St. Benedict’s Monastery in Taiwan is Home to many Cultures.

I am on my way to Japan to be with the Sisters in Muroran for their election of Prioress, I thought I would stop in Taiwan and visit the Sisters. They have quite a full house these days.

I met for the first time in person the newest member of the Benedictine house that is forming in China. I had experienced Sister Scholastica on Skype when last here in 2015 for their election and found she is even more charming in person. Sister Scholastica professed first vows in June, 2016 for two years. She is now visiting at the Motherhouse in Taiwan and experiencing an open and free experience of community living. She will return to China to rejoin Sister Austin her director and Sister Maria also a junior sister.

I met with Sister Scholastica and Taiwanese Novice Misericordia and we had a discussion about our unique Benedictine vows. It was a challenge in two languages with Novice Misericordia interpreting, but still it was profound and engaging. Novice Misericordia will profess first vows for two years on May 28, 2017.

The Sisters at St. Benedict Monastery in Taiwan have been in communication with students in Vietnam and over the last few years. Five women have joined them to experience monastic life. They are studying Chinese, which they tell me is similar to the Vietnamese language. They live, work and pray with the Sisters to see if they would like to become aspirants to this community, that which precedes postulancy.


Sister Scholastica (l.) and Novice Misericordia (r.)  (Photo by S. Kerry O’Reilly)

It is delightful to see the Sisters again, though I miss seeing Sister Luca. Taiwan is at the end of the rainy season, sunny one day and raining the next, in preparation for a lush and green summer.


Sister Kerry O’Reilly

Federation President


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