How Food can Nurture the Soul among presentations at Benedictine Center

Photo © Lukas Langrock on Unsplash

Dr. Norman Wirzba, professor of theology and ecology at Duke University Divinity School, is coming to St. Paul’s Monastery in Maplewood to make several presentations at the Benedictine Center. These presentations will focus on “food” and show how eating is “a profoundly spiritual act.”

According to Sam Rahberg, director of the local center, “Dr. Wirzba has told us we will learn that what we eat and how we eat — both individually and collectively — reflect our gratitude, our stewardship, our generosity, our joy and our love. What we do with food is an extension of our relationship with others and with God.”

Dr. Wirzba’s presentations are as follows:

• A Day of Service and reflection: Friday, Oct. 19, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. After Dr. Wirzba’s presentation, participants will go to Fresh Earth Farms in Hastings and visit the Christian Community Cupboard in Oakdale, where they will get involved in transforming food from the soil to meals on the table.

• A Celebration of Food and Community ” Friday, Oct. 19, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. At 5:30: Enjoy a potluck and share your story (donate a canned item). From 7 to 8:30: Stay to hear Dr. Wirzba explain how food is a manifestation of God’s love ($25 suggested donation).

• A Retreat: “Do This in Remembrance of Me,” October 19-21. Your weekend will include prayer and cooking, learning more about gratitude and the importance of sharing more and wasting less ($100 for commuters; $175 shared room; $225 for single room).

Dr. Wirzba pursues research and teaching interests in theology, philosophy, ecology and agrarian and environmental studies. He lectures frequently and is the author of six books, most recently Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity, from Nature to Creation. “The world,” he writes, “…is the visual, fragrant, audible, touchable and testable manifestation of God’s love, the place where God’s desire that others be and be well finds earthly expression.”

To register for these opportunities, go online to, call 651.777.7251 or email [email protected]. The Benedictine Center, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters at St. Paul’s Monastery, is located at 2675 Benet Road in Maplewood.

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