Travels in Beech Grove, Ind.

This week I am in Beech Grove, Indiana at Our Lady of Grace Monastery and Retreat Center, attending the American Benedictine Formation Conference Symposium. There are Vocation and Formation SIsters from all across the country.  Our theme “Telling the Stories, Embracing the Challenge’ is very fine.

The Pre-Symposium Workshop by Sr. Karen, OSB was conversation around the Monastic Instinct that we all share.  This is, actually, the heart of what we ‘pass on’ to new members joining the community.

Our second day was Sr. Ephrem, OSB from St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph MN.  She is an historian and presented her research on the four Benedictine Sisters who came to America in the 1800’s to start new communities.  It is just fascinating to hear not only about my community’s link to the first Bavarian Benedictine Sister who came in 1852, but about those Sisters from Switzerland who came later and founded other branches of Benedictines. What a shared heritage we have, and the stories all intertwine.  All 44 Benedictine Monasteries have some distant connection from the beginning.

Our third speaker, Sr. Kerry, OSB, is reminding us of the roots of Catholic Social Teaching.  Tomorrow we will discuss Justice as portrayed in St. Benedict’s Rule and then the implications for our contemporary lives.

We are not all work, however.  After an opening reception on Friday we all went different ways to discover Indianapolis, Ind.  Then we closed tonight with an ice cream social with the Sisters at the Monastery.  We have enjoyed beautiful weather, a beautiful harpist, beautiful Prayers and beautiful connections!!!

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