My Favorite Parts of Being a Sister

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My Favorite Parts of Being a Sister

My favorite part of being a Sister is living in community. Living in close quarters with people of different backgrounds and generations does get irksome sometimes, but with our profession of stability, we promise to each other that we will stay together and work out our differences. Sometimes that takes longer than expected, but we don’t simply throw in the towel and walk away. The ring we all wear is a symbol of how seriously we take this commitment. We believe that is how true community is formed.

Even though we share life together and have our mutual commitment, we all have different opinions on most everything! How many different ways can you imagine to wash a kitchen countertop? Probably more than you think. Some Sisters are conservative, some are liberal, but most fall somewhere in between. Sometimes people will ask me, “What do the Sisters think about _______?” That is tough to answer because of our various opinions. There are some positions we hold as a group because of our religion or our commitment; many of these are on our website. These are articulated by our prioress, Sr. Beverly Raway, or a Sister she appoints.

One part of life in community is sharing our things. For example, we have a small fleet of cars. If I need to go to Target to buy socks, I sign out a car for a short length of time. When I return, someone else is able to use the car.

I grew up in a community of a family. I then lived in a college community and then a university community. The town where I lived before coming to the Monastery was a community. Each of those was an important community that had its ups and downs but this Monastery community is where I have grown more as a person. It is here where I found the incredibly beautiful, incredibly flexible, incredibly long-lived Rule of St. Benedict. It is here where I have learned to structure my day around prayer. It is here in this community where I have learned to love from my heart, to love from a place of stability, to love without fear.

Ultimately, this is what a vocation is all about, life with a deep intention. Yes, you can have a vocation as an engineer or historian, but that is not the whole of life. Vocation is what you do with your whole life. For some, this means marriage and family. This is then where you would learn to love from your heart, from a place of stability, and without fear. Some are called to live a dedicated single life. The only thing required is that intention to love.

There are some people that St. Benedict in his rule calls gyrovagues. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it! They go from place to place, only staying there for a short while and then moving on, only following their appetites and whims. It is this kind of life that St. Benedict exhorts us to not follow.


Rule of St Benedict Frontispiece
Rule of St Benedict Frontispiece

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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict