Upgrading our Lives

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

“‘My eyes will be upon you and my ears [will be attentive] to your prayer.’ … The message is crystal clear. To the extent that, by God’s Grace, we upgrade our lives, God come closer to us.”

I must say I love that Michael Casey used the word upgrade. We use it to describe our new homes, our new cars, our new phones. What about our lives? Continue Reading

Sign on the dotted line …

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

When I was visiting my aunt in Naperville, Ill., she asked me how the Benedictine Sisters recruit. Was it like the military?

I was happy to say no. We don’t stay at the door until someone signs. We don’t give the hard sell with out telling the truth that there will be difficult times. We don’t offer uniforms. Continue Reading

A peek into Catholic Sisters' history, lifestyles and communities

The Benedictines recently hosted a discernment experience that was amazing! Women from Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Kansas gathered to learn about some of the different communities that are available to them here in the Midwest. They also enjoyed a film that explores the role of – and stereotypes associated with – the habit. Finally, they toured a local version of the national Women and Spirit exhibit sponsored by LCWR. Here’s a recap of the experience. Continue Reading

Feeding young bodies and spirits: A Benedictine ministry

Sister Mary Core’s parish youth group recently spent a week teaching, guiding and playing with young kids in Davenport’s inner city. Here’s a peek into one of their afternoons, as part of occasional series of stories about Benedictine Sisters’ ministries.

Walk through the front door of this tiny aluminum sided house and you see kids of every age playing games, coloring, laughing and squabbling. You hear a din of voices. And today you smell … cake. Continue Reading

Sisters seek 'Women and Spirit' visitors

Photos and story by Leon Lagerstam, Dispatch-Argus

Sisters from religious communities along the Upper Mississippi River Valley stretching from the Quad-Cities to LaCrosse, Wis., are featured in the “Women and Spirit” display that’s open for public viewing from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays this month at Christ the King Church,3209 60th St.

The portable display was created a couple of years ago as a companion piece to the national “Women and Spirit” exhibit.

“It’s a valuable piece of history,” Sister Marlene Miller said. “It shows the women we have followed, and who built the foundation for the rest of us to follow.” Continue Reading

How I heard my call to religious life

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Lately I have had a number of people ask how I knew I had a call to religious life. Boy, I always find this hard to explain. I can explain how I chose this particular community. It felt like home; I was comfortable. But the call itself? That’s hard to articulate.

Michael Casey’s book, The Road to Eternal Life, helps. He says, “First of all, we are invited to ask ourselves, ‘Am I the sort of person who is truly seeking the fullness of life and happiness?’ and to hear what answer to this question resounds in the depths of our hearts.”

Wow, he’s right. But how do we get there? How do we hear the answer? Continue Reading

A look at some real Women and Spirit

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

This weekend, we took a group of women looking at religious life to the local Women and Spirit exhibit. We – and they – had a wonderful and interesting time! Here’s what the Women & Spirit website says about the now-complete national exhibit:

“‘WOMEN & SPIRIT: Catholic Sisters in America’ was a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in association with Cincinnati Museum Center.

“It revealed the mystery behind a small group of innovative American women who helped shape the nation’s social and cultural landscape. Continue Reading