A Silent Retreat
with Hildegard of Bingen
Co-Directed by Devi Mathieu and
The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, Ph.D,
Vicar of St. Columba's
March 8-10, 2019
Retreat Theme Hildegard of Bingen, 12th Century Benedictine Abbess, is renowned as a mystic, poet, composer, dramatist, doctor, counselor, and scientist. Gifted with astounding visions throughout her life, she authored several volumes of inspiring writings and illustrated them with captivating illuminations that represent her visions. She also composed dozens of gorgeous musical works, including a full-length liturgical drama titled Ordo Virtutum (Order of the Virtues). Hildegard’s contemporaries described her music as “chants of surpassing sweet melody” and “strange and unheard-of music." Throughout our weekend retreat, deep silence will be punctuated with five calls to communal prayer in which participants will be guided in singing chants from the Ordo Virtutum coupled with the Liturgy of the Hours. Retreatants also will be invited to immerse themselves in some of Hildegard's deeply moving writings and to reflect on her hauntingly beautiful illuminations.
Director's Bios This retreat will be co-directed by Devi Mathieu, a specialist in medieval song who has immersed herself in Hildegard's music and mysticism for the past 25 years, and Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, Vicar of St. Columba’s.
Devi Mathieu teaches and performs medieval, traditional, and contemporary music in the US and Europe. She teaches Hildegard's music in the same oral tradition Hildegard used when sharing her music with those around her. It's a restful, nourishing process of listening and singing together that brings out the best in every voice, including the voices of those who are hesitant or believe they can't or shouldn't sing. Singing Hildegard's music is a powerful and direct way of experiencing her mystical teachings and everyone, regardless of musical background, can participate. Devi facilitates ongoing song gatherings in Santa Rosa www.numinacenter.org and San Rafael www.santasabinacenter.org, and collaborates on a variety of musical projects with pianist, author, and composer W.A. Mathieu, www.coldmountainmusic.com.
Fr. Vincent Pizzuto founded New Skellig Contemplative Christian Community in 2006 and serves as a Professor of New Testament and Christian Mysticism at the University of San Francisco. Drawing upon his rich academic and theological background, Fr. Pizzuto works for the advancement of contemplative Christianity through his many workshops, lectures, sermons, and retreats given at St. Columba's annually. His most recent book, Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life, was published in April 2018 by Liturgical Press. In its pages he seeks to bring his readers into a lived realization of the Christian doctrine of “Deification” – that is, the affirmation that through the Incarnation we have all been made partakers of the divine nature. It is this theological conviction that underlies his mission and ministry at St. Columba’s.
Accommodation & Cost St. Columba’s Retreat House is renowned for its rustic beauty and charm. Two of our shared rooms host 6 or 12 guests respectively, while other rooms accommodate up to two guests. Couples will be given priority in double rooms whenever possible. We host only two single rooms which are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a supplemental fee. This is a residential retreat, including Friday and Saturday night lodging and meals from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast. The standard cost for the retreat is $350 (with a $100 supplement for a single room depending on availability). Commuters are welcome for a rate $300, which includes retreat supplies and meals.