The Teachings of Henri Nouwen – Cultivating Solitude and Community

Posted January 27, 2021 | By ale_bellot

Digital Education Programming Presented by the
Center for Health & Wellbeing

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We all face challenges like loss, loneliness and sickness. Henri Nouwen, a well-regarded Dutch Catholic priest, professor and writer, spoke plainly of these obstacles. Beyond suffering, he described a “much deeper human darkness: the darkness of not feeling truly welcome in human existence.” Nouwen was fearless in raising this darkness to the surface, and encouraging his readers to go deeper to feel like they were not alone. Nouwen taught at prestigious schools like the University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School for 20 years where he shared his knowledge on psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community.

In this program, writer and professor Paul Jacob uses various books and sermons by Henri Nouwen to guide you into a deeper understanding of how you can cultivate a balance between solitude and community. By watching this progra, you’ll learn how solitude and community are inextricable to your health and spiritual journey.

By watching this program, you can expect to:

  • learn more about the history of Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen;
  • examine the importance of being vulnerable, acknowledging personal struggles, and wrestling with spirituality;
  • and learn how to cultivate a balance between solitude and community.

This program was presented by Paul Jacob and was hosted by the Winter Park Health Foundation.

About Your Program Presenter
Paul Jacob (Jake) is a writer, professor, contemplative guide and scholar of world religions. These callings have led him to 30 countries and all 48 continental U.S. states. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Master’s degree in Writing and Consciousness Studies, Jake embarked on a nomadic journey that lasted 12 years. During this time, he lived and worked all over the world, including many contemplative periods at Christian, Buddhist and Zen monasteries, working as a chef and restaurant manager at farm-to-table establishments, being a writer-in-residence and organic gardener at spiritual retreat centers, working as a journalist and teaching writing to and mentoring at-risk youth for several renowned educational programs. He also taught journalism, world religions and writing classes at several colleges. To learn more about Jake, please visit