Why I Became – and Remain – a Benedictine Sister

stef-and-kids-in-reading-cornerBy Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

After taking a few years to work and live my Catholic parish life, God sent me another message.

I was at church with my father and youngest sisters, when Sisters from a habited community filed in. The pastor introduced them, and they seemed very nice.

Several years before, I had discerned religious life for a time, even living with an apostolic community for a year. It wasn’t for me, so I returned to my parish and teaching.

After Mass my father asked me what I thought of those Sisters. I said they were interesting. Their main ministry was teaching, which was my own passion. As a Catholic school teacher, I was somewhat intrigued. My father sent me their website which I explored. Finally, I decided to visit them.

Many things appealed to me: their community life, their prayer life, their ministry. But they were very were very restricted regarding visits with family. I am close to my family and have a sister with special needs and did not feel I could do this.

I began again to look for the right community fit. I visited the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery and felt at home right away. I felt that this is where God was calling me to be.

Why do I stay?

I was asked this question recently by our communication director at the monastery.

My life as a Benedictine Sister of St. Mary Monastery has been a good life so far. It has its ups and downs, just like any path chosen in life. The up times are easy. The down times are a challenge … and a grace. That is, even though those down times are hard, there is a grace to them. They help me learn, grow, and grow in my commitment. They help me know in my heart and mind I continue to make the right decision. I am where I need to be.

My Love for God becomes my passion to Seek God with my life

The Benedictine prayer life – ora et labora – feeds me. We come together every day in chapel, in silence, in mutual support and love. We support one another in happiness, sorrow, frustration and joy. This mutuality of support allows me to take the Benedictine spirit out into the world and share it with others. These are the things that make me stay. These are the things that make me continue to say yes to God. Life is great!

The only way for you to discover whether this is right for you is to do what I did and come and see our home, our Sisters, our prayer life. Give me a call or send me an email: (309) 283-2300 or smacdonald@smmsisters.org.

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