Please update your web browser or disable Compatibility View.

Discernment and Self-honesty: Wisdom from the Benedictines

Van Ness

Rebecca Van Ness, M.A.

The practice of discernment of spirits can increase the self-honesty we need for decision-making in life.  Benedictine practices help us notice and reflect on what moves within – imaginings, emotions, inclinations, desires – and then act on that understanding. The Christian tradition of discernment of inner movements began with the desert tradition, continued with Saint Benedict and was given modern expression by Saint Ignatius. The ultimate intention is to grow in loving relationship with God, others and even with self.

Becky Van Ness is an adjunct faculty at Saint John’s University where she serves as the Director of the Spiritual Direction Program and is an oblate of Saint Benedict’s monastery. Van Ness earned a Master of Arts degree in Christian Spirituality and the Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction and directed retreats at Creighton University. She promotes and participates in Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, which operates under the aegis of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome.


Dates & Locations

Friday, November 3, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Emmaus Hall 31802 County Road 159 Collegeville, MN 56321

Thursday, November 9, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. - Pax Christi Church, 12100 Pioneer Trail Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Friday, December 1, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Emmaus Hall 31802 County Road 159 Collegeville, MN 56321

Thursday, December 14, 6:00 p.m. - 9 p.m. - St. Frances Cabrini Church 1500 Franklin Avenue SE Minneapolis, MN 55414


Theology Day is a chance for people in our communities who are seeking a deeper understanding of their faith and its place in their everyday lives to learn from and interact with the theologians of Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary. It offers a chance for these scholars to gain insights and grow in their faith, as well.

A typical Theology Day consists of registration and refreshments, followed by a period of conversation/presentation/lecture. The conversation then continues as participants are given a chance to continue their discussions with one another. Morning presentations at Emmaus Hall are followed by a complimentary lunch for all participants, and most evening sessions include refreshments.

There is no fee for Theology Day, but registration is required. Free-will offerings and gifts to support the mission of the School of Theology and Seminary are gratefully accepted.

For more information, contact our Development Office at 320-363-3570 or [email protected].

Register Now!