The Shekinah Formation program is a legacy of the Sisters of St. Benedict’s Monastery. It is rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition and Benedictine hospitality, and is informed by a deep commitment to the interconnectedness of spirituality and social justice.
Hospitality, as understood by Benedict, requires cultivating an openness to being transformed by the other - be it a person, an idea or an experience. It anticipates a blessing from the unexpected visitor. Our program welcomes and places special interest on the parts of ourselves, our lives, and society that are usually disregarded or marginalized, because we know these spaces will lead us to new awareness of ourselves connected to God, the ground and depth of all being.
Our name was gifted to us by Carol Rose, an integral part of the Jewish community in Winnipeg and dear friend of the founder of our program, Sister Mary. Carol explains, “Shekinah is imagined as the Feminine Facet of the Divine in Jewish Mystical (Kabbalistic) thought. She is a part of G*d that chose exile when the people were banished from their Land. She journeys with the people in their wandering. She is close at hand or perhaps She can be understood as G*d imminent, if you like.
It is an expression of the great desire for all that is “broken” or “fragmented” to become whole once again. It is the yearning for harmony & oneness … the desire for home.
Therefore I thought this would be a perfect name for the training of future Spiritual Directors, those who accompany us on the journey toward wholeness & inner peace, those who help us find Shalom.”
As Shekinah became a legacy of the Sisters, we commissioned local artist, Lola Eidse to create an icon for us.
Shekinah is represented as a wise ancient woman listening to both the invitation of Spirit and the directee holding a pearl, which represents wisdom gained from experience.