Bannan Visitors

The Bannan Visitors program was a program designed to invite individuals to SCU to engage in issues or activities that support the Jesuit and Catholic character. While the program is no longer active, past visitors provided a rich array of resources to the University.

Paula Huston

by Paula Huston |

Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit


When: January 25, 2012, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Where: Benson Center, Williman Room, Santa Clara University

Paula Huston, author of The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life (2003), By Way of Grace: Moving from Faithfulness to Holiness (2007), Forgiveness: Following Jesus into Radical Loving (2009), and Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew the Spirit (2011), offered a luncheon reflection for the Santa Clara community, inviting us to explore how incorporating ancient and contemporary spiritual practices into our daily lives can lead to a simpler, more sustainable, and more deeply rooted faith and life.

The Lecturer

Paula Huston, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and moved to California when she was only two years old. She grew up in Long Beach, married at nineteen, and relocated to San Luis Obispo county on the Central Coast in her early twenties. About the time her children, Andrea and John, were born, she began writing short stories; in her early thirties, she divorced and spent several years as a single working mother, which convinced her that she really needed to complete her college education. After remarrying and becoming a stepmother to Kelly and Greta, she returned to school for a B.A. in English, and went on for a Masters in English and American Literature while continuing to write and publish fiction.
She began teaching at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after completing the Master's degree. While still matriculating, she took a class in ethics that helped spur a return to the Christianity she had abandoned years before. This time, however, she came back to the church as a Catholic, and in the process, shifted to writing spiritual non-fiction. Eventually, she became a Camaldolese Benedictine oblate, a lay associate of a contemplative Catholic hermitage on the Big Sur coast, which means she does her best to live by two ancient rules written primarily for monks and hermits: the Rule of St. Benedict and the Brief Rule of St. Romuald of Ravenna, Italian founder of the Camaldolese. For many years, she and her husband Mike have lived on four acres in the country where, in the spirit of St. Benedict, they produce much of the food they eat, including fruits, vegetables, olive oil, eggs, honey, and wine. She has three beloved grandsons and three beloved granddaughters.  Currently she teaches creative nonfiction in the Seattle Pacific MFA sponsored by Image.

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