North Central Region Spring Retreat: “Let Us Arise From Sleep: The Rule of St. Benedict for Everyday Folk”

May 13-15, 2019

Retreat Presenter

Rev. David E. MacDonald is a husband, father, son, spiritual director, writer, knitter and pilgrim, who currently serves at the University Chaplain at Ohio Northern University. He is a graduate of Mount Union College (B.A. Communication Studies, 1999), Methodist Theological School in Ohio (M.Div., 2002), and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (D.Min. Spiritual Direction/Spiritual Formation, 2014). He is author of the recently-published book, Benedict on Campus: Eight Spiritual Disciplines for Collegiate Ministry, as well the chapter, “Discovering Call at the Center and the Edge” in The Prophetic Voice and Making Peace.

David also has had an article published by the journal Presence, and has another article for the same journal currently undergoing peer review. In his spare time, David knits, goes on hikes, and spends time with his wife and two children, and their two dogs (Mack and Cheese) and two cats (Luna and Jupiter). David has always secretly wanted to be a monk, but is happy to live out his monastic calling as a member of his family and campus community. He occasionally blogs at

Theme for the retreat: The Rule of St. Benedict for Everyday Folk

St. Benedict wrote his rule for monastic communities at a critical time in history—just as the Roman Empire was collapsing and the Church was beginning to enter into what would come to be known as “The Dark Ages.” Benedict intuited that the Church would need communities of men (and later also women) who were dedicated to providing a haven for pilgrims and a training ground for religious life in a post-Rome world. His Rule has withstood the test of time, as countless communities continue to use it today as the basis of how they are governed.

The Rule can also offer insights for those of us who feel drawn to its themes but are not called to the monastic life, “everyday folk,” in other words. This retreat will explore four main themes in St. Benedict’s Rule that can help us in our daily living and spiritual life. These are: Prayer, Work, Discipline, and Community. Each of these themes will be explored both in theory and in practice throughout our time together. Prior familiarity with the Rule of St. Benedict is not required, but those who wish may want to purchase RB1980, The Rule of St. Benedict in English by Timothy Fry, as this will be the text of the Rule that will be referenced throughout the retreat.

Online versions of the Rule and copies in PDF form are also available, and might be helpful for those who do not have a copy of RB1980.


The Spiritual Center of Maria Stein, Maria Stein, Ohio


Download Complete Retreat Details (.pdf file, 226 kb)