Welcome ようこそ Bienvenido 欢迎

MemriseIn a little more than 10 weeks, delegates from all of our monasteries will be together. We speak four languages. Yet we want to feel united in one Federation.

There is still time to learn at least a few phrases from the three languages that are not our native tongue.  Memrise is a free resource that will help us do that, no matter which language is our native tongue. (The Pro version has more resources and charges a fee.)

Choose your native language in the upper right hand corner.  Choose the language(s) you want to work on in in the drop-down menu, or from images that appear on the screen. The lessons are simple. They focus on hearing and speaking, especially if you choose a “no script” set of lessons.

For sisters with smartphones, there are free iPhone and Android apps so you can practice on the go. Or you can work with the website.


在十多个星期的时间里,我们所有修道院的代表都会在一起。 我们讲四种语言。 然而,我们希望在一个联盟中感到团结。

还有时间去学习三种语言中至少有一些不是我们母语的短语。 Memrise是一个免费的资源,可以帮助我们做到这一点,不管我们的母语是哪种语言。 (Pro版本有更多资源并收取费用。)在右上角选择您的母语。 在下拉菜单中选择想要使用的语言,或从屏幕上显示的图像中选择要使用的语言。 课程很简单。 他们专注于听和说,特别是如果您选择了“无脚本”套课程。

对于拥有智能手机的姐妹们来说,这里有免费的iPhone和Android应用程序,您可以随时随地练习。 或者你可以使用网站。


En poco más de 10 semanas, los delegados de todos nuestros monasterios estarán juntos. Hablamos cuatro idiomas. Sin embargo, queremos sentirnos unidos en una Federación.

Todavía hay tiempo para aprender al menos algunas frases de los tres idiomas que no son nuestra lengua materna. Memrise es un recurso gratuito que nos ayudará a hacer eso, sin importar qué idioma sea nuestra lengua nativa. (La versión Pro tiene más recursos y cobra una tarifa).

Elija su idioma nativo en la esquina superior derecha. Elija los idiomas en los que desea trabajar en el menú desplegable o de las imágenes que aparecen en la pantalla. Las lecciones son simples Se enfocan en escuchar y hablar, especialmente si eliges un conjunto de lecciones “sin guiones”.

Para las hermanas con teléfonos inteligentes, hay aplicaciones gratuitas de iPhone y Android para que pueda practicar sobre la marcha. O puede trabajar con el sitio web.


10週間も経たないうちに、すべての修道院の代表者が集まります。 私たちは4つの言語を話します。 しかし、我々は1つの連盟で団結していると感じたい。

私たちの母国語ではない3つの言語から、少なくともいくつかのフレーズを学ぶ時間はまだあります。 Memriseは、私たちの母国語である言語にかかわらず、私たちがそれを行うのに役立つ無料のリソースです。 (Pro版にはより多くのリソースがあり、料金がかかります。)

右上にあなたの母国語を選んでください。 プルダウンメニューで、または画面に表示される画像から、作業する言語を選択します。 レッスンは簡単です。 彼らは聴覚と会話に重点を置いています。特に、「スクリプトなし」のレッスンを選択すると、

スマートフォンを持つ姉妹には、無料のiPhoneアプリとAndroidアプリがあり、外出先でも練習できます。 または、ウェブサイトで作業することもできます。

Translation 翻译 Traducción 翻訳

Use the dropdown menu on the right side of the screen to choose your language

Our new WordPress blog offers automatic Google translations. These are far from perfect because they are computer-made. Google Translate is easily confused by idioms.  However, the automatic translation is usually good enough to understand something of what was written.  

Translation is available into dozens of languages, perhaps some you may not have heard or seen before.  The image below shows the current list of Google Translate options, and they are updated often.

We have been an international federation. Now we are an international blog as well.

