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Your resource for becoming a Benedictine Sister

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Life in a religious community isn’t typical in today’s society. The choice to become a Benedictine Sister is like taking the road less traveled. But when you make a less ordinary choice, there are extraordinary experiences waiting for you. Explore life at Mount St. Scholastica . . . where your extraordinary adventure can begin. Contact our vocation minister at vocation@mountosb.org

“Listen with the ear of your heart.” -Rule of St. Benedict

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december, 2017

13dec10:00 am- 6:30 pmAdvent Retreat Day

Experience a day in the life of the sisters and share your faith journey with others discerning their vocation at a retreat day.

Click here for registration form

questions about religious life?

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1. Why is Mount St. Scholastica called a monastic community?
We share a life of prayer, community and service to others. Mount St. Scholastica is a Benedictine community, which means that we follow the teachings of St. Benedict, who wrote a practical guide (“Rule”) about how to seek God and follow Christ while living together as vowed religious men or women. Benedictine Sisters take vows of stability, obedience and conversion to the monastic way of life, which includes chastity and living simply.

2. What are the principal Benedictine values?
Because Benedictines believe that we encounter Christ in prayer and in each other, each day includes communal prayer, work and meals. We are called to welcome all persons as Christ, and thus hospitality is a primary Benedictine value. We are called to be good stewards of God’s gifts, and thus taking care of the earth is also an important value.

3. What does it mean to live as a community?
All persons who choose to live in a Benedictine monastery believe it is helpful to have the support of others as we seek Christ and work to serve God’s people. Community members vow obedience to the leader of the community (known as the prioress) and to each other, which requires careful listening and a willingness to put others’ needs ahead of our own desires. The community prays, works, eats and socializes together. Within the larger community, members reside in smaller living groups, which share household chores and other aspects of day-to-day life. 

4. What is a typical day like at the monastery?
We share morning, midday and evening prayer and celebrate Eucharist together each day. Some sisters have jobs outside the monastery, and others work at various ministries at the monastery itself. After evening prayer we eat supper together, and on any given night, we might be found reading, watching television together, playing cards or board games or pursuing our hobbies.

5. Do you wear habits?
In regard to clothing, St. Benedict simply instructed his followers “to use what is available in the vicinity at a reasonable cost,” so we have chosen to wear the common dress of people in our culture. The symbol of our life commitment is a distinctive ring worn by all professed members of our community.

6. Can family and friends visit?
Yes, your family and friends are welcome to visit the monastery. You also may go visit your family and friends occasionally, depending on the community schedule and your ministry responsibilities.

7. Can I pursue a professional career if I join the monastery?
Yes, Benedictine sisters often pursue professional careers. The prioress discerns with each community member how her gifts and talents may be used to benefit both the community and the individual.

8. What type of work is done by Benedictine Sisters?
Mount St. Scholastica includes sisters who are educators, chaplains, spiritual directors, liturgical ministers, medical professionals, counselors, social workers, librarians, and administrative or information technology personnel. One of the most important aspects of choosing a ministry is being available for communal daily prayers and meals.

9. What is it like to live a celibate life?
Being celibate means that we don’t focus on loving just one other person, the way a spouse does in a marriage. Celibacy provides us with the time and energy to create a common life together of prayer and service to others. A healthy celibate life includes a variety of relationships with community members, family and personal friends.

10. Can a divorced person or a widow become a Benedictine Sister?
A divorced woman who is interested in becoming a sister must have an annulment. A woman who is a widow must have lived on her own for at least three years, and in both cases she can have no dependent children.

11. What if I have debts?
Mount St. Scholastica does not consider applicants who have personal debt. Educational debts may be an exception, to be discussed during your time of discernment with the vocation director.

12. What other requirements must I fulfill?
Applicants must be in good health and pass a physical and a psychological evaluation. Letters of recommendation are also required.

