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Lectio Divina Opportunities

Did you know there is a wonderful resource available to everyone in the Abbey and Priory family, right here on campus? It's Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading), a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.

Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read, meditate, pray and contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God. The monastic practice of Lectio Divina was first established in the 6th century by Saint Benedict and was then formalized as a four-step process by the Carthusian monk, Guigo II, in the 12th century. In the 20th century, the constitution of Dei Verbum of Pope Paul VI recommended Lectio Divina for the general public. Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of Lectio Divina in the 21st century.

While this Benedictine way of praying has been practiced by monks for centuries, it is easily adapted to lay group use. Interested Priory parents, alumni parents, faculty, staff and friends of the Abbey are all invited to experience this prayer form in one of several shared Lectio groups on this campus. Groups meet weekly or less as noted in the list below.

Many of you already know that Priory students learn this form of prayer in 7th grade and have the opportunity to be part of shared lectio in the school. Shared Lectio was introduced in the school and presented to Priory parents more than 15 years ago by Father Gregory.

All Lectio groups on campus welcome interested visitors. We hope you will stop by one of the groups listed below to observe this form of prayer. All groups listed are for members of the Priory and Abbey Family and friends, and many Alumni and current parents attend. At every session, the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday is the focus for each group. No experience is needed; sharing is always optional also. If you have questions, please feel free to contact any of the group representatives listed below.

You are welcome to visit any of the groups, and to bring a friend!

Daytime Groups

Women’s Groups

Monday morning group
Meets weekly for one hour at 10:30 a.m. in Monastery Conference Room.
Contact Judith Chouteau at

Tuesday afternoon group
Meets weekly for one hour at 4:00 p.m. in the Monastery Conference Room with Father Gregory as leader.
Contact Father Gregory at or (314) 434-3690 ext. 138  

Wednesday afternoon group
Meets weekly for one hour at 4:00 p.m. in Switzer House living room.
Contact Bebe Nickolai at (314) 469-7921 or

Friday morning group
Meets weekly for one and one half hours at 9:15 a.m. in Monastery Conference Room.
Contact Peggy Lane at or (314) 706-0709

Men’s Groups

Saturday morning group: 
Meets weekly for one and one half hours, beginning at 9:45 a.m. following coffee at 9:30 a.m. in the Monastery Conference Room.
The Rule of St. Benedict or other spiritual books are discussed after shared lectio.
Contact Ted Ehrmann at (636) 256-7160 or

Evening Groups

Women’s Groups

Thursday evening group (monthly)
Meets at 7:00 p.m. in the Switzer House living room on the first Thursday of each month.
Contact  JoAnne Neukum at or (314) 497-4113

Men’s Groups

Monday evening group
Meets weekly for one hour at 7:30 p.m. in the Switzer House living room.
Contact Father Gregory at or (314) 434-3690 ext. 138.

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4


Saint Louis Abbey

Saint Louis Priory School

500 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63141
P. 314.434.3690    F.314.576.7088
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