Welcome to the Hollister Institute

The Hollister Institute provides opportunities for stimulating discussion and thoughtful exploration for everyone, whether or not they are members of a church.  Courses are offered at St. Benedict’s Church in Los Osos.  For more information about Hollister courses, contact Lorienne Schwenk at singingkitchen@gmail.com.

Beginning in May

Women in Christianity
Thursdays at 10 am, May 1 - June 5

Working with a research team at the University of Tubingen (from 1982 to 1987),  theologian Hans Küng compiled a history of women in the church and made strong recommendations for change. More than a decade later (2001) he wrote Women in Christianity, concluding, “Since 1987,  much has changed, as far as individuals, married couples, communities and theological faculties have been able to change it.  But much for which the hierarchy is responsible has not changed.” What still needs to change

Küng adds, “There is no reason to wonder at the constant resigned departure of women from the Roman Catholic church in particular… If I had to wait another 25 years for the clergy to gain insight, I would presumably not live to see it, nor would others with me. Speramus contra spem - we hope against hope.”     

But it’s not just Roman Catholic women who hope for leaders who will change their position on women in the church; Protestant women of many denominations share their frustrations. With Hans Küng, we hope:

to build mutual support among women who pray for change,

to strengthen the efforts of women and men (like Hans Küng) who continue to work for change,

and to identify ways we ourselves can work for change.

Discussions led by Donna Ross and Carol McPhee.

For more information, and to register for these discussions, email donnaross@charter.net.

(Hans Küng’s book will be available at the first session for $10) 

Continuing Programs

Ocean Mind Collective
first and third Mondays, 7:00-9:00 pm

Beginning January 20th Hollister Institute is presenting a new offering. The Ocean Mind Collective is a community gathering to explore spiritual literature. Through the study of mythological, mystical, religious, and spiritual texts, we hope to deepen our understands of that divine source from which all of creation flows. The first book for study is The Upanishads: Breath from the Eternal and the goal is to study within ourselves as well as the contents of the reading. All are welcome; the only requirements being a curiosity to expand one's consciousness and the ability to laugh at oneself. For more information, contact Ian Thompson at oceanmindcollective@gmail.com.

We will begin a discussion of The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm, on Monday, March 3, at 7pm. All are welcome.

Ian writes: "Ocean Mind Collective is a community of women and men who coalesce for the passion of exploring spiritual literature. Through the study of mythological, mystical, religious, and spiritual texts, we hope to collectively deepen our understanding of that divine source from which all of creation flows. Our primary purpose is to comprehend and enact the warrior’s path of unconditional love in our daily lives and communities. We seek to turn inward and to meditate upon that golden vein of spirit which like a river flows effortlessly onward through the consciousness of all tribes and cultures since the creation of time. We aspire to remember the archetypal path of the peaceful warrior and divine goddess within us, and to recognize these shape shifting prophets throughout the collective consciousness of all humankind. With optimism, we hope to manifest gratitude, acceptance, and love within ourselves and each other through exploring this sacred literature. Selflessness and solidarity shall be key principles for the ever growing formation and sustainment of this book club."

Dream/Spirituality Group
first and third Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 pm

St. Ben's Drop-in Dream Group meets every first and third Thursday at St. Benedict's. The format is similar to twelve-step meetings: confidentiality is required regarding any dreams shared with the group, and sharing is not required (everyone supports by their presence). The group is "open" to newcomers but there is no commitment to attend on a regular basis. There are no instructional or workshop-related activities unless noted in advance. The interpretative assumptions and language are Jungian (see Robert Johnson's "Inner Work").

Anyone who would like to be notified of future meetings should send an email address to Bob Pelfrey (bobpelfrey@charter.net).

For those interested in a year-long study

see the Education for Ministry program