Is Benedictine CARE affiliated with a religion or church?

No. Though Benedictine Spirituality is rooted in the Catholic Tradition, it is firmly ecumenical and encourages interfaith community building. Benedictine CARE does not bring forward any discussion on theology, bible study, church doctrine of any kind (from any religion), or on comparative theology (the differences between Western and Eastern Traditions). Benedictine CARE is only a space to re-explore internal silence and how to be curious about our humanly-complicated relationship with the Divine. We sit, we listen with the ear of heart, and let each individual’s story unfold, uniquely and privately to them. And then we play with what to do in the kitchen, which meal ideas made getting out the door easier, and how we are going to stay active when we’d rather not!

How does Benedictine CARE differ from mindfulness and other forms of meditation?

Contemplative practices in Benedictine Spirituality have the sole purpose of nurturing one’s relationship with the Beloved (the Divine, God, source of Love, whatever name is right for you). Psychological mindfulness and meditation practices provide valuable relaxation and stress management techniques, and though contemplative practices might also indirectly result in these benefits. it is not the aim. The difference in terms is based on what one’s aim is with their practice. To be a contemplative practice, the sole aim is to nurture you relationship with the Beloved.

Who is Benedictine CARE best for?

Benedictine CARE is for individuals that want to bring their spirituality into an active role in their wellness. Even if they don’t really know what that means or how to do it. As one member said, “I am spiritual, I just don’t know what to do with it.” In Benedictine CARE, we explore “what to do with it” together. Benedictine CARE is also for those that find learning with others deepens their own experience.

Will there be Benedictine nuns at the meetings?

Potentially. The In-Person Monthly Group Meetings are at St. Paul’s Monastery. You will eventually (and most likely sooner rather than later) meet a Sister. (And fun fact for your next trivia night: Nun is the European term for a woman vowed religious or cloistered religous, in the US they are Sisters.)

Is this a one-time class or limited duration program?

No. Benedictine CARE is an ongoing wellness program. It has ongoing open enrollment allowing individuals to join when the time is right for them. We will also add new group meeting times as the waitlist requires. Benedictine CARE is created out of the monastic tradition of Community to strengthen individuals formation and learning through ongoing support, group study, and companionship. The duration of participation will be unique to each individual.

What is the online format like for the education materials?

Once you enroll, you immediately get new navigation menus on the Benedictine Wellness website. You get instant access to the member areas which include “Program Materials” and “Benedictine CARE Community Forum”. In the “Program Materials” area, you will be given the list of chapters. When you click on a chapter, you are provided PDFs to download (just like chapters of a book). These materials provide education, goals, and other resources. It is a very simple and comfortable process.

Is there a self-guided version of Benedictine CARE? Do I have to join a group?

There is only the group option for Benedictine CARE. The group meetings are an essential way that Benedictine Spirituality is woven into the program. The Benedictine Tradition is rooted in formation happening through Community. It will be through this community experience that individuals share and learn the process of consistently making desired lifestyle changes. Many feel that health is personal and that dietary changes are individual choices and to be done independently. We eat and care for ourselves and then we connect to the community. But this is the very vulnerability that we see in clinical practice; the lack of connection to others with similar intentions inhibiting long term adherence to health goals. And this is where the Benedictine value of Community will be supportive.

If I join an In-Person Group but miss a meeting, can I join the Zoom meeting that week?

At enrollment, select your primary core Monthly Group Meeting (the time that works best most months; In-person and Zoom available). Any month you need to miss your primary meeting, you are encouraged and welcome to attend an alternative meeting time. No notice is needed; members have access to all Zoom links.

What if I know going in that I have a conflict with either Zoom or In-Person meeting times?

As mentioned in the previous question, at enrollment you do select your primary core Monthly Group Meeting (the time that works best most months; In-person and Zoom available). Any month you need to miss your primary meeting, you are encouraged and welcome to attend an alternative meeting time. No notice is needed; members have access to all Zoom links.

What if I want to join Benedictine CARE but also might need private consultations?

Individual, private consultations can be a helpful complement to the program. Benedictine CARE members are encouraged to schedule individual meetings as/if needed.

What results can be expected in Benedictine CARE?

A guiding principle in CARE is that goals, rate of progress, and rate of weight loss are determined by the individual. Number of pounds lost, the rate at which they are lost, and the duration for how long they stay off, as is true of any lifestyle, is determined by the individual and their personal choices and their own personal wellness journey. Benedictine CARE is about being a guide and resource on that journey not a mandate of changes that must be made. Therefore, every single person will have different results, as it should be. You can read more about how to set a personal rate of weight loss goal here: https://www.benedictinewellness.com/weight-loss-goals/

How does Benedictine CARE differ from other Benedictine Healthcare services?

The Benedictine’s have a long and important role in providing healthcare services to their communities. Hospitals and senior care facilities are landmark initiatives that we are excited to build upon. In these existing healthcare systems, the practitioners (doctors, nurses and techs) and administrators are taught Benedictine values bringing that essential presence to their care. However, Benedictine CARE is excited to teach the individuals, the patients, those responsible for making the long-term changes, these powerful Benedictine values to see how they might assist them in their daily lives.

Please note: Benedictine CARE is a wellness formation program and does not provide medical nutrition therapy. The Benedictine Center, St. Paul’s Monastery, and Benedictine Wellness Services are not held liable for the information provided. Program members assume all liability when implementing the education provided through CARE programs and assume all responsibility in confirming with their medical doctors that there are no considerations with prescriptions, current medical conditions, or medical history.

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