13. How long does it take to become a sister at Mount
St. Scholastica?
Once you and the community have agreed that God has called you together, you will undergo a formal process of joining the community. The amount of time varies, depending on the individual circumstances of each candidate. The stages include:

  • Affiliate (generally one year)
  • Postulant (generally six months to one year)
  • Novice (generally two years) followed by first monastic profession
  • Scholastic (at least three years)
  • Final monastic profession

event calendar

prayer times

december, 2017

13dec10:00 am- 6:30 pmAdvent Retreat Day

Experience a day in the life of the sisters and share your faith journey with others discerning their vocation at a retreat day on Feb. 18 or March 18.

Click here for registration form

meet our resource team

Sister Barbara D. Smith, OSB

s-barbara-smith_headerYears as a Benedictine Sister: In Belcourt, North Dakota: 1998-2001 (3yrs) In Atchsion, Kansas: 2002-present (14yrs)

Where did you grow up? Edwardsville, Illinois

What was your first impression of the Benedictine Sisters? I was very drawn to their down-to-earth lifestyle, their gentle care for all people and their balance between their work and prayer life that I experienced in the ministry work on the Indian Reservation. When I came to Atchison, I felt at home with the large community of sisters, how welcoming they were to all and their liturgies (prayer life) were so beautiful and deep.

What do you find is the biggest misconception of community life? I really did not know any sisters before coming to the community, so I didn’t know what community life was supposed to be like. I was not Catholic growing up, so I was pretty open to what religious life was all about. I think what surprised me was to find out that sisters can have strong feelings like anyone else, and some shared them more than others.

Describe your religious vocation journey in three words: Highest spiritual ride

Sister Barbara Conroy, OSB

s-barbara-conroy_headerYears as a Benedictine Sister: 22 years as a Benedictine Sister

Where did you grow up? St. Joseph, Missouri

What was your first impression of the Benedictine Sisters: My first impression was in high school. I had Benedictine Sisters as teachers, and I felt the compassion and the love that they had for each other. You could obviously tell that they were a group of women who served God and God’s people. It seemed like they were one big family. They respected each other. In my teenage years, I needed unconditional love and they provided that for me.

What do you find is the biggest misconception of community life? That we always agree with each other! We love each other, but our thoughts are individual. I find we have to constantly listen to God speaking to us and one another.

What’s the best/coolest thing about Atchison? The history of Amelia Earhart’s life here.

Sister Patricia Gamgort, OSB

Sister Patricia GamgortYears as a Benedictine Sister: 61

Where did you grow up? Wilmington, Delaware

What was your first impression of the Benedictine Sisters?  They were warm and human. I had been taught by Sisters in a different order, and they seemed rather aloof and cold.

Who influenced you most (and how) on your spiritual vocation journey? Two Benedictine Sisters, Anselma and Antoinette, who modeled the importance of their community prayer and the kindness and care they exhibited to students, the other sisters and staff. I wanted to be like them.

What is the best advice you ever got? Always be true to who you are.

What is the best advice you ever gave? The fruit of the Spirit is peace. Be at peace with yourself and God. Everything else will fall into place.

Describe your religious vocation journey in three words? Exciting, fruitful, affirmed

extraordinary sister

Get to know: Sister Thomasita Homan, OSB

s-patricia-gamgort_header

What do you enjoy about being a sister?

I enjoy seeking God with other women, who are also called to live in community and follow our call on our journey to eternity. 

Who is your favorite saint?

I have always felt the presence of the Blessed Mother, and later I added St. Scholastica. The three of us journey together, I think. 

What is your favorite scripture quote and why?

The words of Thomas, the Apostle: “My Lord and my God.” Always and everywhere God is present, and we can become present to God. This is a preparation for eternity with the full presence and the profound presence of God. 

Besides Atchison, what is your favorite city?

A small hill-city in Mussoorie, India, where I met and lived with many cultured students and teachers. 

What was your first impression of Benedictine Sisters?

They were so real–they listened well. 

What is the best advice you ever received?

“It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind.”

Who influenced you most (and how) on your spiritual journey?

