A True Friend: “Treasure Beyond Price”

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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

A Benedictine Catholic Sister’s Story of “Yes”

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Benedictine Sisters process to Mass in their heavy serge habits.

By Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB

It was a hot August afternoon when Sisters Marilyn Hettinger, Sandra Mock and I arrived back at the Catechetical Center in Ladd, Illinois. We had been driving for 4 hours, returning from 2 months at the monastery in Nauvoo.

We had just changed out of our traditional wool habits and into our cotton work habits when the phone rang. Father William, OSB, told us that the local Presbyterian pastor’s wife had died. Could we please represent our Catholic community at her funeral?

Of course we said yes. We had enjoyed some great youth programs with our two Churches and knew that it was important to offer our prayerful support.

But changing back into our hot, heavy serge habits was quite a sacrifice. And the funeral was just an hour from then. Continue Reading

No more oatmeal bowls in the sink: Monastic life vs apartment life

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Sister Stefanie shares some thoughts about what Monastic Benedictine life has meant to her … and how it differs from life on her own.

What have you found to be most challenging about your new life?

Living with other people means I can’t let my oatmeal bowl sit in the sink till I get home from work in the afternoon! Continue Reading

Stability: Falling Down and Getting Up … Together

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By Sister Marlene Miller, OSB

Stability is one of 3 promises Catholic Benedictine women and men make at our final monastic profession.

The vow of stability is to the Sisters to whom we have promised to live, pray, support, and work with, in good times and bad, in sickness and health, into eternal life. Continue Reading

Waiting for a Sign? Maybe this is it!

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By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Make Time for Yourself: It’s Your Time” by Abbot Primate Notker Wolf has a lot to teach us about waiting and patience. These may not be your favorite subjects – they sure aren’t mine – but they’re important, so stick with me.

There are 2 kinds of waiting we can experience in life.

There is empty waiting, where there is no hope or anticipation for what is to come. There is no goal. Then there is fulfilled waiting. Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

The Season of Hope

magnolia-budEditor’s note: When we created our new website and blogs, we lost some important information, including the authors of our oldest posts. From time to time, we will repost them as authorless but heartfelt messages from the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery.

How often, this time of year, we hear people exclaim ‘isn’t it great winter is done and the buds are showing?’ It is almost like a common hello. Perhaps we ought to be saying ‘isn’t it great the Passion is over and Resurrection brings hope?’ I like to say that we are entering the Season of Hope. Continue Reading