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


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

What Will Upset Your Whole Life … and Lead Somewhere Wonderful?


… something completely new and unexpected happens, something that upsets their hearts and their plans, something that will upset their whole life. They see the stone removed from before the tomb; they draw near, and they do not find the Lord’s body. It is an event that leaves them perplexed and hesitant, full of questions … (Pope Francis)

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Newness – change – challenges us. When out of our control, it often makes us fearful. As Pope Francis says, it can leave us perplexed and hesitant … full of questions.

This quote has stayed with me since I read it a couple of weeks ago. Continue Reading

Give 1 Single Day to God


By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Here’s your chance to say Yes to that nagging feeling that you should learn about life as a Catholic Sister.

Join other single Catholic women 18-50 years old who are coming to find out more.

You will enjoy prayer, meals and conversation with the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery.

You will learn about the process of discernment and the traditions of Benedictine life.

(Did you know, for example, that we live together under one roof, and pray together as a community 3 times a day?)

Join us May 21-22 and take the step you need to learn whether God really is calling you to religious life.

Who: You!

What: Catholic Sister for a Day

When: Sat. May 21, 9 am – Sun. May 22, 1 pm

Where: St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, IL

Fee: There is no cost; you are our guest!

Why: To be called to a lifestyle where we immerse ourselves in Jesus, as a community, is great joy for us. Learn whether it is right for you, too!

Don’t wait another day to learn more about who we are and how we live. Contact Sister Stefanie at (309) 283-2300 or

Look inside … and see for yourself


By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

I am re-reading Seeking God: The Rule of St. Benedict, by Esther de Waal, a book I read when I was a novice.

So far, this line has spoken to me: “…life in Christ means life through a succession of opening doors, not a life that is always static or safe.”

I sure appreciate that.

Like anyone else, my gut instinct is to seek safety, even when I SAY I want to say Yes to Christ.

Continue Reading

How to Be True to Yourself


By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

“We live in a world that talks about individualism and then expects everyone to conform – in styles, in priorities and in ideas.(Sister Joan Chittister, Following the Path)

How ironic, to herald individualism as a badge of honor but expect everyone to be just like us. Let me tell you, choosing religious life gets you off that wheel fast. Continue Reading