My dad – his example, words, patience, and love of God, family, and others have influenced me and continues to live with me today. 

Get to know: Sister Cecilia Olson, OSB

s-helen-mueting_header2What do you enjoy about being a sister?

Being reminded through prayer and community that every single day is a gift.

What is a scripture quote you appreciate and why? 

“Do not fear for I am with you.” Is 41:10

Who are two of your favorite fictional characters? 

Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) and Jean Valjean (Les Miserables)

Where did you grow up?

Beatrice, Nebraska

What is the best advice you ever received?

Abbot Owen Purcell would remind me after making a mistake: “It’s not the end of western monasticism as we know it!”

Describe your religious journey in three words? Extraordinary in some ways, ordinary in others, and always hope-filled.

What would others be surprised to learn about you?

I was a varsity cheerleader.

Who is your favorite saint?

St. Mary Magdalene

Get to know: Sister Rosann Eckart, OSB

What do you enjoy about being a sister?

Praying and working together.

What is a scripture quote you appreciate and why?

“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near.” Is 55:6

What is the best advice you ever received?

Do to others as you wish to be done to yourself.

Who was your Confirmation Saint?

St. Lucy

What was your first impression of the Benedictine Sisters?

They were my teachers from 1st grade through college-they prayed and were kind.

What is something others would be surprised to learn about you?

I was a dental assistant for two years.

Besides Atchison, what is your favorite city? 

Wamego, Kansas, where I grew up on a farm.

Who is your favorite saint?

St. Scholastica

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Today we reflect on Sir 48: 1-4, 9-11 How bright does the flame of God’s love burn in my own heart? ...

Today we reflect on Sir 48: 1-4, 9-11 How bright does the flame of God’s love burn in my own heart?

Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica added 4 new photos.

Special thank you to Atchison County Community Schools, whose choir came to sing for our Dooley Center residents today!
...

Special thank you to Atchison County Community Schools, whose choir came to sing for our Dooley Center residents today!

Dec. 14 We reflect on John of the Cross, Is 41:13-20 How has “the hand of the Lord” touched my life? ...

Dec. 14 We reflect on John of the Cross, Is 41:13-20 How has “the hand of the Lord” touched my life?

Sophia Center Facebook


S. Susan Barber presented an afternoon of Advent music at Sophia Center today, concluding at St. Lucy’s Chapel at the monastery. It was a nice way to enter the second week of Advent. Thank you, S. Susan. ...

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Kathy Keller PowersI’m sure it was wonderful!

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Kim Hurley Andrewsbeautiful!

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Patty LaneAhhhhhhhh

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Sophia Spirituality Center added 2 new photos.

Two of the participants here for a Day of Renewal enjoying the quiet of the day.
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Two of the participants here for a Day of Renewal enjoying the quiet of the day.

Oblates from St. Joseph, MO, gathered at Sophia Center with S. Evelyn, for a day of retreat. The day was filled with prayer, reflection and laughter. ...

Oblates from St. Joseph, MO, gathered at Sophia Center with S. Evelyn, for a day of retreat. The day was filled with prayer, reflection and laughter.

Mervi Kuula, Sally Banks and 2 others like this

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Pam Meier McCord AllenIt was truly an incredible day! So grateful to Sister Evelyn and all her wisdom! Constant reminders today of God's boundless love

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Pam Meier McCord AllenDon't have enough words to thank you, Sister Evelyn! It was a million dollar day!!!

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Barbara ScottSee some of my favorite people!

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Prepare the way of the Lord through Advent song. Have you registered yet for S. Susan's Advent Music retreat on Sunday, December 10, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Sophia Center? Contact sophiaspiritualitycenter.org or 913.360.6173 to register. Free will offering. ...

Prepare the way of the Lord through Advent song. Have you registered yet for S. Susans Advent Music retreat on Sunday, December 10, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Sophia Center? Contact sophiaspiritualitycenter.org or 913.360.6173 to register. Free will offering.

Sophia Spirituality Center added 4 new photos.

