While much of mainstream culture revs up for the holidays, December is one of the quietest months at the Monastery of St. Gertrude. With fewer guests, the monastic community embraces the quiet anticipation of Advent.

“It’s a dark time,” says retreat facilitator Sister Lillian Englert, “full of wonder…the sun begins to set at 4 p.m. and fills everything with pinks and deep blues – the colors of Advent.”

The community schedule is cleared of extra activity as everyone enters the time of waiting for Christ to enter the world.

“Waiting and wonder!” exclaims Sister Lillian. “What better time to do a retreat? Sometimes people think they can’t afford the time away from Christmas preparation but once they get here, they realize they gain so much more about the meaning of Christmas.”

The Advent Retreat runs Dec. 1-18. Within that time, a person can customize a retreat that fits his or her schedule.

Suggested donation: $100/night (includes meals and lodging). To schedule an individual retreat, call 208-962-2000 or email retreats@stgertrudes.org to confirm your dates.

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