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Journalist, poet Judith Valente headshot photo

 Why are people in the age of Snapchat still reading a slender text written by a monk who lived at the end of the Roman Empire? Perhaps because that time isn’t so different from our own, contends poet, journalist and author Judith Valente, who will speak in the Alumni Theater at Caldwell University at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4. “The ‘Rule of St. Benedict,’ originally written for people in monasteries, is still one of the best guides for discovering what truly matters in life,” said Valente.

Her talk, “Who Is This Dude Called Benedict?,” is part of the Sister Maura Campbell, O.P., lecture series presented by the university’s Theology/Philosophy Department. Valente will tell how “The Rule,” with its emphasis on listening “with the ear of the heart,” simplicity, community, balance, prayer and praise, changed her from a hard-charging workaholic into an “everyday contemplative” and how the timeless wisdom of St. Benedict offers a way forward from the divisions sweeping our country.

Valente is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist who has been a regular contributor to the national PBS-TV news program “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.” Her work has appeared on PBS-TV’s “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.” She is a commentator for National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio for which she covers religion, interviews poets and authors, and is a guest essayist.

She has authored a number of books; her most recent is “How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community,” which explores Benedictine spirituality.

The lecture series is named after Sister Maura Campbell, O.P., a Sister of St. Dominic of Caldwell. She was a theologian, philosopher, professor, researcher and national leader in education whose scholarship and teaching spanned 50 years.

For further information, call 973-618-3931.