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”


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

Celebrating Loved Ones on All Saints Day


The Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, celebrate All Saints Day by remembering the Sisters who have gone before us, as well as all of our other loved ones.

By Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB

“Happy Feast Day!” I called out to my grumpy brother.

It was All Saints Day, and he was feeling a bit grouchy. I, on the other hand, was feeling joyful. All Saints Day is a lovely feast day! Continue Reading