Retreats and programs

Our Great African American Spiritual Guides (Part 1): Howard Thurman and The Search for the Genuine Within Us


“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”

That was the message of the great African American mystic, philosopher and theologian Howard Thurman.

At this moment in our nation’s history, it is fitting to honor such spiritual guides. Thurman’s writings have been compared to those of Thomas Merton.

Thurman was a spiritual adviser to Dr. King, a proponent of non-violence, a seeker of the true self, and a believer that all of us can become “everyday contemplatives.”


This is a 2-hour retreat on Zoom that includes dialogue and group discussion.


*Retreat materials and the Zoom login information will not be provided until 5 business days prior to an event.*
**A separate Part 2 (with a focus on Sr. Thea Bowman, F.S.P.A.) has not yet been scheduled**



Judith Valente covered faith and values for many years on the national PBS-TV news program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. She is also a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, having worked in that paper’s Chicago and London bureaus, and is a former reporter for the National Public Radio affiliates in both Chicago and central Illinois, where she currently lives.

Judith is the author of several spirituality titles including, “How To Live: What the Rule St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community” and “The Art of Pausing: Meditations for the Overworked and Overwhelmed” as well as two collections of poetry, and a memoir about her time with the Benedictine sisters in Atchison Kansas, titled, “Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith.”

She is a popular speaker and retreat leader on the theme of living a more contemplative life in the secular world, and is a board member of the International Thomas Merton Society. She served previously on the board of the Chicago Cenacle.

November 10, 2021
Facilitated by: Judith Valente
10:00 AM Central

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