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Dr. Judith Valente

Judith Valente.JPG

Judith Valente is the author of several spirituality books, including most recently How to Be: A Monk & A Journalist Reflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer, Forgiveness & Friendship, co-authored with Brother Paul Quenon of the Abbey of Gethsemani, and How to Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning & Community. She is also the author of two collections of poetry and editor of an anthology of poems and reflections on finding the sacred in the everyday. Judith worked as a staff writer for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and on-air correspondent for PBS-TV where she covered religion news for the national program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. She was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism and was the 2005 winner of the national Aldrich Poetry Prize, selected by Mary Oliver.  She guides frequent retreats on such topics as "Discovering Inner Wisdom through Poetry" and "Becoming An Everyday Contemplative." Judith serves as vice president of the International Thomas Merton Society; co-chair of the Being Benedictine in the 21st Century network; and communications director for the International Congress of Benedictine Oblates. She has been a lay associate of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison, KS since 2013. She will begin her tenure as President of the International Thomas Merton Society in June of this year.  For her professional, civic and charitable efforts, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in May 2022 by St. Peter's University in New Jersey. Judith is married to former Illinois Circuit Court Judge Charles Reynard. The couple split their time between central Illinois and Italy. Judith can be reached by email at and on Facebook as Judith Valente.

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