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One Heart and One Soul: Stories from our Monastic Home

"And so we are going to establish a school for the service of the Lord...For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God's commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love." Rule of Benedict, Prologue 45-49

National Catholic Sisters Week ~ Golden Care

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the story of one our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Today, we honor our final Golden Jubilarian as we remember her  50 years of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Our Sister Marietta grew up in Salem, SD, and is the middle child of seven. She attended St. Mary’s Grade and High School, Immaculate Conception Academy in Dubuque, IA, and Mount Marty College in Yankton, SD. She entered Sacred Heart Monastery in August of 1964, made first monastic profession on June 29, 1966, and perpetual profession in November 25, 1972.

Sister Marietta’s ministries have included teaching grade school and being a Religious Education Director. She later returned to the monastery to be Vocation Director. She continues to serve the monastery in various ways, including serving on the Mount Marty College Board, being Liturgical Director, and guiding Sisters in formation.

She writes, “The possibility of being a Sister stood in front of me every day as I was taught by the Bernadines and later the Yankton Benedictines. Prayer for vocations was among our family prayers. So it was with a great deal of support that I entered Sacred Heart Monastery. Often we were invited by our teachers to consider religious life, and S. Rose invited me to Sacred Heart Monastery when I was completing high school at St. Mary’s in Salem. Her belief in me enabled me to ‘give it a try.’ When I entered, I did not know much about the differences in religious communities but found the way of Benedict to be a wonderful fit for me; it provided strong community support for prayer, work, and growth personally and spiritually. Celebrating 50 years has called me to pause and give thanks for God’s presence in my life, especially in my Benedictine Sisters who have provided stability on the journey, encouragement in the challenges, and role models to follow. Life lived together has been God’s greatest gift to me and enables me to reach out to others in many ways unrealized when I first knocked at the door. It is with a heart full of joy and gratitude to God, my Sisters, my family, and those with whom I have ministered that I celebrate this year of Jubilee.” (Yankton Benedictines, Spring 2016)

Join us in praying for Catholic Sisters and Nuns who continue to seek God’s Will and serve God’s people throughout our nation.  Pray also for women who continue to discern God’s will in their lives.

Loving God, by your grace,
Catholic Sisters throughout the world continue to respond to Your Baptismal invitation
to live lives dedicated to prayer and loving service.
Enkindle in their hearts a renewed desire to be zealous servants of the Gospel
and continuing signs of Your presence in our world.
Preserve and strengthen in them the passion and the vision
to welcome and to serve all Your people without hesitation or pause.
As they strive to live the mission of their respective congregations,
empower them to do so with courageous simplicity,
consecrated celibacy, and committed obedience to Your will.
We ask this in union with Jesus the Christ,
who showed these dedicated women the way to living in union with You.  Amen.
~Mary Rose Romeo, SSJ

Blessings to you,

National Catholic Sisters Week ~ A Golden Teacher

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the story of one of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Today, we honor our fourth Golden Jubilarian as we remember her 50 years of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Our Sister Margo was born in Yankton, SD, to Verdi and Hattie and was a student in Hoven, Tabor, and Yankton, SD. Having Yankton Benedictines as teachers influenced her toward the religious life, she joined the convent in 1964 and made first monastic profession in 1966. She graduated from Mount Marty College and then taught in Lincoln, NE, and Sioux Falls, SD.

Sister Margo continued to teach and taught at Hope Preschool for 7 years and at Sacred Heart School in Yankton for 34 years. Sister Margo and S. Joelle Bauer co-founded Hope Preschool and taught in it from 1972- 1979. Since retiring, she has been helping with activities for the Care Center Sisters, tutoring people from the Yankton Abilities Building Center in Yankton, and teaching ERTH (Ecummenical Religious Training for the Handicapped program), which she co-formed 37 years ago.

Throughout her life, beginning in the first grade through high school, she had Yankton Benedictines for teachers. She states, “It only stands to reason that since I felt called to religious life it would be to the Yankton Benedictines. The joyful presence of these Sisters was the biggest influence in my life. As a Benedictine and a teacher, I had many opportunities in the past 45 years to plant the seeds for Benedictine men and women try to live out by following The Rule of St. Benedict.” Sister Margo goes on to say, “I find it hard to believe that I have lived the Benedictine life for fifty years. I thank God daily for being a Benedictine Sister at Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton.” (Yankton Benedictines, Spring 2016)

Join us in praying for Catholic Sisters and Nuns who continue to seek God’s Will and serve God’s people throughout our nation.  Pray also for women who continue to discern God’s will in their lives.

