Hands on with creative expression
In celebration of the Monastery of St. Gertrude's new Spirituality & the Arts program, Spirit Center has launched the Creative Expression retreats. These are hands-on, mid-week, small group encounters with art and creativity.  As part of the new Creative Expression series at Spirit Center, award-winning artist Dr. John Jerry-Anthony Parente will teach Watercolor as Spiritual Practice on July 11-14.
"Since we believe art is the domain of every human being," reads the Spirituality & Arts mission statement, "we endeavor with artists, through dialogue and hospitality, to contemplate, to express and to explore the unity and mystery of all creation….. By embracing the profound mystery of artistic experience, we aspire to the transformation of individuals and the world."
The Spirit Center line-up includes a wide range of retreat experiences. Upcoming is an exploration of the spiritual nature of knitting in "Harmonic Needles: Grace-Filled Knitting" on March 22-24 with Sister Katie Cooper and Jeannette Kelley. This is followed by "Artists in Our Midst" on May 3-5 with Father Eamonn McNerney, who will guide retreatants through local art exhibits and reflections on the artistic experience.
The summer will feature "Watercolor as Spiritual Practice" on July 11-14 with award-winning artist Dr. John Jerry-Anthony Parente, who exhibits his work throughout the country. August 15-19, Spirit Center will welcome Father Damian Higgins, who will present a workshop on the sacred art of icon writing.
Next fall will feature retreats "Poetry in Nature" and "Praying in Color".
Spirit Center director Mary Schmidt hopes these retreats will be about more than the artwork. "There is the opportunity for community-building," she says. "It really allows for one-on-one and small group dynamics that help develop the inner spiritual strength that can change the world."
Spirit Center is located at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, Idaho. For more information about Creative Expression Retreats, visit www.Spirit-Center.org or call 208-962-2000.
Dr. John Jerry-Anthony Parente

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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