The Yankton Benedictines sponsor two major ministries: Mount Marty College and Avera Health. Sponsorship is a formal relationship within the Catholic Church that allows a religious community to carry on the mission of Jesus through a particular ministry. Sponsorship involves both canonical (Church) and civil laws and requirements.
Mount Marty College was founded in 1936 and the Yankton Benedictines have been actively involved in its governance and operations. As the sponsor of the college, the monastery has certain reserved powers (responsibilities) regarding the mission and operation of the college. Sisters serve on the Mount Marty College Board of Trustees (pictured at right) and those working at the college are involved in the daily life and operation of the college.
The Yankton Benedictines became involved in health care ministry in 1897. This ministry grew over the years to include a number of hospitals in South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado. In 2000, the Aberdeen Presentations and the Yankton Benedictines joined in a co-sponsorship relationship of their health care ministry by forming Avera Health. As sponsors, sisters from both communities are involved in leadership and governance of Avera Health. As with the college, the two religious communities have certain reserved powers (responsibilities) for the mission and operation of Avera Health. A group of six sisters (3 Benedictine and 3 Presentation) have been delegated responsibility for much of the sponsor-ship oversight of Avera Health. Sisters also serve on the Avera Health Board and the Boards of Trustees of the individual hospitals and also work in some of the healthcare facilities.
1st row from left: S. Mary Kay Panowicz OSB, S. Kathleen Bierne, 2nd Row from left: S. Kathleen Crowley, S. Debra Kolecka; 3rd row from left: S. Lucille Welbig, S. Joan Reichelt
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