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Community - Through Living Groups

For Benedictines, “community” isn’t just our organizational structure. It’s something we live every day, guided by the ancient wisdom of the Rule of St. Benedict. Every day we show our love for Christ by our efforts to:

  • love one another
  • build trustful and loving relationships with God, with one another, with planet earth, and with our deepest selves;
  • practice collaboration and cooperation;
  • learn the daily arts of forgiveness and peacemaking.

Each sister also belongs to a living group of 4–12 people with whom she shares time and living area. There are 10 living room/kitchenette spaces throughout the monastery, with names like Subiaco (Benedict’s first monastery), Jericho, or Emmaus. Sisters gather for noonday prayer in their living room and also hear how everyone’s day is going. After supper the Sisters visit, watch TV or play games with their group.

Each Living Group is Listed Below

Click on the toggle for each living groups: photo, favorite verses and activities they share together!



Back row: (Left to Right) Ss. Lynn Osika, Corinne Lemmer, Carmella Luke, Barbara Kowalkowski, Candyce Chrystal, Debra Kolecka and Penny Bingham

Front row: (Left to Right) Ss. Cynthia Binder, Kathleen Crowley, Aidan Bourke, Kevin Irwin, and Grace Feldhacker

IMG_20160807_110341962 copy


Top row: (Left to Right) Ss. Bernadette McGowen, Erin Colgan,  Louise Marie Goettertz, Maribeth Wentzlaff

Front row: (Left to Right) Ss. Jane Frances Garcia, Madonna Schmitt, Leonette Hoesing, Jill Young



Back row: (Left to Right) Ss. Patricia Heirigs, Rosalie, Marietta Kerkvliet, Sharon Ann, Doris Oberembt, and Angeline Keating (recently passed).

Front row kneeling (Left to Right: S. Kathryn Burt and Novice Theresa Lafferty.

Favorite group verse: “Were not our hearts burning within us when he spoken to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us.” Luke 24:32

Most enjoyed group activity: Playing Cards

Least favorite: Labeling stuff in the refrigerator


Top row: (Left to Right) Ss. Julie Peak, Sarah Schultz Bottom row: Ss. Eileen Neville, Delores Rush and Janice Mayer



Back row: (left to right) Ss. Mary John Scheuren, Valerie Cheney, Jacquelyn Ernster, and Bonita Gacnik. Front row: (left to right) Ss. Marie Helene Werdel (recently passed), Matthew Wehri, Thecla Holzbauer, and Rosaleen Dickes.


Left to Right: Ss. Rosemarie Maly, Arthur Schramm, Norma Norton, Jennifer Kehrwald, Marcine Quintus, Marita Kolbeck, Virginia Pieper, Michaeleen Muhovich, Joelle Bauer, Anna Dangel, and Joyce Streff.



Favorite group verse:

“Be still and know that I am God” Ps. 46:10

“You will show me the path of life” Ps. 16:11

We Love the Bible.

Most enjoyed group activity:  When we have a hospitality dinner together, inviting one of the sisters to join us, thus getting to know the sisters, especially those who have recently returned home. Our group likes to prepare ordinary and special meals (Feastdays, Birthdays) on Fridays and other days, especially using our own community garden produce. We also enjoy giving the other groups gifts at Christmas such as home-grown canned fruits and vegetables.



Jordan 2015_copy Back row (Left to right): Ss. Francine Streff, Mary Kay Panowicz, Clarice Korger, Mary Jo Polak, Mary Carole Curren Front row (Left to right): Ss. Rosemary Weber, Paulette Larson and Marielle Frigge.

Favorite group quote:Our favorite quote is from the Advent hymn, “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s cry announces that the Lord is nigh.”  Our living area is on the side of the monastery nearest to the Missouri River, so we like the river imagery and it reminds us of our baptismal call to “put on Christ.”

Favorite thing to do: We enjoy sharing faith and friendship over food! We take turns cooking and eating together every Saturday night.

Hardest thing to do: Scheduling! Because of the varied ministry schedules, it is hard to find a free night when we can all gather to celebrate birthdays, feastdays, etc.


Back row: (Left to Right) Ss. Margretta Doyle, Mildred Busch, Margo Tschetter, Esther Holzbauer, Denette Leifeld, Barbara McTague, Peggy Venteicher, Joyce Feterl, Student Sister from Tanzania, Sister Yovina

Middle row seated: (Left to right) Ss. Wilma Lyle, Pierre Roberts, Kathleen Courtney, Dorothy Olinger Front row: (Left to right) Ss. Patricia Ann Toscano & Jodelle Zimmerman

Favorite group verse: We Love the Bible.

Most enjoyed group activity:  When we have a hospitality dinner together, inviting one of the sisters to join us, thus getting to know the sisters, especially those who have recently returned home.

Least favorite activity among the group. Another favorite activity for some members is playing cards, while it is the thing some of us would dread having to play. We enjoy our view of the river and all the beautiful sunsets, especially during Advent – thus the name of our group on 4th floor – Riverview.


Shalom Group Photo Cropped Front row: (Left to Right) Ss. Aurea Medina (recently passed), Virginia Kopp (recently passed) & Elise Haverkamp. Back row: (Left to Right) Ss. Carol Baumert, Jeanne Ranek, Donatha Gunda, Jeanne Weber, and Phyllis Hunhoff

Most enjoyed group activity. We enjoy games—Dominoes, 3-13, Quiddler and 5,000 (a dice game).


Benedictine Sisters
Sacred Heart Monastery
1005 W. 8th St.
Yankton, SD 57078

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