The Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery recently welcomed and celebrated with women progressing through Initial Formation and also with Sister Lisa Maurer who made her perpetual monastic profession.
In a ceremony celebrated July 15, an Affiliate of the Community, Kathleen DelMonte from Tallahassee, Florida, made her request to be admitted to the Community as a Postulant, the first official stage of seeking membership. This ceremony takes place in the presence of the entire Community in the Gathering Place of the Chapel where the Affiliate states her request, receives the “Postulant” Benedictine cross and a set of the Community’s official prayer books for the Liturgy of the Hours along with an apron symbolizing the Benedictine motto: “Ora et labora” (Pray and Work) so that in all things God may be glorified. She is then entrusted to the care of the Postulant Director and together with the Community enters the Chapel for Evening Prayer.
The Postulant lives, prays, studies, and works with the Community for a period of six months up to two years during which time she and the Community discern the authenticity of her call and she prepares to enter the Novitiate.
TWO NEW NOVICES
On July 9, in a special ceremony held in the Gathering Place of the Chapel, two women who completed the minimum of six months or up to two years as Postulants, Elizabeth Farías from Early, Iowa, and Paule Barbeau from Surfside, South Carolina, (originally from Quebec, Canada) made their requests to enter the Novitiate, a one-year period of intense spiritual preparation for making monastic profession.
In the ceremony they stated their request and received the Benedictine medal and a copy of the Rule of Benedict which along with Scripture and other spiritual works they will study intensely during a year of prayer and work at the Monastery. They were then entrusted to the care of the Novice Director and processed with the Community into Chapel for Evening Prayer.
On becoming a Novice, the woman is called “Sister,” is given a patron saint to emulate and a name day. She may retain her own Baptismal name or select a new one. Elizabeth has chosen to keep her own name and selected St. Elizabeth of Portugal as her patron saint, whereas Paule requested to be named Sister Paule Pierre with Saints Peter and Paul as her patrons. At the successful completion of the year’s Novitiate, a Novice may request to make First Monastic Profession for a trial period of three years before requesting to make Perpetual Monastic Profession.
SISTER LISA MAURER MAKES HER PERPETUAL MONASTIC PROFESSION
July 11, 2012, Sister Lisa Maurer, OSB, professed her lifetime commitment of seeking God as a Benedictine at St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. In Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel filled with her Benedictine Sisters, family, and friends, Sister Lisa professed the threefold promise of Obedience, Stability, and Fidelity to Monastic Life. Msgr. Douglas L. Grams of the Diocese of New Ulm presided at the Eucharistic celebration of the Rite of Perpetual Monastic Profession. The beautiful Rite included the singing of the Litany of Saints, the signing of the Profession Document, the singing of the ancient prayer, Suscipe, and the presentation of the blessed ring which is the sign of Sister Lisa’s perpetual promise. Following Eucharist those present greeted Sister Lisa and joined together in Rockhurst Dining Room for a celebratory meal.
Originally from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, Sister Lisa came to St. Scholastica Monastery in 2007. She became a Novice on August 15, 2008, and made her First Monastic Profession in 2009. Sister Lisa’s first official ministry was as Pastoral Associate at the Parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth where she served for nearly three years. Sister Lisa is currently the Mission Integration Manager with the Benedictine Health System. Presently, Sister Lisa is pursuing a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. John’s University. She continues to be involved in many ministerial works within the Monastery and The College of St. Scholastica. Sister Lisa frequently visits parishes and schools giving presentations on various topics including vocations and Benedictine life.
Sister Lisa said, “I thank God for calling me to life as a Benedictine at St. Scholastica Monastery. I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this faith-filled community of Sisters. I am grateful to my family and friends for all their love and support. I pray that God blesses more women with the grace of a Monastic Vocation!”
Single, Catholic women who would like to learn more about a vocation to religious life are invited to arrange a visit to the Monastery or to participate in one of its informational, free weekend discernment retreats by contacting Vocation Director Sister Mary Catherine Shambour at 218-723-6646. The next retreat is scheduled for October 12-14, 2012.
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