What kind of woman makes a good Benedictine Sister? We asked Sister Mary Core, OSB to share her thoughts with us. Take a look, and email us if her answers resonate for you. We look forward to hearing from you!
Q. What kind of woman is best-suited for Benedictine life?
A. Religious life is for emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy women. We are not here to hide from the world.
A key to Benedictine monasticism, in particular, is that it is not a call to participate in a ministry, per se, but a call to seek God. You don’t become a Benedictine because you want to teach or pursue medicine or social work, although you might do any one of those – or other – ministries. Benedictine life is rooted in community and prayer.
Q. Can you characterize any personality type that is particularly well-suited to Benedictine life?
A. We are not all cut from the same cloth at St. Mary Monastery. There are introverts and extroverts here. We all have different hobbies, from gardening and reading to photography and music. That’s partly what makes community life so rich for us. We all bring our own gifts and blessings, and we all value those things in one another.
We’re all on this journey together, whether we’re old or young, of high or average intelligence, limited or gifted in any one area. We come together and appreciate all our gifts, supporting one another wherever needed.
Q. If an inquirer loved her ministry – say, teaching – but felt called to monastic life, would she be able to continue her teaching?
A. Her first year, as a Postulant, would include a job or ministry compatible with monastic life – as teaching tends to be – along with time spent in study and in getting to know the community. Her second year, called the Canonical Novice year, would be spent in full-time study of Benedictinism and theology, along with reflection on her call to monastic life. Ultimately, she and the community would discern together her next ministry.
The God we seek is the God who calls us to greatness and to be all that God intends for us to be. It’s a lifelong journey, rooted in community and prayer.
When I hear the bells ring, I know that every member of the community is putting down whatever she is doing and heading to the chapel for prayers. We do this together morning, noon and evening. If that’s our priority, then our ministries – what we are called to do for our work – will flow from our loving prayer. That’s Benedictinism.