Who We Are

We are Pilgrims striving for centered lives.

 Open Sky Hermitage at Dawn
In honor of the big skies sheltering the tiny hermitage which mirrors the openness and spaciousness to which our hearts are called and underscores the interfaith nature of our work, the hermitage is called Open Sky Hermitage. It operates as a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization.

Open Sky Hermitage is guided by two people striving to live lives centered in prayer and meditation, supported by solitude and simplicity, and to make this available to others.


Rom has a monastic background and has spent time with Fr. Bede Griffiths at the Christian Ashram Shantivanam, in India, where he received sannyasa, or renunciate initiation.  He is an experienced potter, and also offers Animal Care.
Denise has deep roots in both the Catholic and Jewish traditions.  She is teacher of foreign language,freelance writer, mother of two and grandmother of two.  Read some of her essays on pilgrimage or look at her travel guide to the State of Washington .

Both of us are Catholic, one by birth and one by choice, are committed to interfaith dialogue and experience, and believe that a fundamental truth informs all the great religions—that, for all their diversity, they share the search for the Ultimate and the vision of human transformation through selflessness, service and awareness—all based on listening to the voice which is sometimes heard best in the desert.

Why the Desert and Solitude?

God loved/loves (John 3:16) the world.  The more we grow in union with God, the more we love it too.  Besides, we’d better; we’re part of it.  You don’t run to the desert because you’re fed up with “the world”.  As John’s Letter reminds us, one who says he loves God and hates his brothers is a liar.  Still, sometimes the world we have constructed is too much with us–especially today’s world of multiplying contradictory demands, media bombardment and general rampant passions.  And the noise is nearly as much within as without.

We can set limits on it.  Depending on our obligations—our real ones–we can reduce the attention we pay to the media, reduce time spent running about, even reduce getting and spending.  We can set aside time and space for silent prayer or meditation and attend to what is vital.  Simpler living IS possible.  And there comes a time to withdraw more fully and find a quiet place of few distractions—where there is extended time and stillness to hear ourselves think and then, even better, hear what we don’t think.  When one’s own voice quiets, one may better hear the “still small voice”.

  “If you love truth, be a lover of silence,” said Isaac the Syrian.  “Silence, like the sunlight, will illuminate you in God.”

Some will seek such an environment for periodic retreats, others for a lifetime.  On our patch of desert you hear the wind, the birds and a deep stillness.  This is the purpose of what we call Open Sky Hermitage—to tune out the noise and tune in to the greater reality—and offer others a time and place to do so.

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