Judith Valente, oblate of Mount St. Scholastica, presented a weekend retreat on Reclaiming A Sense of Wonder. Judith gave input and had participants reflect on their own wonder through discussion and creative activities. Thank you, Judith, for an enriching weekend and putting us into the Advent spirit.
...

Judith Valente, oblate of Mount St. Scholastica, presented a weekend retreat on Reclaiming A Sense of Wonder. Judith gave input and had participants reflect on their own wonder through discussion and creative activities. Thank you, Judith, for an enriching weekend and putting us into the Advent spirit.

Keeler Women’s Center Facebook


1 week ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center shared Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica‘s 12 Days of Christmas.

Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica
www.facebook.com/patricia.seipel.3/posts/1724294564566304

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Mount St. Scholastica!

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2 weeks ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center added 2 new photos.

Brenda puts out new items on our Christmas give-away table. Friends are invited to select a couple of items for gifts.
At the right, with Mary Sue demonstrating the skill, everyone got to enjoy a freshly peeled, cored and sliced apple. Thanks Mary Sue.

Brenda puts out new items on our Christmas give-away table. Friends are invited to select a couple of items for gifts. At the right, with Mary Sue demonstrating the skill, everyone got to enjoy a freshly peeled, cored and sliced apple. Thanks Mary Sue.

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Scott DickasonI see Sister Bridget !

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3 weeks ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center added 2 new photos.

“They may forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel.” Carl Buechner
Volunteer, Lisa, is sure to make each child feel good! Thank you Lisa for volunteering at KWC.

They may forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel. Carl Buechner Volunteer, Lisa, is sure to make each child feel good! Thank you Lisa for volunteering at KWC.

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Connie AndersonKeeler Women’s Center – what a beautiful and spiritual place!

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Stop by Keeler Women’s Center today–from now until 7:00 p.m. Board Member, Jeannette Dixon is selling jewelry. Every item is $7; of that $2 is given to Keeler Women’s Center. See online pictures at Shop.paparazziaccessories.com/49566

Stop by Keeler Womens Center today--from now until 7:00 p.m. Board Member, Jeannette Dixon is selling jewelry. Every item is $7; of that $2 is given to Keeler Womens Center. See online pictures at Shop.paparazziaccessories.com/49566

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4 weeks ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center added 38 new photos — with Teresa Weaver and 9 others.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL the volunteers of Keeler Women’s Center! We are grateful for your hours of time given to help others!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL the volunteers of Keeler Womens Center! We are grateful for your hours of time given to help others!

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Today we reflect on Sir 48: 1-4, 9-11 How bright does the flame of God’s love burn in my own heart? ...

Today we reflect on Sir 48: 1-4, 9-11 How bright does the flame of God’s love burn in my own heart?

Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica added 4 new photos.

Special thank you to Atchison County Community Schools, whose choir came to sing for our Dooley Center residents today!
...

Special thank you to Atchison County Community Schools, whose choir came to sing for our Dooley Center residents today!

Dec. 14 We reflect on John of the Cross, Is 41:13-20 How has “the hand of the Lord” touched my life? ...

Dec. 14 We reflect on John of the Cross, Is 41:13-20 How has “the hand of the Lord” touched my life?

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2 weeks ago

Sophia Spirituality Center

The Sophia Center staff wish our Facebook friends and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a holy and happy new year.

Sophia Center is closed until Tuesday, 3 January 2017.

The Sophia Center staff wish our Facebook friends and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a holy and happy new year. Sophia Center is closed until Tuesday, 3 January 2017.

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Cheryl Reichert HoopsWishing all of you a Blessed Christmas.

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3 weeks ago

Sophia Spirituality Center

Sophia Spirituality Center added 7 new photos.

Our Christmas party was this afternoon, icy conditions and all. Santa visited with the children first. Then the treats. At the end of the party, Kathy and the Rockey family presented Sister Carol Ann and the Sophia staff with “Silent Night Village.” This belonged to their family for the past 25 years. Thanks, Kathy, for a great party.

