrigans and Dr. King. These days, Dorothy Day is on track to be beatified. She is considered one of the greatest modern saints. Robert Ellsberg was not only her friend, but is considered the greatest living expert on her writings and thinking, and has been working with the Vatican on her upcoming canonization.

In this zoom session, Robert will read and reflect on some of Dorothy Day’s most inspiring and important entries in the Catholic Worker over the last two decades of the life. This session will inspire anyone who cares about peace and justice and serving the poor, and the historic witness of Dorothy Day; it will inspire all of us to do our part for peace and justice.

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is July 19th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“The Buddhist Path of Peace and Nonviolence”

Roshi Joan Halifax

August 6, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is Monday, August 1st. 

Join us for this great session with the one of the world’s greatest Buddhist teachers as she reflects on Buddhism, compassion and nonviolence. Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico (see www.upaya.org). She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.

From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is also founder of the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.

She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman.

A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on engaged Buddhism. Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness, A Journey Through Buddhist Practice; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; and Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet. She has invited her friend Fr. John Dear to give many dharma talks at Upaya Zen Center over the decades.

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is Monday, August 1st.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

A Theology of Peace and Nonviolence 

Fr. John Dear

August 13, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is August 8th. 

The greatest crisis of faith afflicting humanity is not just our lack of belief in God, but our belief in a false god of war and violence. Nearly all of us believe God is mean and violent, blesses our wars, and can’t wait to throw some of us into hell. We can’t even imagine an alternative image of God. 

The nonviolent Jesus teaches in the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount a totally different image of the living God. There he announces that God is a peacemaker, and God practices universal nonviolent love. God, in other words, is a God of universal love, universal compassion, universal peace and total nonviolence. If we can reclaim the nonviolence of God, perhaps we might begin to worship the living God of peace, love and nonviolence, and eventually become people of peace, love and nonviolence. 

I propose in this session that together we explore the basic ingredients of a new theology of peace and nonviolence, that will go through every area of theology (such as Christology, ecclesiology, the Trinity, and spirituality) from the perspective of Gandhian/Kingian nonviolence. This is all based on my book, “The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence,” which is available at www.wipfandstock.com

Join me as together we reflect on a new theology of peace and nonviolence, what it might mean for us, and how we can do our part to help others reclaim Jesus’ image of the God of peace and nonviolence. 

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is September 19th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

Revolutionary Nonviolence 

Rev. James Lawson in Conversation About his New Book

September 10, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is September 5th. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. called his friend and colleague, Rev. James Lawson, “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.” Last fall, Rev. James Lawson, the legendary Civil Rights leader, did a zoom conversation with me. He will do another this fall based, on his new book called Revolutionary Nonviolence, a collection of his writings and essays about nonviolence. Please join us for this special time with the honorable Rev. Lawson. 

Rev. Lawson was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1928. His father and grandfather were Methodist ministers, and Lawson received his local preacher’s license in 1947, the year he graduated from high school. While in college, he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), which first exposed him to the nonviolent teachings of Gandhi and Howard Thurman.

In 1950, Lawson became a draft resister and was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison for refusing the Korean War draft. He spent 14 months in federal prison (1951-1952). In 1953, he sailed for India where he taught at Hislop College in Nagpur, India. There he met with many of Gandhi’s colleagues, including Prime Minister Nehru. While in India, Lawson eagerly read of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emerging nonviolent resistance movement back in the US.

When he returned to the US in 1956, he enrolled in Oberlin School of Theology in Ohio; met Dr. King, joined the staff of FOR and moved to Nashville. He enrolled at Vanderbilt Divinity School and began holding seminars to train volunteers in Gandhian tactics of nonviolent direct action. Drawing on the example of Jesus’ suffering and nonviolent resistance, he taught growing numbers of black and white students, including John Lewis and Diane Nash, how to organize sit-ins and other forms of nonviolent action to confront the immorality of segregation. His workshops led to the Nashville sit-in movement and desegregation campaign. John Lewis called him “the architect of the nonviolent movement in America.”

