Speaker to address link between daily life of lay Catholics and Benedictine values

February 27, 2015

Photo---Judith-Valente-(ed)Lisle, Illinois ~ PBS National correspondent Judith Valente will discuss the relevance of Benedictine monastic principles in a lay person’s everyday life and work beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in the St. Benedict Chapel on the fourth floor of Kindlon Hall at Benedictine University.

The lecture, “Building a Monastery of the Heart” is free and open to the public.

Valente is an on-air correspondent for the national PBS program, “Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly,” and the senior correspondent for the NPR affiliate in Illinois, WGLT radio. She has previously worked as a staff writer at The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.

She is the author of “Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith,” selected by the Religion Newswriters Association as one of the three best spirituality books of 2014.

After a visit to a monastery in 2008, Valente began to view monastic life in a different light, She started viewing it as a model she could apply in leading a more balanced and reflective life.

“I used to think monasteries were hopeless throwbacks to the past,” Valente wrote in a 2012 column for USA Today. “Now I see them as windows to the future, a future our world desperately needs – one that stresses community over competitiveness, service over self-aggrandizement, simplicity over consumption and quietude over constant chatter.”

The event is part of the Benedictine Heritage Lecture Series and is sponsored by the Center for Mission and Identity (CMI). Since its inception in 2005, the CMI has supported and reinforced the Catholic and Benedictine mission, vision and character of the institution by communicating a common mission and providing programming that reflects the University’s Catholic tradition and Benedictine heritage.

For more information, contact Rita George-Tvrtkovic, Ph.D., event organizer and assistant professor of Theology at Benedictine, at rgeorge-tvrtkovic@ben.edu or (630) 829-6266.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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