The Composury
of Doug and
Norvene Vest

Doug and Norvene have been leading retreats and workshops together and individually since the mid-1980’s.

Norvene teaching at Villa Palazzola, Lake Albano, ItalyNorvene teaching at Villa Palazzola, Lake Albano, ItalyOriginally based principally in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, we continue to lead spiritual journeys, both interior and on pilgrimage, throughout the United States and Europe. Our topics are generally those of Christian spirituality, focusing on  experience of God in ordinary life. Our approach is interactive, blending presentation, discussion, and opportunity for personal integration of material. We find that our strengths and weaknesses are mutually supportive: male and female, clergy and lay, spontaneous and systematic, people-centered and idea-loving. Topics are ordinarily determined mutually by the sponsor and the Vests at the time the retreat is scheduled. Sample topics include those mentioned here.Doug teaching at a small church in Capel y Fin, Wales, UKDoug teaching at a small church in Capel y Fin, Wales, UK

  1. Streams of Christian Spirituality: Christian tradition’s many prayer ways
  2. Benedictine Spirituality for the Common Life: Benedictine spirituality’s foundational tips for life in the world
  3. Praying the Scripture: Faith sharing through lectio divina in small groups
  4. Finding and Telling Your Sacred Story: As modeled in Scripture, finding God’s presence in personal and group life
  5. Holy Wisdom Today: The classic figure of wisdom offering  new images of God
  6. Women’s Ways of Spiritual Unfolding: Alternatives to the traditional image of spiritual life as journey in the desert
  7. Affirmative Modes of Spirituality: Image and word as mystical openings to God
  8. Becoming Peace-Makers: Transforming practice of personal and communal non-violence
  9. Why Stress Keeps Returning: A Spiritual Response: A sense of “something missing” may be gift and invitation
  10. A New Culture of Christianity: Re-visioning Christianity through imagination, feminist values, and the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur

Wicklow Valley in IrelandWicklow Valley in IrelandNorvene and Doug have led twelve pilgrimage groups from the United States to Europe, with assistance at times from Fr. Francis Benedict, Abbot Emeritus of St. Andrew’s Abbey, Valyermo, CA, and at times from Christopher McCauley and Frank Ramirez ( Locations for pilgrimage have included England and Wales, Italy, Turkey and Greece. Our pilgrimages follow a Benedictine rhythm, including days and periods for rest and recreation, as well as visits to sites long held sacred, times for small group lectio divina or devotional reading of scripture, and some lectures on relevant topics. Generally the pilgrimages are about two weeks long and are ecumenical in nature. A keen sense of God’s grace and presence is given to those who “pray with their feet.”



I don’t recall
when or how
I first became aware of my existence.
But, whenever it was,
I was already here.