The Federation of Saint Scholastica, comprised of 20 Monasteries of Benedictine Women, was established on February 25, 1922.

Global Sisters Report recognized Benet Hill Monastery as 'Contemplatives in Action'

Benet Hill Monastery has been recognized by the Global Sisters Report, a project of the National Catholic Reporter, for the way in which their contemplative life overflows in various forms outreach activity. Click here to read the article published on Nov. 8, 2018.

Sisters from Holy Name Monastery cheer on Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Tropicana Field

The Florida Benedictines cheered on their local Major League Baseball team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, at their home stadium. They took a break from the action on the field to capture this memorable moment.

Chicago Benedictines have Visitation Oct. 19-21

(l to r) Sisters Kathy McNany (Baltimore), Chair of Visitation Team, Benita Coffey (Chicago), Visitation Steering Committee, Jacquelyn Ernster (Yankton), Visitation Team, Lathy Maloney (Chicago), Chair of Visitation Steering Committee, Lynn Marie McKenzie (Cullman), Federation President, and Judith Zonsius (Chicago) Visitation Steering Committee

Erie Benedictines recognized in Our Sunday Visitor for 'Take Back the Site' efforts

In an October 7th posting on the OSV Newsweekly webpage, the Benedicitne Sisters of Erie, PA were highlighted for their efforts in the "Take Back the Site" ministry campaign.  Since the ministry's establishment in 1999,  the Sisters of Mercy—New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania have joined the Erie Benedictines in addressing the needs of their local community deeply wounded by senseless acts violence that involve the taking of innocent lives. The ministry began after the brutal murder of a 5-year-old girl in Erie with the mission "to bring God’s peace and comfort to the victim’s family and friends; to restore God’s peace to the place where violence has taken place; and to put forth a message of nonviolence to the community." (Sisters of Mercy blog June 10, 2014) One of the primary activities of "Take Back the Site" is to hold a prayer vigil at the sight where a life was taken through an act of violence. Based on the needs and wishes of the victims' family, the vigil may be public or private. 

 

To read the OSV Newsweekly article, click here
To follow the "Take Back the Site" ministry on Facebook, click here.

Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie elected as CIB Moderator

On Friday, September 14, 2018, the final day of the quadrennial symposium of the Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum (CIB), the assembled delegates from all parts of the world elected our Federation President, Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, to a four-year term as Moderator of the CIB. Her term of office follows the twelve years of service completed by Sister Judith Ann Heble of Chicago.

 

The role of the Moderator is to coordinate all of the CIB activities. She presides over Conference and Administraive Council meetings and directs the work of the CIB.  She also serves as the liaison between the CIB Conference and the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation.

 

The primary purpose of the CIB is to promote mutual support and exchange of ideas and experience among Benedictine women on an international level and to foster the development of women's monasticism.  The CIB also serves to support the relationship between women's communities and the Benedictine Confederation and to advise the Abbot Primate on issues as they relate to Benedictine women. For more information about CIB, visit their website at www.benedictines-cib.org

Benedictine Sisters respond to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings

Photo of Sister Kathy McNany from the Baltimore Sun Photo of Sister Kathy McNany from the Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun reported about a letter sent by Kathy McNany and thirteen other Sisters from her Benedictine community in response to the congressional hearings regarding Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh asking for the women in Congress to vote against advancing the nominee to further proceedings. The Baltimore Sun writes: 

 

McNany, who is with the Emmanuel Monastery in Lutherville, said that two events triggered her letter. The first was an interview she heard on the radio with high school students about their responses to Thursday’s congressional hearing into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh....The second thing that prompted her letter, McNany wrote, was a column in the Washington Post by writer Alexandra Petri with the headline, “It is very difficult to get the train to stop.” The article, McNany writes, is about how no matter how many women speak out, “the train of power and patriarchy does not stop!”

 

The article in the Baltimore Sun  was followed by a similar piece published by The Global Sisters Report, a Project of the National Catholic Reporter.

 

To read more of the article printed in the Baltimore Sun, click here.

 

To read the article printed by the Global Sisters Report about the letter from  the Baltimore Benedictines, click here.

Sr. Audrey Quinn of Pittsburgh receives Distinguished Service Award

Sister Audrey Quinn, O.S.B. Sister Audrey Quinn, O.S.B.

The Greene County Chamber of Commerce has recognized the work of Sister Audrey Quinn of St. Benedict Monastery (Pittsburgh, PA) by naming her as the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award. 

