Sister Kathleen Del Monte made her First Monastic Profession on Friday, November 20, 2015, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel after evening prayers.
The duration of First Monastic Profession is three to six years. It is a time of fuller immersion in the Benedictine way of life, a time for the Sister to deepen her spirituality, to study the Rule of St. Benedict and the Monastic Profession, and to become more fully integrated into the Community, which in this case, is St. Scholastica Monastery of Duluth, Minnesota.
The Rite of First Monastic Profession was presided over by Prioress Beverly Raway. Sister Kathleen’s witnesses were Sister Claudia Cherro and Sister Luella Wegscheid. Her novitiate director was Sister Barbara Higgins.
S. Beverly: “Sister Kathleen, by water and the Holy Spirit, you are already dedicated to God’s service. Are you resolved to be more closely united to God by the new bond of First Monastic Profession?”
S. Kathleen: “I am resolved.”
S. Beverly: Sister Kathleen, in your desire to follow Christ, are you resolved to live a life of stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience in the Benedictine Community?
S. Kathleen: “I am resolved.”
S. Beverly: “God, our Creator, look upon your beloved, S. Kathleen, who is resolved to dedicate her life to you by making First Monastic Profession in the presence of the people of God assembled here this evening. Mercifully grant that she may witness to your glory and further your loving plan of salvation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Sister Kathleen read aloud her formula of profession for all to hear, When she finished, she approached the altar, laid the formula upon it, and signed it.
Sister Beverly then gave Sister Kathleen a Benedictine pin and also a Benedictine cross to wear around her neck.
S. Beverly: “Receive this Benedictine pin of St. Scholastica Monastery and this Benedictine cross, and show by your monastic life what you have wholeheartedly promised.”
The prioress then blessed Sister Donna Schroeder who will be her new formation director.
Sister Beverly: “Ever-living and ever-loving God, bless Sister Donna. Make her strong in faith, hope, and love. In your compassion and love help her as she driects and guides Sister Kathleen. May she inspire all with whom she works. Give her widsom and fill her heart with joy and peace. . . .”
Sister Donna and Sister Beverly presented Sister Kathleen with several books: the norms of the Federation of St. Benedict, the handbook of St. Scholastica Monastery, and the documents “Upon This Tradition” and “Wisdom from the Tradition.”
Then turning to the assembly, Sister Beverly said, “Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, let us now proclaim our blessing and solidarity with Sister Kathleen.”
In a moving blessing by the Sisters, they stood, raised their arms in blessing, and proclaimed, “Sister Kathleen, we will journey with you, seeking the wisdom of the Rule of Benedict and the discerning guidance of our Prioress.
“We will support you with our love, our prayers, and our example as we mutually grow in understanding of and fidelity to our vowed monastic commitment.
The assembly, still standing, applauded. Sister Beverly ended the rite with a prayer which included these words: “. . . Holy Spirit, enkindle in our hearts the fire of love for God and for each other, that filled with good zeal, we may prefer nothing whatever to Christ and be brought through him into everlasting life. Amen. . . .”
She then led the participants and assembly in the recession out of the Chapel and down the hall to a welcoming area by the statues of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica. And a lively celebratory dinner followed in Rockhurst Dining Room.