Part 9: 3 Ways to Practice Hospitality

stef and child and play doh for fb

Sister Stefanie MacDonald plays with a young monastery guest.

Maintaining a welcoming stance is sometimes a little challenging. We don’t always feel like it!

Nevertheless, we are called to hospitality for good reason.

By greeting all as Christ, we keep our own hearts soft. We invite others to respond with openness and gentleness. And we extend God’s own welcome into the world.

Sister Stefanie MacDonald offers this 3-part method for practicing hospitality with everyone. Continue Reading

Part 7: Entertaining Angels (while caring for ourselves)

jackie on phone for fb

Sister Jackie Walsh says her ministry is serving Benet House guests and making them feel comfortable.

There are times when our hospitality will be stretched beyond what we feel we can offer.

It can be a fine line between others’ needs and our own.

“We have to be vulnerable enough to let someone else mess up our house for a while,” Sister Mary Core says. “To invite them in with mud on their shoes. Continue Reading

Part 6: Welcoming Jesus Christ in Ourselves

autumn grass against sky

Being in a hospitable relationship with God is the first step toward being able to offer hospitality to ourselves – and vice versa!

Welcoming Jesus – while also accepting Jesus’s welcome of us – leads us to practice honesty, acceptance and kindness to ourselves.

It leads us to love ourselves, as Jesus himself commanded in Matthew 22. Continue Reading

Part 5: Choosing Hospitality Despite Rejection

stef welcomes couple for fb

Sister Stefanie welcomes guests into the library of St. Mary Monastery.

Saying Good morning to someone who doesn’t return our greeting can trip our switch from hospitality to hostility in an instant.

Indeed, practicing hospitality can sometimes seem an exercise in self-flagellation. So why do it?

Because it’s good for us all. Continue Reading

Part 3: When the Stranger is You

margaret murphy welcoming children

Sister Margaret welcomes inner-city children to the monastery grounds for some outdoor fun.

Sister Margaret Murphy stood at the edge of a busy thoroughfare, looking at the restaurant on the other side.

She had promised to meet friends there, but the pavement looked icy. Traffic was heavy, too.

“I didn’t know what to do,” she says. “I couldn’t cross the street, but going back wasn’t an option. It was sleeting and the sidewalks were getting icy too.” Continue Reading

Part 2: I will be Me so You can be You

good samaritan stained glass from sacred heart charlotte grandfather cropped for web

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, he spoke with her.

This was remarkable in itself, as men simply did not interact publicly with women – let alone enemy Samaritans – at the time.

But there was more: Jesus accepted her, an adulterer reviled by many, for who she was. And he offered himself. Continue Reading

Part 1: Let All Guests Be Received as Christ


This is Part 1 of a 9-part story on the importance of practicing hospitality in our lives. We need to welcome others … ourselves … God. Join Sisters Catherine, Margaret, Charlotte, Marlene, Mary, Stefanie, Marianne, Helen and Rita as they share their wisdom.

All summer long, guests arrived at the Cleary farm.

Cousins came to ride the ponies. Aunts and uncles to visit with the parents.

Meals were prepared, served and cleaned up after. Beds were changed and floors were swept.

On the first of September Mrs. Cleary said, “This is the first day this summer we have not had guests.” Continue Reading

Radical Hospitality: A 9-Part Love Song

welcome sign smm

Today we begin a 9-part story – it’s a love song, really – about practicing hospitality in our lives.

It’s about how – and why – to welcome ourselves … to welcome one other … to welcome God.

It will change our hearts in more profound ways than we can predict.

Join Sisters Catherine, Margaret, Charlotte, Marlene, Mary, Stefanie, Marianne, Helen and Rita as they share their wisdom.

Part 1: Let All Guests Be Received as Christ

Part 2: I Will Be Me so You Can Be You

Part 3: When the Stranger is You

Part 4: When Fear Guides Us

Part 5: Choosing hospitality despite rejection

Part 6: Welcoming Jesus Christ in ourselves

Part 7: Entertaining Angels (while caring for ourselves)

Part 8: Put a Candle in Your Window

Part 9: 3 Ways to Practice Hospitality