St. Benedict Center - Celebrating 20 Years of Ministry and Service: Summer Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We are building a labyrinth at St. Benedict Center north of the lake; completion is expected in mid to late summer.  Its model is the famous labyrinth in the Cathedral of Chartres, France.  When the Holy Land was closed to pilgrims in the Middle Ages, labyrinths abounded in the churches of Europe.  They were used to symbolically represent the pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Our life is a pilgrimage, a journey to our eternal home with God in heaven.

God is already present with us now.  We can encounter God in Holy Scripture, in the sacraments, in the people around us and in the events of our life.  And God the Holy Spirit is a living reality within us.  Thus, living our life as a pilgrimage means paying attention to and gratefully naming the presence and work of God around us. And it means embarking upon a journey inwards in order to become one with ourselves and with God who dwells in us.  A labyrinth is different from mazes in that you can’t get lost.  You follow the path and will get to the center.  You walk back from the center and will get to the exit.

It always strikes me how a person while walking the labyrinth arrives at the innermost of the eleven circuits quickly.  Then, however, the journey continues for a long time!  What is important is being on the journey.  The message of the labyrinth is: If we truly seek God we will find God.  If, touched and transformed by God’s presence, we turn outward, to the people and to the world, we will find God there.  “Seek and you will find,” Jesus says and, “The Father in heaven [will] give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:9,13).      

Our first roof replacement project at St. Benedict Center has been completed.  The original guest wing and the hallways leading to it have a new, watertight flat roof.  We have raised about $24,000 (including cash donations) of the $107,000 needed.  We also need a new mower for our grounds, cost $17,000.  We count on your continued support.  Please visit:      


Especially worth noting among the upcoming events of our program schedule is the weekend retreat on July 14 – 15 titled, Delving Deeper into Sacred Scripture with Sharon Doran, M.A., M.A., whose Seeking Truth Catholic Bible Study in Omaha is outstanding and very popular.  On September 8 – 10, a weekend titled, Our Heart, God’s Home: Henri Nouwen on the Spiritual Life awaits us.  Wil Hernandez from California, who has written several books on Nouwen (+1996), will explore with us the insights of this great spiritual guide. - I am looking forward to seeing you again soon!

Fr. Thomas Leitner, OSB. 
St. Benedict Center