 

From the Greene County MessengerThe Distinguished Service Awards are bestowed based on lasting contributions to community welfare, participation in civic organizations, evidence of leadership ability, success in vocation, personal and/or business progress, and cooperation with other individuals and organizations.

 

To read more of the article about this story, click here.

Federation members attend CIB in Rome

Sisters from several member monasteries of the Federation of St. Scholastica attended the recent CIB (Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum) Symposium in Rome. Here the Sisters stopped for a group photo at San Anselmo.

CIB Symposium Participants CIB Symposium Participants (photo from Flickr.com)

The above photo and others from the final day of the Symposium may be viewed via the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anselmianum/albums. Based on the words of Sister Lynn Maire, the descriptions below identify some of the events captured in the photostream posted on Flickr.com.

 

First activity following the group picture-taking was hearing from the younger sisters who had been invited – 1 from each region of the world.  They spoke about their own experiences of hospitality in their own communities, etc. Then there were some questions from some of the rest of the participants.  

 

AIM International's executive secretary gave a very good an uplifting report to the assembly.

 

The administrative council of the conference of delegates did a beautiful series of thank yous for Judith Ann Heble for her 12 years of service as CIB Moderator.  

August 2018 Gyrovagi now available

The August 2018 issuse of the Gyrovagi has been posted to the website under the tab with that name. Follow the link above to navigate to the page where it may be downloaded and viewed.

Federation of St. Scholastica members at LCWR

The Federation of St. Scholastica members gathered for a group photo during the LCWR Assembly held in St. Louis, MO August 7-10, 2018. The theme of the assemnly was "Being the Presence of Love: The Power of Communion."

 

More information about the assembly is available on the LCWR website.

NAABOD Newsletter Available

NAABOD Newsletter July 2018.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.7 MB]

American Benedictines visit attend national meeting of African Benedictines in South Africa

With Mother Magdalena, Prioress General of the Benedictine Sisters in Namibia With Mother Magdalena, Prioress General of the Benedictine Sisters in Namibia

Sisters Lynn McKenzie (Cullman) and Mary Catherine Wenstrup (Covington, KY) recently attended the annual meeting of the African Benedictine Sisters of the Association of St. Mechtildis, held July 1-13, 2018 at Twasana Priory in South Africa.  It was winter time in the southern hemisphere, and it was quite cold there – especially with no heat!  All of the African Sisters knew they needed winter coats, scarves and leggings, but their two American visitors did not! Nevertheless, the American Sisters were warmly received and welcomed to the Association meeting.  Lynn and Mary Catherine were invited to share about how our federation operates and how it is mutually beneficial for all the monasteries.  In addition, the canonical experience of Mary Catherine and Lynn was shared with the Association President, Sister Theodora Ntuli, and her council by analysis and review of the Association constitution. 

Mother Asante and Sister Redempta of the Congregation of St. Agnes of Tanzania Mother Asante and Sister Redempta of the Congregation of St. Agnes of Tanzania

Mary Catherine and Lynn were favorably impressed with the evident joy of the Sisters gathered there, who broke out into holy song and dance at just about every opportunity, not only during the Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist.  What a wonderful experience of their culture!

 

The Sisters had also invited Abbot John Paul Mwaniki of the nearby Inkamana Abbey to address Obedience and Disobedience in the Rule of Benedict.  This led to good discussions among all the Sisters gathered and they shared some of the challenges of practical obedience within their monasteries.

Sister Mary Catherine Wenstrup (Covington, Kentucky) near the bell tower at Twasana Priory. Sister Mary Catherine Wenstrup (Covington, Kentucky) near the bell tower at Twasana Priory.

The grounds of the Twasana Priory, even in the midst of winter there, were full of blooming trees and fruits.  They had a variety of trees including avocado, orange, lemon, papaya, even palm trees.  The American visitors were also surprised and mesmerized by the gray monkeys which inhabit the trees behind the monastery and also steal fruit from the Sisters’ trees.  The Sisters at Twasana also tend a variety of gardens, growing much of their own vegetables and fruits.  They make wines from the fruits grown there, as well as delicious jellies and jams. In fact, all of the food was fresh, well prepared and delicious. They also have goats, cattle and horses that live there on the grounds, and wherever they choose to graze.

