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Contemplative Turn of the Year Cloisters Retreat

  • St Johns Abbey Guesthouse Collegeville, MN, USA USA (map)
St Johns Abbey Church by A. Furchert, 2013

St Johns Abbey Church by A. Furchert, 2013


You are warmly invited to our Contemplative End of the Year Cloister Retreat

"By gracious powers wonderfully sheltered:" 
Walking into the New Year.

Almut Furchert & Chuck Huff

At the threshold between times, this retreat offers participants guidance into silent reflection of the old and hopeful anticipation of the New Year. Time for reading, walking, reflecting, resting. We warmly invite everyone who wants to welcome the New Year quietly.

The retreat takes place at the beautiful, modern and calming guesthouse  at St. John's Abbey, overlooking a picturesque lake and forest. It starts on Tuesday, Dec 30th with dinner at 6 pm and ends on Thursday, Jan 1 at. 3 pm. Check in Tuesday as early as 4pm, allowing time for arriving and settling in. Suggested Offering is 290$ for single and 485$ for double room, incl. all meals, guided practices and materials; and our Tuesday evening wine and cheese reception. 

Since this is a small group retreat we encourage you to make reservations as soon as possible.

Our list is closed by now but you can still click on the reservation button for your request. We might be able to accommodate you.

Program Preview

The retreat takes as its theme a hymn written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer for this time of transition. The first evening is meant for arrival, joining the monks in their evening prayer, and introducing us to the days ahead and to each other. After a reception at the fireplace, we will enter into the silence of the night with a blessing.

The journey of the second day is structured by seven guided spiritual practices for personal reflection, woven into the rhythm of the monastery, shared meals and gatherings. Individual guidance and assistance will be available. At night we will gather at the threshold of the New Year in anticipation sustained by poetry, meditation and quiet ritual. 

New Year's Day begins in contemplation, followed by an invitation for a late morning walk over the frozen lake. Warmed by mulled wine and welcomed back with a generous lunch, we transition into celebration.


Dr. Almut Furchert is a German trained philosopher of religion, practitioner, speaker and workshop leader. She is also a visiting fellow at the Kierkegaard Library at St Olaf College, Northfield, MN. Her husband Chuck Huff, PhD. is professor of psychology and computing ethics at St. Olaf College and a practicing Benedictine Oblate at St. Johns Abbey. Both share their passion for monastic traditions and spiritual practices as well as for European thought and wisdom traditions.