It Isn't All Hallmark: Exploring Advent Scriptures Through a Different Lens (Zoom)

December 1-2, 2023 | Friday, 7:00-8:30 p.m.—Saturday, 9:30-11:30 a.m., CST

facilitated by Judith Valente and Pat Pickett
Cost: $60
Each Advent we are presented with stories of wonder-filled annunciations, miracle pregnancies, vision dreams, angels and astrologers from the East. Beautiful as they are, we can have many unanswered questions and these stories can easily seem unrelatable or distant to our modern-day world. Through guided reflection time, we will explore some of the answers found within the gospels of Matthew and Luke, and learn about the realities of living as a Jew in Israel during the first century, to grasp more fully the real, actual struggles Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, and others lived, and what they can teach us about life today. Throughout this retreat, we hope to lay a foundation for a transformative Advent season—one in which we gain a new appreciation for homeless persons, immigrants, and other marginalized individuals without a voice in our current society. We will have both small and large group discussions and time spent in common prayer.  Is it possible for us to travel across culture and time to bring about spiritual renewal this Advent? We believe it is, and look forward to journeying together.
Please register by November 27. Once we have received your registration, we will send you an invoice for the retreat. Please know we have scholarships available; if you would like to make a request, email S. Carol Ann at We strongly encourage you to add to your email contacts to ensure the delivery of emails regarding your retreat.
Judith Valente spent many years as a journalist, but in 2018 she changed her focus to writing books and leading retreats that help busy people slow down and live a more contemplative life in the secular world. She is the author of several works, including Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith; How to Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community; and most recently a collaborative effort with Brother Paul Quenon, How to Be: A Monk & A Journalist Reflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer, Forgiveness & Friendship.
Patricia Pickett’s approach to pastoral ministry and theological teaching includes praying in color and combining Scripture, art, and music. She received a Mayor’s Prize for communication for her work with differently-able persons and the Theodore Trost Prize for Pastoral Ministry. Pat holds a Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, a C.P.E from the University of Rochester, and a Masters in Religious Education and Sculpture from the University of San Diego. She is an Oblate of St. Benedict’s Monastery and has long worked with differently-abled people, nursing home residents, and the Latinx community.



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Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica
801 South 8th Street
Atchison, KS 66002
(913) 360-6200