About Us

Hey! from the rural Smokies of western NC! We, Paul and Karen Fredette minister as a couple to hermits world-wide. Karen lived as a hermit for six years in a primitive cabin in West Virginia. Before then she had spent thirty years as a a Poor Clare nun in Canton, Ohio. Paul was a member of the Glenmary Home Missioners for twenty years. He did pastoral work in the rural south before becoming editor of The Glenmary Challenge in 1992. He now works as a Qualified Professional in the field of developmental disabilities and mental health.

Since our marriage in 1996, we have cultivated a contemplative lifestyle in our home on a secluded mountain slope here in North Carolina. We co-author a quarterly newsletter, Raven’s Bread, Food for Those in Solitude which reaches over 1100 readers around the world and also offer books, as well as hard-to-find Resources about hermit life. We mentor individuals seeking a solitary life and offer retreats. Our life is shared (and enriched) by our four-legged companions, Neill & Cynda (Border Collies) and Puff & Boo (feline persons).  Note!  These four mentor US and keep us balanced!

Hello All from Still Wood!
Hey friends, from Still Wood!

13 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Dear Paul and Karen,
    I’m very thankful for discovering your website and videos. I just begun viewing them, learning about this new and wonderful way of life. Do you still produce the videos?
    I, probably within the past couple of years have had this strong calling to live a quiet reflective life in solitude. I have recently married, so I won’t pursue the hermit lifestyle but have adopted some of the ideology of the hermit goals in life. There is something about peaceful nature that truly helps me connect with God. My wife also enjoys the lifestyle as well. We are so perfect together. I don’t know of anybody I could’ve met that would engage in this lifestyle with me. We both love our time at home, our quite time at home with an rare occasion of spending time with family and two of our couple friends, but the majority of our weekends together is at our house tending to our yard and chores with a lot of quite time…No TV, no phones and occasion internet…Do you two venture out much? Or do you practice the hermit lifestyle together? Do you spend most of your time at home just enjoying nature, God and each other’s company?
    Thank you for this website..Even though I enjoy my alone time, it is nice to see that there are others out there that enjoy the same lifestyle as me, just at home with God, and nature…and yes….my spouse…
    Thank you again….
    Scott

    1. Dear Scott,
      Peace in the Lord of Quiet! thank you for sharing some of your life with us. Congratulations on your recent marriage AND of finding someone who can be a soul-companion in the quiet life. Many of our Raven’s Bread readers adapt a given lifestyle to the ideals of silence and solitude. Paul and I don’t usually identify ourselves as hermits but it is quite true that we don’t have much of a “social life”. We are both quite happy in the peaceful solitude of our mountainside, surrounded by a thousand acres of forest and fields. It is the goal of Raven’s Bread to provide nourishment to seekers of solitude and to assure them they are not alone in their search for quiet in a noisy, busy world. Let us pray for one another! Karen & Paul

  2. Good day, I am happy to see this site. This will inspire and guide me and my friends. I am Joseph Gomez, 48, Roman Catholic, married and with two children. I work as a PE teacher in a Catholic university here in Bikol province, Philippines. I realized that I am living a life as an urban hermit so when I turned 48 I started to take this new chapter of my life seriously. I have few friend here who are living the same as me. We meet often until we called our group Modern Urban hermits. We are just a beginner I believe. Please include us in your prayers. Thank you so much and God bless.

    1. Joseph! It is good to hear from you. We hope and trust that you will find more helpful items re being an urban hermit from our website. A number of our Raven’s Bread readers are married but still finding ways to live a life of solitude and prayer. It seems like there a new birth of eremitic callings across the world at this time. No doubt, because our world is so in need of praying hearts to help balance where it is violent or indolent. May God continue to bless you and your friends. Let us pray for one another. Karen & Paul

    2. Dear Bro. Paul and Sis. Karen
      Thank you so much. Hope to hear/read from the ministry more about Urban Hermit life. I used to have spiritual director and confessor ever since. Some of them passed away already and the last two had Alzheimer now. It is 15yrs now since I had the last SD. Need advice whether I should have one or not. Yes I will include both of you and all the living hermits around the world in our prayers. Thank you very much my dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

      Solus Cum Deo Solo

  3. Hi Paul and Karen. Something in me responds to the word Hermit. I am married, very happily. I have two wonderful children. I’m working, pretty hard many days, as a prish priest. But Antony has captured me through Athanasius. . . and many others. Hermit seems to much as a self-descriptor but I am definitely eremetic. The adjective works better than the noun for me. I am grateful to have found the book “Consider the Ravens”, your blog, website, and newsletter. This will help as I wonder about my future in ministry. -Rick

  4. Hi Paul and Karen;

    Thank you for your perseverance as certainly times could be challenging for all of us. Your ministry certainly inspires us to be able to share so much with each other and be able to swim together on this always changing turbulences of our modern world.

    Pax from Canada

    Lui

    1. Thank you, Lui, for your comment and observation. Yes, it can get challenging at times for Paul and I but we feel we receive so much more than we give to our brothers and sisters in solitude. It is so very rewarding. We know God has taken this ministry in hand, reaching many of his children who might never find answers to some of their questions, were it not for Raven’s Bread. All our readers and contributors tend to nourish one another. The Spirit is alive among us!

  5. Thank you both so much for your ministry.My wife and i are truly blessed! I love being a hermit,i would not want my life any other way! Praise Jesus for ravensbread.

  6. Dear Paul and Karen,
    As always, I am deeply moved with your honesty, deep insight and “agape” love that shines through both your spirits. I am doing a broadcast tomorrow on Brother Sean’s broadcast on “Agape and Palm Sunday”……I love how we humans are all one, and that what one shares in truth, speaks for others.
    My final BYU Utah class (on spiritual development for chaplains and psychotherapists in training) is this Monday. Please say a prayer for me. This is so God’s gift to me, and His “game” with my soul development. I say “game” as the semester has felt both like amazing grace and “fierce grace”…..sometimes I leave feeling the Holy Spirit’s blessings, other times I feel like I have been crucified. That may seem harsh, but it is all His deep work on annihilation of my false self, so my true Self can blossom. He is using this class as His Holy Anvil, as He uses all life circumstances for growth. I share this, as your journal sharing is also such a mix of shadow and light, as it plays out in your life………..as God shepherds you through hills and valleys.

    God bless your ministry and your darling souls that shine so radiantly on your show. With loveblessings for a peaceful and grace filled Palm Sunday….Buffy Bernhardt

  7. I have learned so very much from your site. Please keep me in your prayers,as I will keep you in mine. Peace from eastern PA. Jack

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Food for those in Solitude