Rev. Lawson helped coordinate the Freedom Rides in 1961 and the Meredith March in 1966, found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and served as director of nonviolent education for SCLC. While working as a pastor at the Centenary Methodist Church in Memphis, he played a major role in the sanitation workers strike of 1968, and invited Dr. King to Memphis. 

In 1974, Rev. Lawson moved to Los Angeles to serve as pastor of Holman Methodist Church, his base for the next thirty years. He hosted a weekly call-in show, “Lawson Live,” where he discussed social and human rights issues affecting minority communities. For many decades, he has spoken out against racism, and challenged U.S. military involvement throughout the world. He has worked extensively with Janitors for Justice and other unions in Los Angeles, and continues to teach and offer workshops in active nonviolence to this day. He has taught at Harvard, USC, UCLA, Claremont and Vanderbilt. He is featured in the film, “A Force More Powerful” and gave the eulogy at John Lewis’ funeral. 

His book, “Revolutionary Nonviolence: Organizing for Freedom,” has just been published by Univ. of Cal. Press. I urge you to purchase the book, and read it and study it in advance of our zoom session. Please come prepared to take notes, ask questions, and learn from the world’s leading teacher of nonviolence. What a blessing for all of us!  

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is September 5th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“Henri Nouwen’s Unlikely Story of Flying, Falling, and Catching”  

Carolyn Whitney-Brown

September 24, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is September 19th. 

A few years before his death, the celebrated author Father Henri Nouwen wrote in a letter to John Dear, “One day I hope to be able to tell you about a very interesting month I spent recently with a German circus. In some ways, life in a circus is not dissimilar to life in a community of nonviolence.”   

 Twenty-five years after his death, Henri Nouwen remains one of the twentieth-century’s most well-known and beloved spiritual writers. He taught at Yale and Harvard, then joined L’Arche Daybreak near Toronto where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life in community. His many best-selling books are still in print, including The Wounded Healer; In the Name of Jesus; Genesee Diary; The Inner Voice of Love; Bread for the Journey; and Life of the Beloved. John Dear edited two collections of his writings on peace and justice: The Road to Peace and Peacework.  

 During the last five years of his life, Nouwen became close to a travelling circus trapeze troupe, “The Flying Rodleighs.” A new book, Flying, Falling, Catching: An Unlikely Story of Finding Freedom, co-authored by his friend and colleague Carolyn Whitney-Brown, tells the story of this surprising friendship using Nouwen’s previously unpublished writings about the circus.  

In this session, Carolyn Whitney-Brown will offer insights into Nouwen’s friendship with the Flying Rodleighs, his life in L’Arche, and his thoughts on community, the spiritual life and what he meant in his letter to John, that “life in a circus is not dissimilar to life in a community of nonviolence.”   

Carolyn Whitney-Brown is a Canadian writer, artist and university teacher who earned a PhD in English literature from Brown University. Co-author with Henri Nouwen of Flying, Falling, Catching: An Unlikely Story of Finding Freedom (HarperOne 2022), she knew Nouwen well when she and her family lived in the L’Arche Daybreak community from 1990 until his death in 1996. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada.  

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is September 19th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“The History of Catholic Social Teaching”
With Professor David O’Brien

October 1, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is September 26th. 

One of the best developments in the Catholic church over the last 150 years has been the long series of documents known as “Catholic Social Teaching,” from Pope Leo’s ground-breaking work to John 23rd’s encyclical on peace, “Pacem in Terris,” to the Second Vatican Council, to the many great documents since then, all of them leading up to Pope Francis’ breakthrough teachings, such as his Jan. 1, 2017 World Day of Peace message, “Nonviolence, a Style of Politics for Peace,” and “Laudato Si,’” his teaching on climate change.  

 Few people talk about Catholic Social Teaching any more, but I, John, think it reveals the growth over the years as the church has changed for the better and tried to apply the Beatitudes and the Gospel of peace to our times, and can help us all deepen our understanding of faith in action. More, as you might have read in Archbishop John Wester’s recent pastoral letter on nuclear disarmament, Pope Francis has brought about an historic paradigm shift, moving the church into the total abolition of war, the just war theory, the death penalty, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction, as well as racism and corporate greed. Despite all the bad news, we are actually living through the heights of Catholic social teaching, and I hope, there are more good teachings to come. 