Loving God, by your grace,
Catholic Sisters throughout the world continue to respond to Your Baptismal invitation
to live lives dedicated to prayer and loving service.
Enkindle in their hearts a renewed desire to be zealous servants of the Gospel
and continuing signs of Your presence in our world.
Preserve and strengthen in them the passion and the vision
to welcome and to serve all Your people without hesitation or pause.
As they strive to live the mission of their respective congregations,
empower them to do so with courageous simplicity,
consecrated celibacy, and committed obedience to Your will.
We ask this in union with Jesus the Christ,
who showed these dedicated women the way to living in union with You.  Amen.
~Mary Rose Romeo, SSJ

Blessings to you,

National Catholic Sisters Week ~ A Golden Call

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the story of one of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Today, we honor our third Golden Jubilarian as we remember her  50 years of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Our Sister Kathryn grew up with faith in two key areas of her life. Having attended only Catholic schools, she was familiar with many different orders of Sisters. S. Kathryn says, “I became acquainted with our Benedictine Sisters who staffed our parish grade school, Cathedral of the Risen Christ (then Holy Family), where I attended junior high and then returned to teach for a year after graduation from college. The sisters lived two houses away from our home and walked by the house each day; I was drawn by their joy and their warm family spirit. I didn’t have the Monastic words or a deep thoughtful reflection for my relationship with them at the time. They just became my friends… .”

In addition to the influence of the Sisters themselves, Sister says, “My parents and family played a significant role in my desire to become a Sister. Our parents were faith-filled witnesses of the Catholic Faith in many ways, most memorable being their daily Mass attendance and their consistent involvement in and service to the Church… It was no surprise I would have their love and support in my decision to enter religious life for which I am most grateful.” On choosing religious life by entering in 1964, Sister says, “I knew I wanted to serve the Church, and I wanted to be a part of the Benedictines as they served. I found a joy-filled community of women, seeking Christ who were committed to prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Eucharist, and service. It was a perfect fit! I am in awe and feel blessed to receive my calling to monastic life at Sacred Heart Monastery.” She made first profession in 1966.

Following her perpetual monastic vows, Sister Kathryn continued being involved in Catholic education as an instructor and as a principal. She taught in Lincoln and Hartington, NE; Yankton and Vermillion, SD; and 30 years in the Sioux Falls Catholic School System in Sioux Falls, SD. She was elected prioress and served from 1989 to 1997.

For her, Jubilee is a celebration of God’s love, presence, and guidance on her journey as a Benedictine sister. Jubilee is a celebration of her family, her Benedictine family, and her friends–their love and support through these 50 years. Jubilee is a celebration of hope and joy for the years to come. Sister Kathryn shared her favorite quote from the Rule: “Prefer nothing whatever to Christ and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”  (Yankton Benedictines, Spring 2016)

Join us in praying for Catholic Sisters and Nuns who continue to seek God’s Will and serve God’s people throughout our nation.  Pray also for women who continue to discern God’s will in their lives.

Loving God, by your grace,
Catholic Sisters throughout the world continue to respond to Your Baptismal invitation
to live lives dedicated to prayer and loving service.
Enkindle in their hearts a renewed desire to be zealous servants of the Gospel
and continuing signs of Your presence in our world.
Preserve and strengthen in them the passion and the vision
to welcome and to serve all Your people without hesitation or pause.
As they strive to live the mission of their respective congregations,
empower them to do so with courageous simplicity,
consecrated celibacy, and committed obedience to Your will.
We ask this in union with Jesus the Christ,
who showed these dedicated women the way to living in union with You.  Amen.
~Mary Rose Romeo, SSJ

Blessings to you,

Return to “One Heart and One Soul

 

The Election of a Prioress

Greetings,

When we tell our employers, family, and friends of our upcoming gathering to elect a new leader, there is one question we almost always hear.  “Will you be running for prioress?”  In our Benedictine tradition, a sister doesn’t ‘run’ for Prioress, she is prayed into office by the community listening for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  “The authority of the prioress is derived from the Holy Spirit and the Rule of Benedict through the ministry of the Church. The monastic chapter in its collegial act of election vests that authority in the sister whom it calls forth to be prioress. By accepting the election, the prioress becomes a sign of the sisters’ unity in Christ” (Federation of St. Gertrude, General Norms 76).