Japanese:

Googleの新しいWordPressブログでは、自動Google翻訳が提供されています。 これらはコンピュータで作られているため、完全ではありません。 Google翻訳はイディオムによって簡単に混乱します。 しかし、自動翻訳は通常、書かれたものを理解するのに十分です。

翻訳は何十もの言語に対応しています。 下の画像はGoogle翻訳オプションの現在のリストを示しており、頻繁に更新されています。

私たちは国際連合です。 今私たちは国際的なブログです。

Spanish:

Nuestro nuevo blog de WordPress ofrece traducciones automáticas de Google. Estos están lejos de ser perfectos porque son hechos por computadora. Google Translate es fácilmente confundido por los idiomas. Sin embargo, la traducción automática es generalmente lo suficientemente buena como para entender algo de lo que se escribió.

La traducción está disponible en docenas de idiomas, tal vez algunos que no han escuchado o visto antes. La siguiente imagen muestra la lista actual de las opciones de Google Traductor y se actualizan con frecuencia.

Hemos sido una federación internacional. Ahora somos un blog internacional también.

Chinese:

我们的新WordPress博客提供自动Google翻译。 这些都不是完美的,因为它们是电脑制作的。 Google翻译很容易被成语所困惑。 然而,自动翻译通常足以理解所写的内容。

翻译有几十种语言,也许有些你可能没有听到或看过。 下面的图片显示当前的Google翻译选项列表,它们经常更新。

我们一直是国际联合会。 现在我们也是一个国际博客。

St. Placid Priory – Visitation

Northwestern United States is home to forests of tall sturdy trees, mountains, round and jagged, bodies of water full of life and St. Placid Priory, home to our Sisters. We completed the Visitation process with the Sisters in early September. The visitators were Sister Ramona Varela, BSPA, from Tucson and Sister Linda Soler, OSB, St. Paul’s Monastery and President of the Federation, Sister Kerry O’Reilly.

S. Michaela Hedican honored by OSV

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Sister Michaela Hedican of St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, MN

Sister Michaela Hedican, Prioress of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN and former President of the Federation of St. Benedict, was honored by Our Sunday Visitor.  She was named one of the outstanding Catholics of the Year 2016 for her response, along with St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler, for rapid and compassionate response to the ISIS-related stabbing in Crossroads Mall and on-going work to strengthen Muslim-Christian relationships in the region.

Our Sunday Visitor chose a number of well- and less-known figures, honoring them for their special qualities of leadership.

Congratulations, Sister Michaela!

Basilica of St Benedict destroyed in new Norcia earthquake

Norcia, Italy was shaken by another large earthquake today, magnitude 6.6.  The monks of Norcia are safe, but the Basilica has been utterly destroyed.  They ask for our prayers, not only for them but for the people of the area. While suffering alongside them, the monks are also trying to pray and minister to them.

News footage shows drone views of Amatrice and Norcia. As the image below shows, the Cathedral and Basilica in Norcia have been destroyed.

Town plaza in Norcia, October 30, 2016
Town plaza in Norcia, October 30, 2016

Reports of this third quake (the previous just 2 days before) in the area in just two months indicate just how difficult this is for the people of central Italy as well as the monks:

Norcia’s 14th-century Basilica of Saint Benedict, built on the reputed birthplace of the Catholic saint, was reduced to rubble.

The church is looked after by an international community of Benedictine monks based in a local monastery which attracts some 50,000 pilgrims every year.

“It was like a bomb went off,” the town’s deputy mayor, Pierluigi Altavilla told Rai News 24.

“We are starting to despair. There are too many quakes now, we can’t bear it anymore.”

Damage was also reported at St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, one of the four cathedrals of the Holy See.  It is also home to and maintained by a community of Benedictines.

Images from a pilgrimage to Norcia with a group of Benedictine Sisters in 2010

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Monastic Institute 2016 Online

two photos, Abbot John on left, Prioress Michaela on the right
Abbot John Klassen and Prioress Michaela Hedican

The 2016 Monastic Institute took place in July of this year, hosted by St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville with a day at St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN. The focus was on “Monastic Profession” and the meaning that our promises have in shaping the rest of our lives. Abbot John Klassen and Prioress Michaela Hedican shared the presentation time in each session, weaving wonderfully varied and yet somehow coherent patterns around the theme of each of the talks.

