• Single – $700.00
  • Handicap Accessible – $700.00

Date & Time Details: Fri., Mar. 27, 1p, thru Wed., Apr. 1, 1p

Location: Benedictine Center

Address: St. Paul's Monastery 2675 Benet Road St. Paul, MN 55109

Guest Services

Email us about program

(cancelled) School of Lectio Divina

With Kathleen Cahalan, Samuel Rahberg, Sister Virginia Matter, OSB, Kami Pohl and Tod Twist

March 27 - April 1, 2020

Christian in its origin and ecumenical in its scope

“It wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t what I expected. It was exactly what I needed.” John

The Benedictine Center of St. Paul’s Monastery’s School of Lectio Divina adapts the ancient monastic riches of sustained lectio divina to contemporary people. According to Dr. Kathleen Cahalan, “sustained lectio divina” is the dialogue with God through the text over time. Through an intensive retreat experience set in the rhythm of life at St. Paul’s Monastery, participants receive teaching about lectio, spend time meditating on a sacred text significant for them, have the opportunity for individual spiritual direction, and participate in reflective conversation with other participants.

In addition, the Benedictine Center will provide a variety of on-going support activities and resources after the retreat to help participants make sustained lectio core to individual prayer and spiritual development. Limit 12. Apply online or email

Example Schedule


7:00a       Shared Silence

7:30a       Breakfast

8:00a       Morning Prayer with the Monastic Community

8:30a       Session 3: The Literal Voice

9:30a       Break

9:45a       Lectio Companions

11:30a      Midday Prayer with the Monastic Community

12:00p     Lunch

1:30p       Session 4: Thoughts of the Body

2:40p      Shared Silence

3:00p      Break

3:20p      Session 5: Thoughts of the Body (cont.)

4:30p       Break

5:00p       Vigil with the Monastic Community

6:00p       Desert Practice

Application Process

Based on the observations of master teachers of lectio divina, this experience works best for those who have had some initial experience with the practice of lectio divina and seek to foster a commitment to sustaining it. Participants need to be comfortable with silence, willing to trust the process, and contribute to mutual learning. Familiarity with the Benedictine tradition is helpful, but not essential.

Because of the intense nature of this experience, we limit enrollment to 15 participants. The application process helps clarify expectations and enables the staff to determine whether there is a good match between people’s personal goals and backgrounds and the outcomes of this spiritual development process.

All information provided in the following application will be held in confidence. We review completed applications for the Schools of Lectio Divina on a revolving basis. You may use this form to apply for any upcoming School. Early applications will receive first consideration; once the retreat capacity is reached, a waiting list will be opened.

  1. Complete your application online. (Some guests find it easier to preview the questions, type their responses in another program, and then cut and paste when they are completely ready.)
  2. Provide two letters of recommendation to
  3. A $50 deposit will be requested of those who are accepted to a School of Lectio Divina.

Interested in a Shorter Version?

Consider the Condensed School of Lectio Divina Jul. 19-21, 2019.


Thanks to the generosity of Benedictine Center guests, some scholarship assistance is available. Please contact the Benedictine Center to learn about requesting support.


Sometimes a conversation with one of the team members can be helpful. Simple call 651.777.7251. Otherwise, email


Kathleen Cahalan
Kathleen A. Cahalan is Director of the Collegeville Institute Seminars and Professor of Theology at Saint John’s University School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. She is the author of several books, most recently, Opening the Field of Practical Theology, eds. Kathleen A. Cahalan and Gordon Mikoski (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2014) and Living Your Discipleship: Seven Ways to Express Your Deepest Calling with Laura Kelly Fanucci (Twenty-Third Publications, 2015), Call It What It Is (2016), Calling all Years Good, edited with Bonnie Miller-McLemore (2016), and Christian Practical Wisdom, with Dorothy C. Bass, Bonnie Miller-McLemore, James Nieman, and Christian Scharen (Wm B. Eerdmans, 2016).
Learn more about Kathleen Cahalan
Samuel Rahberg
Sam Rahberg is former Director of the Benedictine Center and a spiritual director in St. Paul. He is author of Ice Break: A Collection of Poems (Aetos Publications, 2019), Enduring Ministry: Toward a Lifetime of Christian Leadership (Liturgical Press, 2017), and The Gospels in Poem and Image (Aetos Publications, 2016-2019). Sam has experience in parish ministry and holds a master’s degree in theology from Saint John’s University (Collegeville, MN). Through spiritual direction, individual and group ministerial reflection, and writing, Sam companions Christian leaders as they re-discover the sense of calling and giftedness at the heart of Christ-centered ministry. In his spare time, you will find Sam tending his family’s small tree farm or fly fishing for trout in Southeast Minnesota. Learn more at Email   Available for: Spiritual direction Speaking/Facilitation Supervision for spiritual directors       
Learn more about Samuel Rahberg
Sister Virginia Matter, OSB
Virginia Matter, OSB is a member of St. Paul’s Monastery and came to the Center from the health care field. She worked in nursing and in pastoral ministry. Virginia has done significant preparation in the area of spirituality, Centering Prayer, Bio-Spiritual Focusing, retreats, and Spiritual Direction. She also has experience in pottery and Native American creative arts. CONTACT e | Available for: One-on-one spiritual direction Bio-spiritual focusing Pottery instruction Questions about Centering Prayer
Learn more about Sister Virginia Matter, OSB
Kami Pohl
Kami Pohl received her training as a spiritual director from the Franciscan Spirituality Center (La Crosse, WI) and currently serves as the Director of Community Engagement at Messiah Church in Plymouth.  Kami has experience in classroom teaching, being a full-time Mom, organizational development and training, and she holds a master’s degree in human resource development from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband live in Plymouth and enjoy time with family, friends, taking long walks, listening to live music and reading. Kami writes: My own experience with spiritual direction began in the fall of 2012.  Due to some health issues with a family member, I chose to set aside my work to care for them.  As their physical health improved, I felt stuck.  I realized in the time away from work that I did not feel that I was living out my call from God.  I longed for my spiritual journey to be woven into the way I lived each day.  I needed help to figure out how to pick up my life, change my perspective and move forward with God.  Meeting with a spiritual director provided a place to unpack and examine my life with God.  Having someone…
Learn more about Kami Pohl
Tod Twist
In addition to being on the Spiritual Direction team at the Benedictine Center, Tod Twist also serves as a Guest Services Assistant, preparing the space for guests. Tod trained as a Spiritual Director through the program at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI. Prior to that, he spent some time as a freelance writer as well as a workshop guy (with leatherworking and woodworking) while being a stay-at-home dad. He studied Hebrew and Semitics at UW–Madison, and also biblical studies at Bethel Seminary in the Twin Cities. While he values formal study programs, Tod has found new joy in the experiences that he’s had at spirituality centers, and he’s excited about being a part of offering retreats and spiritually-oriented presentations to people. Tod writes: Some tumultuous events in my teen years set me on a path of trying to make sense of what had happened to me, and I eventually wound up trying to be a Bible teacher after having been redirected away from a couple of other paths of service. It had been a couple of decades worth of rough road getting to that sense of calling and meaning, and when it didn’t work out, I took…
Learn more about Tod Twist