Celebrating 135 Years…

What a busy week it has been around here.  This weekend we have our annual Community Chapter meetings.  We meet in March and August every year to take care of business matters.  This weekend we are celebrating 135 years since we were founded in Nauvoo, in 1874.  We also hosted an open house this afternoon so the public could see the new addition to our Benet House Retreat Center.

Over 135 years we have certainly had many wonderful experiences as a community.  You can learn about many of them in our Heritage Room.  It is so hard to imagine the first group of Sisters arriving in Nauvoo, Ill., with nothing … and finding very little.  They had a house to live in that doubled as the school that they opened after their arrival.  The conditions were remote and rough.

Here we are today on a beautiful acreage with comfortable facilities.  Our retreat house is welcoming and warm, and has drawn many, many people. So much so that we had to add an addition with a larger, more flexible meeting room!

As a community we have grown spiritually since moving here 8 years ago. It is a wonder how such different personalities, backgrounds, life experiences – including our newest members – merge into community.  The foundation is, of course, our love of Benedictine life as the way to seek God.

We, as a community, throughout our history have continued to Seek God in many ways throughout some challenging times.  We have always shared an overarching desire for God and to live our Benedicitine life in common.  I am so very grateful for the courageous women in our community who have dedicated their lives to the ‘we’ and not as much the ‘me’ over the course of the last 135 years.  It is these women who have allowed us, today, to make a difference here in the Rock Island area.  May God continue to bless us and those we serve.

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