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Fran’s Story

Fran Bennett has a sharp mind, a keen sense of humour, and a deep understanding of the frailties and foibles of human life. During her Dublin seminar earlier this year – which was entitled ‘Full Circle Awakening’ – she discussed the challenges faced by those who are interested in spirituality when they attempt to access the mysterious, transcendent aspect of themselves, while also dealing with the reality of their day-to-day lives as complex, multifaceted human beings. For Fran, that journey of reconciling the two holds a deep personal significance.

She spent many years as a Roman Catholic Trappist monk, dedicating her life to contemplation, prayer and service. She lived in two Trappist monasteries in the US, and was also a member of an urban contemplative monastic community originally founded in Paris in 1975. Fran graduated from the Pontifical College Josephinum with a BA in Philosophy, and also completed a two year residency in Clinical Pastoral Education with Ohio Health Hospital System in Columbus, Ohio in 2004. During her time as a monk, she worked as a hospital chaplain and a pastoral carer of the sick and dying in parish settings.

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