Judith Valente's newest book is How To Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community. She is co-editor of Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul, an anthology of poems and reflections on finding the sacred in the ordinary; author of Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith, the memoir of her time at Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison, Kansas; and co-author The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed.

She has won numerous awards for her print and broadcast journalism. She currently works as senior correspondent at GLT Radio, an NPR affiliate in central Illinois, where she lives. She worked previously for The Wall Street Journal in Chicago and London and for PBS-TV. She leads frequent retreats on living a more contemplative life. Her reflections appear in Give Us This Day and the Monasteries of the Heart website. She has been an oblate of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery since 2013. Her website is judithvalente.com.

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Benedictine beauty and God

For four years, I've been a part of the American Benedictine Academy, which works to pass on Benedictine values. Our biennial conference this year celebrated modern "artisans of the monastery." It brought together more than 100 artists, writers, musicians, craftspeople and art appreciators at St. Benedict Monastery in Minnesota, including a large number of oblates.

Benedictine Oblates stand at a crossroads in monastic history

GSR Today: As Sr. Joan Chittister told us at the recent Fourth International Oblate Congress in Rome, Oblates "are not meant to simply be consumers of the Benedictine tradition. You are meant to be carriers of the tradition. You are the future of the order."

Poet Wendell Berry bequests farm to Dominican Sisters of Peace college

Poet Wendall Berry, 81, is passing on his family's farming legacy to a new generation; he selected a small Catholic liberal arts college about an hour's drive from Louisville, run by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, to continue the Berry Farming Program, which offers an interdisciplinary approach to agriculture, combining fieldwork with philosophy and studies in agricultural science and agribusiness with classes on literature, history and culture.

Nun teaches secret to overcoming fear of death

I have always had a tremendous fear of death. It arose, perhaps, from having had older parents. I worried my parents might die, leaving me bereft. Even now, I sometimes awake at night gripped by the terrible anxiety that I will soon die.