What Do Benedictine Sisters Do?

The Catholic Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery work in the garden at St. Joseph the Worker House

Recently one of our Facebook fans asked us to talk about our ministries. It’s actually a complicated request!

The Benedictines weren’t founded to teach, care for the poor or nurse the ill, as most apostolic orders were. They were founded by St. Benedict to seek God.

Actually, we do some of both. That is, our primary ministry is prayer: We pray together three times daily at Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist. We live together in a monastery. We enjoy meals and leisure together every day.

But we are not cloistered. We have outside ministries. Several Sisters work in education and several in parishes. We have a canon lawyer and a social worker. We have Hospice and hospital volunteers. Several Sisters help at St. Joseph House, a residential shelter for homeless women and their children (we also help in the community garden planted for the house, above).

The rhythm of a Benedictine day hinges on our common prayer. Our schedule typically looks like this:

  • 6:30 am: Lauds
  • 8 am: Eucharist
  • 9-Noon: Ministry
  • 12-1 pm: Noonday Prayer and Lunch
  • 1-5 pm: Ministry
  • 5 pm: Vespers, Dinner, Community Activities and Leisure

We love this life! Coming home to the support of our Sisters every day, praying together, seeking together: it’s exactly right for a Benedictine spirit. Come experience it for yourself, and begin to discern whether it’s right for you!

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