By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of Catholic Sister you should be, don’t miss your chance to find out!
Our annual One-Stop Vocation Retreat brings you together with Sisters from a range of Upper Mississippi River Valley communities.
It will be held over Labor Day weekend at St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island.
Now in its 4th year, this retreat has attracted women ranging in age from 20 to 50, and hailing from locations as far away as Florida.
You’ll meet Sisters from cloistered Trappistine and Carmelite communities, the apostolic Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sisters, the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, and the monastic Benedictine Sisters, among others.
You’ll learn about the prayer life, community life and ministries of these different groups.
For example, my community has elements of both apostolic and cloistered life. We live together under one roof. We come to chapel together at least three times a day for Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist. We eat and have leisure together.
Benedictines were founded to seek God together, but we go out for ministry. Take me: I am a Catholic preschool teacher but come home for prayers and meals.
Apostolic communities such as the Davenport Sisters of Humility and the Clinton Franciscans often were founded for particular ministries, from health care to education. Today, however, many serve in other ministries than those for which they were founded. They typically live in apartments in groups of twos and threes.
Cloistered communities such as the Eldridge Carmelites and the Dubuque Trappistines not only live and pray together, they also work together, leaving their enclosures only for special purposes such as doctors’ appointments.