David O’Brien is probably the foremost Catholic historian in North America history. He is professor Emeritus, Loyola Professor of Roman Catholic Studies, at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. A prolife writer, his books include “American Catholics and Social reform: The New Deal Years;” “The Renewal of American Catholicism;” and “Renewing the Earth: Catholic Documents on Peace, Justice and Liberation.” 

He will lead us in an overview of Catholic social teaching, pointing out the progress toward peace and justice over time, and reflecting with us on the positive, historic statements in recent years. Join us, as we reflect with our professor’s help, on the recent developments in the social teachings of the global church, that we might be strengthened to go forward to work even better for peace, justice and creation.

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is October 10th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 1

“Dr. King’s North Star: Exploring His 6 Principles of Nonviolence”
With Kazu Haga

October 15, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is October 10th. 

Dr. King taught and modeled relentless, persistent, active creative nonviolence. Early on, he wrote six guiding principles, which he lived out throughout his public life and work. Now referred to as the Six Principles of Kingian Nonviolence, these six simple sentences have helped millions of people not only in the US Civil Rights Movement, but in countless movements for liberations around the world.

The word “nonviolence” is often misunderstood simply to mean “the absence of violence.” In reality, nonviolence is not about what NOT to do and much more about what you are going to do to confront violence and injustice. These six principles served as Dr. King’s roadmap, and can help us as well. Join us as we explore the meaning of these six principles and their applications in our current political crises today.

Kazu Haga is the founder of the East Point Peace Academy, a core member of the Ahimsa Collective and the Fierce Vulnerability Network and author of Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm. He is a practitioner, trainer and teacher of nonviolence, restorative justice, organizing and mindfulness and works with incarcerated people, youth, and activists from around the country. He has over 20 years of experience in nonviolence and social change work, and has been an active trainer since 2000. He resides in Oakland, CA. John Dear recommends you get and read Kazu’s great book in advance of the session.

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is October 10th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

Dorothy Day and Gospel Nonviolence

with Martha Hennessey

November 12, 2022
11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
Deadline to Register is Monday, November 7th. 

“Nonviolence,” Dorothy Day wrote in 1967, “is the all-important virtue to be nourished and studied and cultivated.” Each one of us needs to take her advice and make active, loving nonviolence the center of our studies, our practice, our work and our lives.  

When she and Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker, she made the Sermon on the Mount the hallmark of her stand. She has come to symbolize the way of Gospel nonviolence, and will soon be canonized for her heroic witness. 

We are blessed to welcome Martha Hennessey, Dorothy Day’s granddaughter, for this zoom session. Martha will share what she learned from Dorothy and her childhood memories of her grandmother. She will examine Dorothy’s life of faith and love in action and the meaning of being an apostle of Jesus in our own times. Together, we will discuss the life and lessons of Dorothy Day that we might do our part to live and promote Gospel nonviolence, be peacemakers, and build the beloved community. 

Martha Hennessy lives on her family farm in Vermont and volunteers part time at Maryhouse Catholic Worker in New York City. She speaks regularly on the issues of war, poverty, the works of mercy, and nuclear weapons. She has traveled to Russia, Iraq, Iran, Palestine/Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Korea to witness the effects of US foreign policy around the world. She recently served time in a federal prison for protesting nuclear weapons as part of the King’s Bay Plowshares. 

In preparation for this zoom session, John recommends you read “All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day” by Jim Forest (Orbis Books) or “Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty; An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother,” by Kate Hennessey (Scribner).

The session will last one and a half hours; cost: $30. 

Registration is limited

Deadline to register to be sure of receiving the link is Monday, July 26th.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be honored after Zoom link is issued. 

