Our Benedictine 'Habit' of Seeking God Together

When the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery hung up their traditional habits and adopted the dress of the day nearly 40 years ago, they joined thousands of Catholic Sisters across the country who were doing the same thing.

Their decision was in response to the 2nd Vatican Council’s call to women religious to renew their congregations in the spirit of their founders … and St. Benedict had counseled that his followers wear the clothing of the day. Continue Reading

A peek into Catholic Sisters' history, lifestyles and communities

The Benedictines recently hosted a discernment experience that was amazing! Women from Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Kansas gathered to learn about some of the different communities that are available to them here in the Midwest. They also enjoyed a film that explores the role of – and stereotypes associated with – the habit. Finally, they toured a local version of the national Women and Spirit exhibit sponsored by LCWR. Here’s a recap of the experience. Continue Reading

Sisters' Identity a Matter of Reverence, Not Habit

By Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB

In a recent article on contemporary religious life, the author asked young Sisters, priests, and brothers what attracted them to religious life.  They answered: “The group’s clarity of vision, a common life, ministries that respond to absolute human needs, a common focus, and the fact that the gospel message and a life of prayer are the foundation for the group’s life and work together.”

For many years, we recognized Sisters by their religious habit. It symbolized, for many, dedication and being set apart for service. Continue Reading