Prayer is the framework and emphasis that guides our whole Chapter of Election. As all the sisters gather, we will continue our monastic schedule in praying the Liturgy of the Hours to start every morning, pause at noon, and close every evening.  This recitation, chanting, and reflecting on Scripture will ground our time of election together.  “Through the Psalms we hear the voice of God in human words. They teach us that God can be found in every experience of our lives. We who are privileged to pray them daily find that the Psalms soak into our very bones…The Psalms keep before us the whole believing community and, indeed, the whole world. In praying the Psalms, we claim our own responsibility for the well-being of all” (With a Listening Heart, 1996).

This discernment based in prayer is required by our Federation’s General and Specific Norms of election: “A monastery prepares for the election of prioress in a spirit of prayer and discernment in accord with the Rule of Benedict and The Specific Norms (Federation of St. Gertrude, General Norms 80).  “The Election-for-Prioress committee prepares and supervises the period of prayerful discernment and the entire balloting procedure” (Monastery Norms 80).  As the Chapter of Election continues, our days will be broken into smaller periods of discussion, reflection, and personal prayer.  Then we return to discussion guided by the inspiration of the Spirit from that reflection and prayer.  This communal discernment in electing a prioress helps us listen more closely for the will of God.  “As we come together in the monastic chapter…we come as discerning women in tough with our own lived experience, our piece of the wisdom, and open to the God of the gathering, the wisdom of our sisters…Humility and obedience are especially important when the whole community is together as a body, each member providing the wisdom of her opinion for the leader’s pondering, reflecting, and deciding” (With a Listening Heart, 1996).

The Rule of Benedict also calls the sisters to listen to the whole community in choosing a new prioress.  “In the constituting of an Abbess let this plan always be followed, that the office be conferred on the one who is chosen either by the whole community unanimously in the fear of God or else by a part of the community, however small, if its counsel is more wholesome. Merit of life and wisdom of doctrine should determine the choice of the one to be constituted, even if she be the last of the order of the community” (RB 64).

You might be wondering who is technically ‘in the running’…“A sister to be eligible for election as prioress must: be perpetually professed in a monastery of the Federation for at least five years and have the qualifications for the office of prioress described in the Rule of Benedict, especially in Chapters 2 and 64 (Federation of St. Gertrude, General Norms).  We have 83 sisters who have been perpetually professed for at least five years.  Our communal discernment and discussion will seek out the qualifications for the office from the Rule of Benedict.  It is the search for those qualities that become part of the discussion.

The Chapter of Election begins with a discussion or review of the monastery’s goals, direction statements, and needs of the monastery.  After determining the needs of our monastic family, we then turn to the qualities of our family members, discerning who may have the gifts and talents that are needed.  This list of many is slowly narrowed over our days of Chapter as we alternate between discussion and prayer, listening for the voice of the Spirit.  “The practice of discernment as a way of life envisioned in the Rule indicates the subtle interplay of the monastic values of humility, obedience, wisdom, peace, good zeal, and love within the framework of seeking God in the Opus Dei, Lectio Divina, the daily calls to listening and conversation in a stability unto death in the monastery” (With a Listening Heart, 1996).  When the list of many is narrowed down to a few, we begin balloting to name our prioress.

During the Chapter of Election, all our sisters will be gathered home at the monastery
and our Divine Office and Celebration of the Eucharist will be private.
Private Prayer:  Thursday, March 16 – Saturday, March 18
Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist, March 19 will be open to the public.
We ask for your prayerful support even though you cannot join us in prayer during this time. 

Join us in prayer as we prepare to elect our fourteenth Prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery during March 16 ~ 19.

Prayer For Election of Prioress

God of all Faithfulness,
we ask you to enlighten the minds and hearts
of all the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery
as they prepare to elect the next prioress.
May they select a member of the community
who is best able to lead the monastery into the future
in the Benedictine way of life according to Your will.
This we ask in Christ’s name
and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Blessings,

Return to “One Heart and One Soul”

National Catholic Sisters Week ~ Golden Joy

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the story of one of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Today, we honor our next Golden Jubilarian as we remember her 50 years of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Our Sister Joyce was born to the youngest of four children and was raised on the family farm. She attended St Mary’s Catholic School for all 12 years. The experience of growing up in this faith community and background fostered her initial response to seek out her vocation to a religious community of Sisters. This process was fostered more with her contact with Sister Amica and the Benedictines of Sacred Heart Monastery in her high school years. Sister Joyce entered the monastery in August of 1964, made first monastic profession on June 29, 1966, and made perpetual monastic profession in June of 1970.

