Benedictines offer book club study, retreats in Rock Island

ROCK ISLAND — Retreats and programs planned for this month by the Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Mary Monastery include a book club that will focus on the challenge of being a Christian in a difficult time.

“Compassion,” a book by Father Henri Nouwen, Donald McNeill and Douglas Morrison, will be studied on six Thursdays, starting Jan. 14, at the Benet House Retreat Center on the monastery grounds, 2200 88th Avenue West. Sister Helen Carey, OSB, will facilitate the book club, which meets from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

The cost is $5 per session or $25 for the series.

“Come to Know the Mysteries of Christ Jesus” is the theme for a silent directed retreat that will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17, and run through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Benet House. Participants will meet daily with one of three spiritual directors: Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB, Sister Teresa Ann Harrington, OSB, and Father Mark DeSutter, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Morton.

The cost of the retreat is $225.

“SURPRISED by the Spirit” will offer an opportunity to focus on “the surprising and unexpected guidance of the Holy Spirit in the challenges of life.” Leaders for the retreat, which will be held from 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, include Sister Bobbi Bussan, OSB, Fran and Marilyn Riley, and members of the monthly “Challenge” support group.
The cost for “Surprised by the Spirit” is $95 for a private room and $85 for a shared room at Benet House.

Rounding out the January schedule is an exploration of “Women in the Early Church,” which is planned for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 23. The presenter is Rev. Ritva H. Williams of the Augustana College Department of Religion, Philosophy and Classics.

The cost is $20 for the presentation and $7 for lunch, which is optional.
To register or to receive more information about any of the retreats or programs, call (309) 283-2108 or send an e-mail to For a complete listing, visit the community’s Web site at

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