Bridgefolk 2003

Spiritual Practices for Violent Times:
Catholics and Mennonites Bridging the Divide

St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota
July 17-20, 2003

In violent times, Christians are called to be salt and light, building and sustaining peace. But what sustains peacemakers in the midst of suffering and discouragement? This will be our theme as we reflect together on two major stories, in order to discern the spiritual practices that support a peaceful Christian response to violence:

  • How has St. John’s Abbey responded to the violence of sexual abuse?
  • How have peacemakers lived and worked in the midst of oppression, war and violence?

In addition, plans are now in place for two sessions exploring stories of dialogue and reconciliation, which is a spiritual practice as well:

  • We learn more about the peacemaking work of the Sant’Egidio ecclesial movement, and hear about a Mennonite delegation visiting the Sant’Egidio community in Rome.
  • We will hear reports on the international dialogue between Mennonite World Conference and the Vatican, and on the meeting that will just have taken place at Saint John’s Abbey been Catholic and Mennonite scholars embarking on a joint study of the Anabaptist martyrs.

The time will also include shared worship and spiritual practice, as well as consideration of other spiritual practices that sustain peacemaking. There will also be time for visiting and enjoying the lakes and woods of the Saint John’s campus.