The Monastic Congregation of St. Benedict is Represented at 2022 LCWR Assembly

[St. Louis, Missouri] The president and two prioresses of the Monastic Congregation of St. Benedict attended the 2022 national assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in St. Louis, MO, August 9-12. Sister Nancy Bauer, MCSB president, Sister Susan Rudolph, prioress of Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN, and Sister Nicole Kunze, prioress of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, ND, were among the 700 women religious who participated in the first in-person LCWR assembly since 2019.

            The theme of the gathering was “Mystical Wisdom: Following the Spirit’s Beckoning.” Theologians Sister Constance FitzGerald, OCD and Dr. M. Shawn Copeland launched the exploration of mystical wisdom for these challenging times in a set of two conversations.

            Other highlights of the assembly included the LCWR members’ three-year recommitment to an assembly resolution to use their collective voice, resources, and influence to establish justice at the intersection of racism, forced migration, and the climate crisis.

            During the assembly the members elected new leadership for the organization. Sister Maureen Geary, OP, a councilor of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Dominicans, was selected as the president-elect. She joins Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, who will serve as president for 2022-23, and Sister Jane Herb, IHM, who will serve as immediate past-president. Elected to the national board were Sisters Laura Bregar, OSU; Nkechi Iwuoha, PHJC; Patty Johnson, CSJ; and Sean Peters, CSJ.

            The Outstanding Leadership Award honored 2020 recipient Sister Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, past president of the National Black Sisters Conference and current leader of her community; and 2022 recipient Sister Pat Murray, IBVM, current director of the International Union of Superiors General.

            Recordings of the LCWR presidential address, the two conversations between Sister Constance and Dr. Copeland, and the tributes to and responses from Sister Patty and Sister Pat as well as some of the printed texts of presentations are available now on the LCWR website. The website also has a four-minute video and photographs of assembly activities and participants.

            The three participants from the Monastic Congregation of St. Benedict enjoyed an evening with prioresses in attendance from the Monastic Congregation of St. Scholastica and the Federation of St. Gertrude.

Election and Installation of President

The Monastic Congregation of St. Benedict held a Chapter meeting in July 2022.  At that time, prioresses and delegates of the member monasteries elected Sister Nancy Bauer as president for a six-year term.    Sister Kerry O’Reilly completed her term.  The Chapter will meet again in 2025.
Sister Nancy (left) was installed as president of the Monastic Congregation of St. Benedict on July 24. She is pictured here with outgoing president Sister Kerry. Sister Nancy and Sister Kerry are both members of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. We are grateful for Sister Kerry for her seven years of dedication to the monasteries of our congregation and for Sister Nancy’s yes to serving as president for the next six years. May God bless them both.

Mother Benedicta Riepp

Mother Benedicta (Sybilla) Riepp, OSB

Foundress of Benedictine Women in America

Born in Waal, Bavaria, Germany in 1825

Came to Pennsylvania from St. Walburg Abbey in Eichstatt, Bavaria in 1852

Arrived in St. Cloud, Minnesota in 1858

By the time of her death in 1862, Benedictine convents had been founded in St. Marys and Erie, Pennsylvania; Newark, New Jersey, and St. Cloud, Minnesota; Covington, Kentucky; and Chicago, Illinois.

Saint Benedict’s Monastery: Two Benedictine sisters will make their perpetual monastic profession in July

Sister Bridgette Powers and Sister Laura Suhr

Saint Benedict’s Monastery will welcome two new members when Sister Bridgette Powers and Sister Laura Suhr make perpetual monastic profession on Monday, July 11, 2022, the Feast of Saint Benedict. Making perpetual monastic profession means that S. Bridgette and S. Laura will commit to a lifelong journey of seeking God according to the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict in community, including commitment to stability, the monastic way of life, obedience, celibate chastity, and monastic poverty. The public is invited to celebrate this joyous occasion with the monastic community. The Rite of Perpetual Monastic Profession and Eucharist will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel. For more information, please call 320-363-7100 or visit