Living with the Desert Mothers

An Online Lenten study from The Wisdom Years

March 3 through April 7

Thursdays, 4 to 5:15 p.m. (Central time)

By Zoom

In the third and fourth centuries, after Constantine declared Christianity legal throughout the empire, faithful men and women became distressed about the encroaching secularization of their religion and sought refuge in the deserts of Egypt and Syria. There they lived in silence and solitude in caves and hermitages, where they came to be called the Desert Fathers – or Abbas – and Desert Mothers – Ammas.

Their lives were devoted to prayer and denial of the material world in order to be closer to God. Often people came to them for a word of wisdom. 

Using The Rev. Mary Earle’s book The Desert Mothers: Spiritual Practices from the Women of the Wilderness, we will look at the practices that sustained the Ammas – silence and solitude, balance and moderation, simplicity and fasting from anger, judgment, and frenetic activity.

We will read the book on our own, then gather weekly for conversation about what we discern. We will work in both large and small groups as we consider ways to incorporate the wisdom of the Ammas into our own lives.

Along with the weekly gatherings, this study will offer spiritual practices to help us grow our faith, and daily text messages of inspiration.

There is no charge for the study except the purchase of your book on your own. Order the book from St. Mark’s bookstore by contacting Carla Pineda at St. Marks Bookstore has reserved copies for this study and may be able to deliver to those in the San Antonio area with no shipping charge. 

To indicate your interest in this study or for questions and clarification, email Marjorie George at