Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Monastery,Seminary Event

Workshop on "Difficult Conversations"

Thursday, May 4- Friday, May 5
Location: Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology

A workshop on learning how to navigate "Difficult Conversations" will be held on May 4 and 5 on the campus of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN.

Br. Zachary Wilberding, OSB, a Saint Meinrad monk with more than 20 years of experience in health care as a nurse in critical care, psychiatry and oncology, will be the workshop leader. He holds a master's degree in nursing from the University of Iowa and a Master of Divinity degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.   

The "Difficult Conversations" workshop begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, and continues until 4 p.m. Friday, May 5. The workshop fee is $100. The cost for room and board is an additional $95.

The workshop is intended to assist those in lay ecclesial ministry who might encounter challenging situations in their ministry work.

Effective communication begins with a sincere desire to understand what the other person is trying to say. To do this, we must deal with issues of feelings and identity in ourselves and be aware of them in others. The desired outcome is the ability to engage in a learning conversation.

The workshop is based on the book, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project. The workshop content will be conveyed by lecture, discussion, role play and reflection.

Participants will benefit from reading Difficult Conversations before the workshop. Saint Meinrad students who wish to earn one academic credit for participating in the workshop should contact Br. Zachary at

For more information about the workshop or to register, contact Agnes Kovacs in Saint Meinrad's Graduate Theology Programs at