Our Christmas party was this afternoon, icy conditions and all. Santa visited with the children first. Then the treats. At the end of the party, Kathy and the Rockey family presented Sister Carol Ann and the Sophia staff with Silent Night Village. This belonged to their family for the past 25 years. Thanks, Kathy, for a great party.

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3 weeks ago

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See what greeted us this week as we entered Sophia Center. Kathy, our housekeeper, prepared for her annual Christmas party for the Sophia staff. Thank you, Kathy.

See what greeted us this week as we entered Sophia Center. Kathy, our housekeeper, prepared for her annual Christmas party for the Sophia staff. Thank you, Kathy.

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3 weeks ago

Sophia Spirituality Center

Sophia Spirituality Center added 2 new photos.

Sophia Center Staff (Sisters Mary Elizabeth, Martha, Carol Ann, Micaela and Joanne) and two volunteers, Carol and Joyce, spent the morning preparing the first quarter brochures for mailing.

Sophia Center Staff (Sisters Mary Elizabeth, Martha, Carol Ann, Micaela and Joanne) and two volunteers, Carol and Joyce, spent the morning preparing the first quarter brochures for mailing.

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Michelle Jackson UrbanYay ? I can’t wait to get mine !!

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Michael MatteuzziThat is a lot of holy ladies at one table

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Kim Hurley BensonHoping to come back soon!

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Keeler Women’s Center Facebook


1 week ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center shared Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica‘s 12 Days of Christmas.

Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica
www.facebook.com/patricia.seipel.3/posts/1724294564566304

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Mount St. Scholastica!

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2 weeks ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center added 2 new photos.

Brenda puts out new items on our Christmas give-away table. Friends are invited to select a couple of items for gifts.
At the right, with Mary Sue demonstrating the skill, everyone got to enjoy a freshly peeled, cored and sliced apple. Thanks Mary Sue.

Brenda puts out new items on our Christmas give-away table. Friends are invited to select a couple of items for gifts. At the right, with Mary Sue demonstrating the skill, everyone got to enjoy a freshly peeled, cored and sliced apple. Thanks Mary Sue.

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  • Likes: 7
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Ruth Bettels Fink, Barb Lykins and 5 others like this

View previous comments

Scott DickasonI see Sister Bridget !

2 weeks ago

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3 weeks ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center added 2 new photos.

“They may forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel.” Carl Buechner
Volunteer, Lisa, is sure to make each child feel good! Thank you Lisa for volunteering at KWC.

They may forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel. Carl Buechner Volunteer, Lisa, is sure to make each child feel good! Thank you Lisa for volunteering at KWC.

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  • Likes: 5
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Colleen A. Cook, Michael McGrath and 3 others like this

View previous comments

Connie AndersonKeeler Women’s Center – what a beautiful and spiritual place!

3 weeks ago   ·  2

Avatar

Comment on Facebook

3 weeks ago

Keeler Women's Center

Stop by Keeler Women’s Center today–from now until 7:00 p.m. Board Member, Jeannette Dixon is selling jewelry. Every item is $7; of that $2 is given to Keeler Women’s Center. See online pictures at Shop.paparazziaccessories.com/49566

Stop by Keeler Womens Center today--from now until 7:00 p.m. Board Member, Jeannette Dixon is selling jewelry. Every item is $7; of that $2 is given to Keeler Womens Center. See online pictures at Shop.paparazziaccessories.com/49566

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  • Likes: 5
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4 weeks ago

Keeler Women's Center

Keeler Women’s Center added 38 new photos — with Teresa Weaver and 9 others.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL the volunteers of Keeler Women’s Center! We are grateful for your hours of time given to help others!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL the volunteers of Keeler Womens Center! We are grateful for your hours of time given to help others!

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Benedictine Sisters | Mount St. Scholastica | 801 South 8th St., Atchison, KS 66002 | Call or text 913.426.5275 | vocation@mountosb.org

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