In Exile with the Desert Mothers and Fathers Online Course
In Exile with the Desert Mothers and Fathers
The Power of Silence in a Pandemic

An Online five-week course with Christine Merritt
Mondays, 10:00am – 11:30am Pacific
From June 22 – July 20, 2020


Join us for a timely discussion of the early Christian Desert Mothers and Fathers and how they speak to our situation of pandemic today. Our reflections will unfold stories from the desert in relation to three books from various spiritual perspectives: The Power of Silence by Cardinal Sarah, Covenant and Conversation by Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, and Into the silent Land, by Martin Laird. In addition, the contemplative wisdom of Thomas Merton, St. Isaac of Syria, and John Chryssavgis will enrich our conversation. This five-week series promises to be a rich time of sharing in a fierce, desolate, and sacred moment in our history.


Christine Eleanor Merritt, B.S., Certified Physical Therapist and Labyrinth Facilitator, is a spiritual director and supervisor. She leads Labyrinth retreats and workshops. A Eucharistic, Healing Prayer, and Pastoral Care Minister at St Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral in Boise, Idaho, Christine is active in teaching and promoting contemplative disciplines. She has a passion for interfaith dialogue leading to common sacred ground. Her life has been one of frequent travels, both in the United States and abroad. Informed by history, art, music, literature she is an experimental gardener and dabbles in art projects inspired by her travels. She met her husband of forty-eight years at the University of California, Berkeley during the late sixties. Becoming a mother and grandmother has made her more passionate and hopeful about our ability to co-create with the Divine to usher in a new paradigm shift of unitive consciousness.


The cost of the course is $50 for the five-weeks which will be delivered via Zoom. Limited partial scholarships available. Please email Anna Haight at should you need a scholarship.


To register for this course, please fill out the form below.

Within 48 hours of receiving your registration, a PayPal link will be emailed to you to make payment.
After receiving your payment a link to join the live course with instructions will be emailed to you the day before the first session.
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Scholarship Fund
St. Columba’s is committed to offering retreats and workshops at the most affordable rates possible. To that end, we offer reduced rates and scholarships to those most in need. If you can assist us in building our scholarship program we would be grateful.
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By clicking 'Submit' you consent under the following terms you will register your intent to participate in the online Workshop, "In Exile with the Desert Mothers and Fathers" which will be held on Mondays from June 22 through July 20.

Further, I, Participant, consent and authorize The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, PhD, Christine Merritt or assigns to copyright, use and publish any of the images and/or voice recordings in any format taken of me during this online course. I understand that St. Columba’s and/or Christine Merritt will post the course including images and/or voice recordings of me via the internet to be available for members of the general public to audit that course. Since anyone can download an image from the Internet or make copies from printed materials, I agree that St Columba’s nor Christine Merritt are not responsible for unauthorized use of the images. I am aware that I am not entitled to any compensation for my appearance in this video course or its use for the above purposes.

By clicking 'Submit', I acknowledge I have read, understand and consent to this release.


Confirmation of your submission will be sent to the email registered in this form within 48 hours. This will include payment information and further details to assist you in participating in the Workshop.

Ceud Míle Fáilte!

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!
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