Several sisters and two oblates we able to attend the Institute.  All of us were utterly taken with the talks, and their applicability for oblates as much as for professed monastics.  The links below should successfully take you to the talks, while the little sound icon (if it shows up on your computer) will just play the particular talk through your browser.  Most are about an hour in length.

Audio recordings now online

The audio recordings of the talks are now available online on the Monastic Institute 2016 web page.

July 3, 2016 (Sunday):
Where We Have Been — Where We Are Going: Today’s Context for Monastic Profession 

July 4, 2016 (Monday):
Baptism and the Paschal Mystery as Lived Out in Monastic Profession: Part I
Baptism and the Paschal Mystery as Lived Out in Monastic Profession: Part II  

Monastic Profession: A Call to Conversatio in the Rule of Benedict

July 5, 2016  (Tuesday):
The Spiritual Significance of Dynamic Stability 
Entering into Kenosis: Monastic Obedience  

July 6, 2016 (Wednesday):
Entering into Kenosis: Relational Fidelity in Monastic Life  

Entering into Kenosis: Monastic Simplicity  

July 7, 2016 (Thursday):
Monastic Profession as a Way to Fullness in Christ

Benedictine Monks of Norcia Affected by Earthquake

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People have spent the morning in the open square in front of the basilica in Norcia, away from unstable buildings (Picture: EPA from Metro )

As the world has heard, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit central Italy early Wednesday morning.  It was centered about six miles from the town of Norcia in Umbria, which is well-known to Benedictine as the birthplace of Saints Benedict and Scholastica.  The monks and their guest are safe — they were already up (at 3:30am!) for the first prayers of the Feast of St. Bartholomew.  However, after assessing the extensive damage to the basilica and monastery, the community relocated to Rome.  Here’s the message on their website:

After a careful study of the developing seismic situation in our region of Italy, as a precautionary measure, we have decided to temporarily transfer our community to Rome.

The monks of the international Benedictine headquarters at St. Anselmo in Rome have kindly offered our monks a place to remain during this period of uncertainty. We would be grateful if you added the monks of St. Anselmo to your prayers for their generosity during our time of need.

While the community is in Rome, two monks will remain in Norcia to keep watch over the basilica and monitor the developing situation. They will avoid danger by sleeping in tents outside the city walls.

We strive to maintain the order of the Rule even during the most difficult of circumstances, and this transfer, while disruptive, will ensure the safety of our monks and grant us all the peace to continue to practice our monastic life.

Please continue to pray for our community, and consider giving a gift to help our effort to rebuild.

Benedictine Sisters around the world are holding these monks, and all the people in central Italy, in prayer.

Training for Election Facilitators

Sisters Linda Soler, Lisa Maurer, Kerry O’Reilly, Edith Bogue, Sharon Nohner

Nineteen Benedictine sisters from three Federations and the Congregation of Missionary Benedictine Sisters gathered at St. Walburga Monastery in Elizabeth, NJ to be trained as facilitators for election of monastic leaders (prioresses). Three experienced facilitators – Sr Cecilia Dwyer (St Benedict Monastery, Bristow VA), Sr Mary Catherine Wenstrup (St Walburg Monastery, Covington KY), and Sr Joella Kidwell (Monastery Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand IN) – organized the three days of training.  The participants studied – in detail -the document Discernment and Election of a Prioress in the Benedictine Tradition, revised by the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses in 2016, as well the theology and philosophy of discernment. They raised many practical questions, and discussed unusual situations and issues. The leaders shared dozens of ideas, stories and tips for organizing and carrying out the facilitation process and coordinating with Federation Presidents. They also suggested next steps so these sisters can gain experience in facilitation.

The workshop was organized and sponsored by the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses who recognized the need to enlarge the pool of trained and experienced facilitators.
Five sisters from the Federation of St Benedict participated in the workshop: President Kerry O’Reilly, two members of the Federation Council (Sisters Lisa Mauree and Edith Bogue), and Sisters Linda Soler (St Paul’s Monastery) and Sister Sharon Nohner (St Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, MN).