“Gandhi, King, Day & Berrigan” with Rev. John Dear, May 23-26, 2022

Inn at Morro Bay, Morro Bay, California

A four-day retreat/workshop on the lives, writings and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Daniel Berrigan, with Rev. John Dear.

John Dear has spent his life writing and teaching about these great peacemakers. During our time, he will offer two reflection and discussion sessions on each of these four great peacemakers. Together, we will study and ponder their inspiring lives and teachings, and reflect on how we can take new steps to learn from them and act for peace, justice and nonviolence as they did.

Monday-Thursday noon, May 23 -26, 2022, $500 total fee. This does not include a hotel room, breakfast or any travel expenses. It does include coffee and snacks in the morning, Monday through Thursday; lunch Monday-Wednesday; and a special evening wine social and full dinner Wednesday night. Ends Thursday at noon. All events held in the beautiful Alcove Room with a big glass window looking out at the Morro Bay harbor, the rock and the ocean. Space is limited and we recommend you register early.

“You Are My Witnesses: Following the Nonviolent Jesus for the Rest of Our Lives”

with Rev. John Dear, September 19-22, 2022

Inn at Morro Bay, Morro Bay, California

A four-day retreat/workshop on the life, death and resurrection of the nonviolent Jesus, focusing mainly on the Synoptic Gospels, beginning with his baptism and his teachings, then his campaign to Jerusalem, then his civil disobedience in the Temple, Last supper, arrest, trial, execution and resurrection—all from a Gandhian/Kingian hermeneutic of nonviolence. As we study his life from the perspective of nonviolence, we will gain new insights and new strength to go forward as his disciples and apostles of nonviolence in our culture of violence and war. Along the way, we will focus on key teachings such as: “Blessed are the peacemakers; the reign of God is at hand; Love your enemies; Seek first God’s reign and God’s justice; Do not be afraid; Put down the sword; peace be with you.” By the end, he will say to each of us as he said to the first disciples, “I am sending you out as lambs into the midst of wolves. Go and proclaim God’s reign of peace.” For newcomers to Gospel nonviolence, and those who have been struggling to practice it all their lives.

Monday-Thursday noon, September 19 – 22, 2022, $500 total fee. This does not include a hotel room, breakfast or any travel expenses. It does include coffee and snacks in the morning, Monday through Thursday; lunch Monday-Wednesday; and a special evening wine social and full dinner Wednesday night. Ends Thursday at noon. All events held in the beautiful Alcove Room with a big glass window looking out at the Morro Bay harbor, the rock and the ocean. Space is limited and we recommend you register early.

“Everything Is Emptiness and Everything Is Compassion:

A Weekend Retreat on the Life and Teachings of Thomas Merton,”

with Rev. John Dear, October 7-9, 2022.

Inn at Morro Bay, Morro Bay, California

A week before he died on December 10, 1968, legendary Trappist monk and spiritual writer Thomas Merton had a profound spiritual experience before the statues of Buddha in Polonarruwa, Sri Lanka. There, he wrote a few days later, he realized the meaning of life: “Everything is emptiness and everything is compassion.”

This weekend, we will reflect on the life, writings and teachings of Thomas Merton, especially in light of contemplative nonviolence, based on John Dear’s recent best-selling book, “Thomas Merton Peacemaker.” John will offer presentations, followed by small group and large group discussions on his writings, Friday night through Sunday morning. We will pursue his spiritual insights and practice, especially about meditation, nonviolence, emptiness and compassion, so that like Merton, will become full time seekers of the God of peace.

Friday evening, 7 p.m., to Sunday noon, October 7 – 9, 2022, $400 total fee. Includes wine and cheese social Friday evening after the first presentation; coffee and snacks during the Saturday morning break (but not breakfast), lunch on Saturday, and a full dinner, and at 9 p.m., another wine and cheese social Saturday evening. Ends at noon on Sunday. Held in the beautiful Alcove Room with a big glass window looking out at Morro Bay Morro Bay harbor, the rock and the ocean. Space is limited and we recommend you register early.

More Online Zoom Workshops and In Person Retreats In the heart of the Central Coast of California with Fr. John Dear