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Autumn Blessings is a Course

Autumn Blessings

Ended Nov 17, 2021

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Full course description

5-Week Course


This course examines the spiritual tasks in the second half of adulthood in contrast to the first half of life. In the course, participants have an opportunity to reflect on hope, forgiveness, mercy, self-love, and the meaning of discipleship at this stage of life. There is discussion of living in the present, shaping one’s legacy, articulating one’s core values, and looking at one’s personal power.

This course has a required text: Evelyn Eaton Whitehead and James D. Whitehead, Christian Adulthood: A Journey of Self-Discovery (Liguori Press, 2005) (Digital text available)


Introductory Week
Week 1: Metaphors for Stages of Life; Spiritual Tasks
Week 2: Living in the Present and Seasoning the Senses
Week 3: Human Integrity and Self-Love
Week 4: Shaping our Legacy and Awareness of Personal Power

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Weekly introductions to each new topics;
  • Reading from Evelyn and James Whitehead’s book Christian Adulthood (available in the course);
  • Streaming video of segments of presentations previously given by Dr. Kathleen Fischer and Father Ronald Rolheiser at Boston College (available on the course site);
  • Transcripts of all videos available to view and download;
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion;
  • A weekly introduction and study guide; and
  • A resource page to use for further study.

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected web site.
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Time Commitment

A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 3-4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.

Certificate Requirement Categories

  • Spirituality and Prayer

Content Scholars

  • Evelyn Eaton Whitehead, (text) formerly a Glenmary Sister, received her Ph.D. in Human Development at the University of Chicago, and taught with her husband at the University of Notre Dame, then at Loyola University in Chicago for forty-five years, and together published twenty-two books.
  • James D. Whitehead, (text) a pastoral theologian and historian of religion, received the Ph.D. Harvard University, and taught with his wife at the University of Notre Dame, then at Loyola University in Chicago for forty-five years, and together published twenty-two books.
  • Kathleen Fischer, (video) received her Ph.D. in Spirituality from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, taught at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University, and author of many books including Winter Grace: Spirituality and Aging
  • Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I., (video) former president and current faculty, Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, Texas, and author of many popular spirituality books, including The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality

What is an STM Online: Crossroads course?

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