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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 ~ A Brilliant Diamond

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the stories of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  One of our Diamond Jubilarian sisters is celebrating 70 YEARS of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Sister Ann

Sister Ann grew up in Aberdeen, SD and attended St. Mary’s grade school and Central High School. After graduation (1945) “to test if I really had a vocation,” she joined the Yankton monastic community. She professed first vows in 1947 and made final vows in 1950. She received a B.A. from Mount Marty College, an M.A. from Creighton University and, after several years as a grade and high school instructor, a Ph.D. from Notre Dame University. After teaching at Mount Marty College for 37 years, in 2010 she was honored by the college with an Honorary Doctorate and induction into the Lancer Hall of Fame and later, Aberdeen’s High School Hall of Fame inducted her in 2012.

Sr. Ann has authored a Benedictine history book, articles for periodicals, and chapters for edited books. She also was a lecturer at many sites throughout a number of states—from east to west coasts and responded to requests for several book reviews that were for publication. South Dakota’s governors have appointed her to chairmanships or memberships to state advisory councils for state departments that concerned the elderly or criminal justice and state prisons. Now a Professor Emerita, she writes website blogs and assists in special roles in the monastery’s care center where she now resides.

“I never could have envisioned my touching the lives of over 4,000 students, responding to what others also needed
from me, while enjoying a blessed, fulfilling and rewarding spiritually-orientated life for over 70 years.”

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 duo of Diamonds

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the stories of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Five of our Diamond Jubilarian sisters are celebrating 60 YEARS of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Sister Kathleen

Sister Kathleen is the youngest of 7 children in her family from Lachine, Quebec, Canada, a suburb of Montreal. She attended grade school and high school in Lachine.  She later received her RN from St. Mary’s Hospital in Montreal and worked as an Registered Nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital until she entered Sacred Heart Monastery.

“When I had major lung surgery as a senior nursing student, I began to seriously consider religious life. Being a nurse also influenced my wanting to help others and go into a life of service.” Sr. Kathleen noted, “My parents were most likely the biggest influence in my vocation because of their strong faith that they instilled in all of us.” She met a Benedictine monk studying at Laval University in Montreal, and while talking to him about the feeling she had regarding a religious vocation, he spoke to her of the Benedictine Convent in Yankton, SD. “I knew I wanted to enter an English convent; most orders I knew of were French with English women.”

S. Kathleen has ministered in many areas of health care and served as Sub-Prioress at Sacred Heart Monastery. Of the past sixty years, she says, “My experiences as a Benedictine sister have strengthened my belief in community living. Serving others has strengthened my love of people and my belief that each person has the ability to grow and change.” At present, S, Kathleen works as a professional counselor with Catholic Family Services in Yankton. She also serves as a System Member overseeing Avera Health.

 

Sister Thecla

Sister Thecla grew up on a farm near Wagner, South Dakota. She entered Sacred Heart Monastery in August 1955 and made her monastic profession on June 28, 1957. Several experiences influenced and affirmed S. Thelca in her religious vocation: a favorite bible passage “Let the little children come to me,” spending time with Sudanese people, the Head Start program, and working with children after school.

Sr. Thecla graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science. She also earned a Dietetic Registration through an internship at Beth Israel Hospital, followed by a Master’s of Science in Home Economics w/Nutrition emphasis from South Dakota State University. She shared her education in nutrition at Standing Rock Reservation in Fort Yates, ND as Director of Food Service at Sacred Heart Convent and other health institutions before teaching her skills to others at both Mount Marty High School and College. Sr. Thelca is currently volunteering at Majestic Bluffs and assisting in the monastery kitchen.

“I have always felt called to the service of others. I am grateful for these many years of being able to serve God, my community, and His people.”

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 ~ Celebrating 60 years

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the stories of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Five of our Diamond Jubilarian sisters are celebrating 60 YEARS of service to Christ, Church, and Community.  Today, we share three of their stories

Sister Aidan

Sister Aidan’s desire to become a sister was cemented by the strong faith of her parents, the influence of the Benedictines who taught her at St. Joseph in York, NE, and her exposure to the liturgical life of the Yankton Benedictines. Sr. Aidan reflected that, “My decision to join Sacred Heart Monastery wasn’t difficult for me. Even though I felt called to religious life, leaving my family, however, was the most difficult.”

Over the years, her Benedictine community has provided her with many enriching experiences: her B.A. from Mount Marty College, M.A. from Duquesne University, and many conferences on Scripture, The Rule of Benedict and the spiritual life.  She was registrar at Mount Marty College before serving as prioress of the community from 1981-89, which “was a privilege.” Next she served as Volunteer Coordinator at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE, for 10 years before returning to Mount Marty College as Alumni Director. Presently, she serves the Sisters at the monastery in a variety of ways: hospitality service for the Peace Center, archivist for the Federation of St. Gertrude, salesperson for the gift shop, mission effectiveness education for new employees, driver, and committee work.

S. Aidan shares, “When I was in high school, I recited the prayer of St. Francis often. The phrase, ‘make me an
instrument of your peace,’ was and is important to me.” 

Sister Kathleen

“I was attracted to the Benedictine life by my teachers who mentored joy, prayerfulness, and quality of life,” says Sister Kathleen youngest daughter in her family of rural Yankton County. “I felt God calling me to serve the church through this particular community and its ministries.” S. Kathleen attended Mt. Marty High School and joined Sacred Heart Monastery on November 27, 1955. She received a Masters in Art Education from Northern Illinois University and a Masters in Creation Spirituality from Holy Names University. She has ministered in elementary and art education as well as art activities with elderly and pediatric patients. At present, she leads both adult retreats and Confirmation, Advent, and Triduum retreats for children. She also tends the rose garden at the monastery and enjoys making stained glass creations for the gift shop.

