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Augustine -- The City of God
July 25-August 8, 2009
Potlatch, Idaho

The world has set this among the few greatest books of all time.

--Marcus Dods

"The City of God" is the most powerful, comprehensive, profound, and fertile production in refuation of heathenism and vindication of Christianity, which the ancient church has bequeated to us...

--Philip Schaff


July 25-August 8. Arrive on Saturday afternoon, July 25, opening session on Sunday afternoon, July 26; last session Friday evening August 7, depart on Saturday, August 8.
The Hill, near Potlatch, Idaho.
Participants must arrive on Saturday, July 25th. If flying, airport choices are Spokane (WA) International (airport code GEG), or Lewiston (ID) (airport code LWS). Please make arrangements to arrive at the airport about mid-day (between noon and 4 PM is best) so that we can pick you up and have you back at the Hill in time for dinner.
Make arrangements to depart on Saturday, August 8; please try not to schedule a very early departure time. Late morning or early afternoon is best. Both airports (Spokane and Lewiston) are around an hour and a half away, so travel time from Potlatch must be taken into account as well as the hour or more you should be at the airport before your flight departs (security waits at both airports are not long).
Housing and food:
All Hill Abby participants are housed and fed right here on the Hill, and we make every effort to provide a comfortable and peaceful environment. Please be sure to alert us as to any food allergies or other medical issues you might have.

What to Bring:

1. Clothing: North Idaho in high summer is hot during the day (90s) and cool at night (50s) with low humidity. Bring light casual clothing (shorts, tees, sandals, etc.) for warm weather, but include a sweatshirt, long pants or casual skirt, and tennis shoes/light hiking shoes, etc. for cool evenings. Bring some nicer clothes, too, for church services Sunday mornings: casual is fine, but at least long pants (jeans or khakis) and polo or button shirt for men, skirt or dress for women.

Personal toiletries: all the usual, including soap, shampoo, allergy medication, etc. Bedding, pillows, towels, and washcloths will be provided.

3. Bible and any free time reading. There is no need to bring notebooks, pens, or pencils as these will be provided for you.

4. Camera

5. Cell phones are fine to bring, but they must be turned off and put away during reading and quiet hours. You may make and receive any necessary phone calls during free time after meals.

6. No personal stereos, iPods, or headhones. You may bring a laptop if you wish, and we do have wireless service, but there will be computers available to check and send brief emails to stay in touch with family; and the spirit of Hill Abbey is to avoid such distractions as much as possible.


Here is the daily schedule and here is the list of daily readings (exceptions on weekends and trip days).

Cost and registration:

The Hill Abbey 2009 fee is $850. This includes transportation (to and from the airport, church, and any other short trips we make), housing, food, books (Augustine text and personal journal), your official Hill Abbey t-shirt, a email address, and other supplies (pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.).

After receiving confirmation of your acceptance, a $200 deposit is required at time of registration in order to hold your place. The balance ($650) is due by May 1, 2009. Make checks out to Wes Callihan and mail to P. O. Box 546, Potlatch ID 83855. Or you may use the "Make a Payment" PayPal button at the bottom of this page (ignore everything else on that page).

It opens our eyes to the deep and vital view of history which is the Christian and mystical view, the vision of St. Paul and of the Evangelists who knew that Christ had come into the world "to draw all things to Himself" (John 12:32) and who saw that "all things worked together for the good of them that love God" (Romans 8:28) because all the good and evil of history, all the prosperity and adversity which come upon the saints in this life serve only to forward the growth of the Mystical Christ "unto a perfect man and unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).  This eschatological view of history contemplates with joy the running out of the sands of time and looks forward with gladness to the Last Day that will make manifest the full and final glory of the "Whole Christ."  The City of God, for those who can understand it, contains the secret of death and life, war and peace, hell and heaven.

--Thomas Merton

Augustine is a philosophical and theological genius of the first order, towering like a pyramid above his age, and looking down commandingly upon succeeding centuries. He had a mind uncommonly fertile and deep, bold and soaring; and with it, what is better, a heart full of Christian love and humility. He stands of right by the side of the greatest philosophers of antiquity and of modern times. We meet him alike on the broad highways and the narrow footpaths, on the giddy Alpine heights and in the awful depths of speculation, wherever philosophical thinkers before him or after him have trod. As a theologian he is facile princeps, at least surpassed by no church father, scholastic, or reformer. With royal munificence he scattered ideas in passing, which have set in mighty motion other lands and later times.

--Philip Schaff