A True Friend: “Treasure Beyond Price”

hands cropped

By Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; you who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance her worth. (Sirach 6: 16-17)

Recently, I found myself thinking about a Benedictine Sister who became a “sturdy shelter” for me as a schoolgirl in Moline and, later, a Sister myself. Continue Reading

The Monastic Heart

queen annes lace and lake

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

What distinguishes monastic religious life from apostolic religious life includes some straightforward lifestyle differences. Monastics pray, live, and often work together. Apostolic Sisters usually do not, at least not as a whole group.

More difficult to articulate is something often referred to as the “monastic heart,” a state of being that embraces silence and a listening stance. Whether you are married, single or a Benedictine Sister, having a monastic heart helps engage you in right relationship with all creation.

When I was living and teaching in Chicago years ago, the constant noise and congestion of the place got old fast. I couldn’t wait to get home to Dubuque, Iowa, to hear … nothing. I couldn’t wait to rest my senses. Continue Reading

Part 2: We Fall Down, We Get Up

bleeding heart and autumn leaf

There’s lots of talk about resurrection this time of year, from the good news of the Easter story to what we witness outdoors in every new flower. But what does it really mean to us, in a practical way? The Catholic Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery collaborated on this 10-part answer to the question of How to Practice Resurrection Every Day. We will publish it in installments over the next couple of weeks!

Still, like dust, I’ll rise. – Maya Angelou

New life takes place every moment of our lives, literally.

With each breath we ingest new atoms that are incorporated into our very cells. Researchers estimate that we replace 98 percent of the atoms in our body ever year. Continue Reading

Part 1: Rising Up, Again and Again

mary on bench looking at field

There’s lots of talk about resurrection this time of year, from the good news of the Easter story to what we witness outdoors in every new flower. But what does it really mean to us, in a practical way? The Catholic Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery collaborated on this 10-part answer to the question of How to Practice Resurrection Every Day. We will publish it in installments over the next couple of weeks!

Ove was deeply wounded. His cherished wife was dead. His job was eliminated. All love, purpose and hope now gone, the irascible 59-year-old decided to do the only logical thing: kill himself. Continue Reading

How to Practice Resurrection Every Day

monastery sunrise for web

There’s lots of talk about resurrection this time of year, from the good news of the Easter story to what we witness outdoors in every new flower.

But what does it really mean to us, in a practical way?

The Catholic Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery collaborated on this 10-part answer to the question of How to Practice Resurrection Every Day.

Part 1: Rising Up, Again and Again

Part 2: We fall down, we get up

Part 3: Accept Your Cross

Part 4: Get down off your cross!

Part 5: Roll your stone out of the way

Part 6: Recognize the Risen One

Part 7: Practice, practice, practice

Part 8: Path to freedom

Part 9: Heaven is closer than we think

Part 10: Resurrected life is now

How Being a Catholic Sister Helps Me Help Them

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By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

I have the privilege of teaching preschool in a Catholic school that serves middle- to low-income families. Our families are mostly Latino (over 50%), and the same percentage of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

It’s a privilege to serve families of diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds. Continue Reading