Of her jubilee, S. Kathleen reflects, “God has been so faithful in my life as mediated to me through my faith, family, community, and retreatants. Jubilee time offers me a chance to continue celebrating life – to savor the balance of prayer, work, exercise, creativity, love, and stewardship of the earth that the Rule of St. Benedict invites me to. I am grateful for all the privileges that have been mine in following this Benedictine way of life.”

Sister Margretta

Sister Margretta was baptized with the name Kathleen and has one brother, Msgr. James M. Doyle . In the early forties, she attended Mount Marty College after graduating from Lennox High School. Coming from an Irish Catholic family, she says she “didn’t consider a religious vocation even though many of my relatives were priests and sisters.” After visiting with her parents about her vocation, she joined the monastery in Yankton in 1957 and made final vows in 1960. Rather than her parents losing both children to religious life, they saw it as gaining many sons who are priests of the Sioux Falls Diocese and many daughters who are Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery.

S. Margretta taught in Albion, NE; Vermillion and Yankton, SD; and Little Flower and Christ the King Schools in Sioux Falls, SD.  In 1979 she joined Fr. Doyle as a pastoral minister at St. Michael Parish in Sioux Falls, SD. She remained there until moving to St. Mary Parish to continue her service of pastoral ministry.  She finally retired to the monastery in 2010.

Of her 60th jubilee she shares, “I saw the spirit here at the monastery. I came to grow in the faith and to give the same Benedictine spirit to others. I saw it was a great fit, and most importantly, I stayed. It has been a wonderful life. I am so blessed.”

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 ~ Golden Blessings

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the stories of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Three of our sisters are celebrating 50 YEARS of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Sister Rosemarie

Sister Rosemarie grew up on a farm near Constance, NE and as a student in both Constance and Yankton, she says, “I would say the most significant and foundational influence in helping me know my vocation was the strong and lived faith of my parents. Having Yankton Benedictines as teachers in elementary school was influential in helping me realize the call to live my vocation in the Benedictine way of life.”

She entered the monastery in August of 1965 and made her monastic profession on June 29, 1967. Sister Rosemarie states, “I have been blessed many times over in these 50 years by the countless people whose lives have touched mine – in my Benedictine community and in my various ministry experiences.” She ministered to families in parish ministry and with youth and young adults in the church for a majority of those years, which included ministry to the people of God in St. Therese Parish in Sioux Falls; Blessed Sacrament in Grand Island, NE; St. Leo’s in Gordon, NE; and St. Elizabeth’s in Merriman, NE. She served as Vocation Director for the monastery and for the last 24 years in campus ministry at the Newman Centers at USD, Vermillion, and UNK, Kearney, NE and is now continuing her service in campus ministry at Mount Marty College.

Of her Jubilee she says, “I am so very grateful for the abundant blessings that have been mine in these 50 years through the people who are part of my life in our Benedictine community, my family, and the people I’ve been honored and privileged to minister with and to. In our Benedictine community I have found support for personal and spiritual growth, encouragement to live the call to balance, and daily conversion in times of joy and challenge. I am grateful for the daily reminders to ‘seek God in everyone and everything everyday of my life.’ Jubilee for me is the celebration of God’s faithful love and presence in my life! It is with great joy and deep gratitude to God, family, community, and all with whom I have ministered that I celebrate this jubilee year!”

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 ~ Golden Gratitude

Greetings,

Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the stories of our Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!  Three of our sisters are celebrating 50 YEARS of service to Christ, Church, and Community…

Sister Sharon Ann

Sr. Sharon Ann attended St. Mary’s Grade School in Epiphany and St. Agatha’s High School in Howard, SD. After attending St. Joseph’s School of Practical Nursing in Mitchell she worked for one year at the hospital before entering Sacred Heart Monastery.

Sr. Sharon Ann states, “I had Benedictine Sisters in grade school as teachers and felt a closeness to them. They were friendly and always seemed to be happy. After I completed high school, practical nurses

training, and worked a year; I still felt an attraction to the Sisters and their way of life. I believe my grandmother also had an influence on my vocation, as she
prayed daily for me.” Sr. Sharon Ann entered Sacred Heart Monastery in 1965 and professed final vows in 1975.

Sister furthered her education in healthcare and graduated from Mount Marty College in 1970. She has served as infirmarian and clinic nurse for Sacred Heart Monastery, staff nurse and director of nursing at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, CO, and home health and hospice nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Nursing at Mount Marty College and director of Initial Formation at Sacred Heart Monastery since 2012.

“Most of my ministry has been in healthcare. I’ve always felt it’s a privilege to care for the sick. In the Holy Rule, St. Benedict states: ‘Care of the sick must rank above and before all else, so that they may truly be served as Christ.’ As a nursing educator, I’ve tried to share the importance of this special ministry with my students. As Initial Formation Director, I journey with women who are discerning a vocation to our monastic community. It’s a humbling experience to guide them and share this monastic journey with them.” 

Of her jubilee S. Sharon Ann shares, “I believe that God had a gentle, yet persistent way of calling me to religious life. I continue to be amazed at how God works in my life. I’m grateful for my family and these 50 plus years that I’ve lived
this Benedictine way of life.”

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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Find out what it takes to be ONE HEART in loving Jesus, your Sisters, and the world.

ARCHIVED Stories of our Monastic Life

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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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About the Author…

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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!

Yankton Benedictine Sisters blog

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