The Rev. Mary Earle’s Payne Lecture, “A Balm and Blessing”


On February 8, 2022, the 2022 Payne Lecture was presented by the Rev. Mary Earle, with her presentation, “All Our Hope on God is Founded: Spiritual Practices for Mission.” Earle’s virtual presentation drew a record number of post-pandemic viewers, and spoke to many of challenges we continue to have in searching for spiritual practice in a fractured world.

“Mary Earle’s lecture came as a balm and indeed, a blessing, to all of us and offered hope for our waiting and for our mission,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Dean and President.

Earle is a graduate and former adjunct professor at Seminary of the Southwest. She was the recipient of the Durstan McDonald Teaching Award in 2003, and also received the 2013 Hal Brook Perry Award, conferred upon a graduate of Seminary of the Southwest who exemplifies exceptional ministry to parishes, dioceses, and/or specific communities or ministries. Earle and her husband Doug were numbered among the 2018 recipients of the Humanitarian Award from United Communities of San Antonio for their contributions to eliminating racism, prejudice and bullying and for their work to promote inclusiveness and diversity in the community.

She is the author of ten books; the subjects include the spirituality of living with illness, rule of life, Celtic Christian spirituality, the Desert Mothers, and Julian of Norwich. Her latest is a book of her poetry, Did You Sing Your Song, that was awarded a Silver Medal in the Poetry Division for the Ben Franklin Award by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Earle has offered presentations and retreats in a variety of ecumenical settings, including conferences of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Directors International, the International Thomas Merton Society, Oblate School of Theology and hospice organizations. She has written articles for a variety of journals, including Presence: the Journal of Spiritual Directors International, Radical Grace, Reflections, and The Lutheran. She was included in the Living Spiritual Teachers project of Spirituality and Practice.

Hosted by Seminary of the Southwest’s Board of Trustees, the Payne Lecture is an annual event that honors the Rt. Rev. Claude E. Payne, former chair of the seminary’s board and bishop of the Diocese of Texas, retired.