Sister Joyce has ministered mainly in Health Care for 40 years. She was trained to be an Occupational Therapist and then trained to be a hospital chaplain. She has ministered to the people of God in Ohio, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. This hospital ministry has been very rewarding and fulfilling for her, and she knows it is of service to all people. She presently works as a Board Certified Chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE.

Sister Joyce claims that her faith, religious community, and her family are the heart and soul of her life. She declares,“I would not be where I am today without my faith, family, and religious community.” The 50 years have seemed to go quickly, but she is very grateful for all of the years and people she has met and the places to which she has traveled. She claims, “It is with great joy and blessings to be able to celebrate 50 years as a Yankton Benedictine from Sacred Heart Monastery.”

Join us in praying for Catholic Sisters and Nuns who continue to seek God’s Will and serve God’s people throughout our nation.  Pray also for women who continue to discern God’s will in their lives.

Loving God, by your grace,
Catholic Sisters throughout the world continue to respond to Your Baptismal invitation
to live lives dedicated to prayer and loving service.
Enkindle in their hearts a renewed desire to be zealous servants of the Gospel
and continuing signs of Your presence in our world.
Preserve and strengthen in them the passion and the vision
to welcome and to serve all Your people without hesitation or pause.
As they strive to live the mission of their respective congregations,
empower them to do so with courageous simplicity,
consecrated celibacy, and committed obedience to Your will.
We ask this in union with Jesus the Christ,
who showed these dedicated women the way to living in union with You.  Amen.
~Mary Rose Romeo, SSJ

Blessings to you,

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Monastic Horarium

Our weekday schedule at the Monastery.
6:00 AM ~ Early Breakfast
6:30 AM ~ Lauds in Peace Chapel
6:50 AM ~ Mass
7:30 AM ~ Breakfast
* Ministry and Service
12:00 PM ~ Lunch
12:45 PM ~ Noon Praise
* Ministry and Service
5:15 PM ~ Vespers in Peace Chapel
5:45 PM ~ Supper Evening
* Recreation and Compline
blog image- Wooden door inside Bishop Marty Chapel

The weekend horarium allows for a reflective start to the day.

7:00 AM ~ Breakfast
8:30 AM ~ Lauds
         Saturday in Peace Chapel

         Sunday in Bishop Marty Chapel

* Ministry and Service
12:00 PM ~ Lunch
12:45 PM ~ Noon Praise
* Ministry and Service
Saturday Evening
         Supper, Vespers, and

         Recreation in Living Groups

Sunday Evening
5:00 ~ Vespers Bishop Marty Chapel
5:30 ~ Supper
*Recreation and Compline

 

Prayer for Vocations

Prayer for Vocations God of Love,
You call us to live in your love through the grace of our baptism.
Bless us with the courage to carry out the mission of Jesus.
Grant us open and generous hearts to see the needs of others
and to respond with compassion.
May the Church be blest with women and men who are dedicated to you through marriage, the single life,
the diaconate, priesthood, and the consecrated life.
It is in Christ and through Christ
that we offer ourselves to you now and forever. ~Amen

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I entered our Monastery on January 3rd, 1998. After professing my temporary vows, I began to teach high school English and speech. During this time, our community accepted me into Perpetual Monastic Profession. Now, I am teaching Theology while living on ‘mission’ in a city not too far from the sisters at the Monastery. Benedictine life is filled with opportunities to learn from the constant call to minister to each other. My stories and tales grow out of these opportunities to serve and learn within community life. blog

Eucharistic Love

Pope Francis said, “The Eucharist affects the way we see others. In his life, Christ manifested his love by being with people, and by sharing their desires and problems. So, too, the Eucharist brings us together with others–young and old, poor and affluent, neighbors and visitors. The Eucharist calls us to see all of them as our brothers and sisters, and to see in them the face of Christ.” ~ February 14, 2014 General Audience.

God Bless You for Visiting!

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