2016 News – The first half of the year

The Prioress of the monastic community is spiritual leader, guide and planner.  Each monastery elects a prioress through a discernment process and also determines the length and number of terms. Three monasteries of the Federation had elections this year.

Saint Benedict Monastery in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sr Emmanuela & Sr Kerry, Federation President
Sr Emmanuel Hsiang & Sr Kerry O’Reilly, Federation President

The Sisters met in discernment February 24 and 25 facilitated by Sister Kerry O’Reilly, President of the Federation, and Sister Josue Behnen of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, MN.  The canonical election was held February 26, 2016 and SISTER EMMANUEL HSIANG was elected to a second 6-year term.  She was blessed by the community, oblates and friends.  It was particularly festive with the presence of their Junior Sister, Sister Maria Sung, from their mission house.  The community celebrated with a festive meal and entertainment by the newest members of the community.

When visiting Taiwan the flight connects in Tokyo, Japan so a visit to the Sisters at Saint Benedict’s Monastery, Muroran, Japan was in order!

St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, IL

Sr. Sandra Brunenn (Photo courtesy of St. Mary Monastery)

also had a re-election on April 3, 2016.  SISTER SANDRA BRUNENN was elected by her community to serve a second term of four years.  The Benedictine way is to take time for discernment – creating an atmosphere within the house and within the community members of quiet and deep listening.  Who is God calling to leadership at this time?  What are community members hearing?  What can they share about the Sisters raised up for consideration for leadership?  A Formal election takes place only after the community seems to develop a broad consensus.

Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, ND

Sr Nicole Kunze
Sr Nicole Kunze (Photo courtesy of Annunciation Monastery)

Following two re-elections, Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, ND elected SISTER NICOLE KUNZE to a first term of 4 years on April 9.  A community begins thinking about the future long before the election as it prepares Direction Statements.  The Sisters ask themselves what is our hope for the future and where is our energy for that future?  Where would we like to be four years from now?  As they discuss that and formulate general statements it becomes a basis for what kind of skills and gifts would be help move the statements to reality.

Conference of Benedictine Prioresses

The position of prioress is challenging and can be overwhelming even as it has rewards.  Benedictine Prioresses from around the country meet once a year for sharing and support and quiet time together.  This year’s gathering was held in January at Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana.

Gathering of Professed Benedictines 55 and Under

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Gathering of Professed Benedictines 55 and Under (Photo courtesy of Yankton Benedictines)

One privilege of a Federation President is getting to know many Sisters from other Federations.  The Sisters from all the Federations and Congregation 55 years old and Under meet every three years and 2016 was one of those years.  The presidents are invited to attend and share thoughts.  It is a privilege.  The energy was high as Sisters recalled formation gatherings they shared, as the theme of Collaboration was explored by Sister Aileen Bankemper of St. Walburga Monastery, and time was given to explore Indianapolis, IN where our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, is located.

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Federation / Congregation Leaders at the 55 and Under Gathering: back: Sister Kerry O’Reilly (St. Benedict), Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie (St. Scholastica); front: Sister Joella Kidwell, (St. Gertrude), Sister Pia Portman, (Missionary Benedictines) (Photo: Federation of St. Scholastica)

Prioresses and Presidents Gather for annual Conference

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Benedictine Prioresses and Federation / Congregation Presidents meeting in February 2016 at Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, IN

Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, IN graciously hosted 46 of us at the annual CBP meeting and retreat. It is a beautiful place to gather and even with renovations at their retreat center, we were welcomed and housed in comfort.

All the prioresses from across the United States meet annually in addition to Monasteries that have developed in Canada and Mexico from these American houses. It is a time to support each other, renew friendships and develop new ones. It is a time to dialogue about the challenges of Benedictine living today.

In addition, time is taken for quiet retreat. This year the group was delighted to have Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB of Conception Abbey, Conception, MO and Sister Karen Joseph, OSB of Monastery Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand, IN with them. The theme of this pre-Lent retreat was the Paschal Mystery with each presenter offering insights from their perspective and their own reflection.

“Although the life of a person is in a land
full of thorns and weeds,
there is always a space in which the good seed
can grow.
You have to trust God.”

Pope Francis