2018 Federation Chapter gathers in Cullman, AL

Group photo of Federation Chapter delegates and guest observers Group photo of Federation Chapter delegates and guest observers

 

The Federation Chapter began on the evening of June 13, 2018 with an opening prayer service introducing the theme "Facing Our Critical Junctures with Hope." 

Each delegation presented a symbol of a current critical juncture that it is facing and placed it at the focal point of the prayer room. The symbol of the burning bush, representing the presence of God in the midst of the critical moments of our lives, was a prominent theme throughout the Chapter gathering.

The Program Committee facilitated two days of presentations, activities and discussions focused on utilizing Benedictine "tools" and other "technologies" available for naming and facing the significant challenges currently impacting the monasteries of the federation.

Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, Federation President, addressed the gathering on Thursday evening, June 14th, offering words of encouragement to all of the monastic communities represented. Utilizing inspirational words from a variety of writers, Sister Lynn emphasized that the experience of death and dying is integrally part of the experience of resurrection and ascension, i.e. the entirety of the Paschal Mystery. Facing critical junctures with hope is the call of all Christian disciples. It gives witness to the ceaseless confidence of Jesus Christ who also cried out from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" Remaining faithful to the work of God unfolding through us in our time is a process of letting go of whatever ideas about our ourselves, our communities, and monastic life in general that may be inhibiting us from becoming the new creation God envisions for us. She reminded the gathering that we are all in this together and that love and prayerful support of one another throughout the process is the way forward.

Table groups discuss information presented by the Program Committee Table groups discuss information presented by the Program Committee

Over the weekend, various committee reports were given and the process of creating direction statements for the next four years began. Once the statements were agreed upon, the process of election began. Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie was re-elected to serve as Federation President for the next four years. Sister Elaine Fischer of Atchison, KS was elected as 1st Councilor. Other elected members of the new Federation Council are Sisters Christine Ereiser (Tulsa, OK Prioress), Maricarmen Bracamontes (Torreon, Mexico Prioress), Anne Wambach (Erie, PA Prioress) and Kimberly Porter (Covington, KY).

(l to r) Sisters Christine Ereiser, Maricarmen Bracamontes, Anne Wambach, Lynn Marie McKenzie, Kimberly Porter, and Elaine Fischer (l to r) Sisters Christine Ereiser, Maricarmen Bracamontes, Anne Wambach, Lynn Marie McKenzie, Kimberly Porter, and Elaine Fischer
Insert an image caption here. Evening socials were held in the Sisters' Dining Room of Sacred Heart Monastery Insert an alternative text here. Evening socials were held in the Sisters' Dining Room of Sacred Heart Monastery.
The closing banquet was held in the Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center Dining Room with an Italian themed menu and an environment inspired by St. Scholastica. The closing banquet was held in the Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center Dining Room with an Italian themed menu and an environment inspired by St. Scholastica.

Federation Council meets in Cullman

The president and the council of the Federation of St Scholastica met in April at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman which will be the location for the Federation Chapter meeting in June. Making final plans for the Chapter and several other items were on their agenda during their days together.

Support for St. Gertrude the Great to be named a Doctor of the Church

In a letter dated April 2, 2018, Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, as President of the Federation of St. Scholastica, asks that His Holiness Pope Francis favorably consider the Postulation of St. Gertrude the Great as a Doctor of the Church. To read her letter and learn more about the Postulation, click on the file below.

St Gertrude the Great - Support of Postu[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [162.3 KB]

New Prioress Elected in Covington, KY

Sisters Elaine Fischer, Mary Catherine Wenstrup, Aileen Bankemper, Susan Quaintance, Lynn Marie McKenzie (l to r) Sisters Elaine Fischer, Mary Catherine Wenstrup, Aileen Bankemper, Susan Quaintance, Lynn Marie McKenzie

On Saturday, April 7, 2018, the Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery in Covington, KY elected Sister Aileen Bankemper to serve as their new prioress for the next four years.  The outgoing prioress, Sister Mary Catherine Wenstrup has served the community as prioress since 2006. Sisters Susan Quaintance (Chicago) and Elaine Fischer (Atchison) were the election discernment facilitators, and Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, Federation President, presided over the election. 

(l to r) Sisters Mary Carol Hellmann (teller), Lynn McKenzie (federation president), Margaret Mary Gough (teller) and Barbara Woeste (secretary) (l to r) Sisters Mary Carol Hellmann (teller), Lynn McKenzie (federation president), Margaret Mary Gough (teller) and Barbara Woeste (secretary)

Spring 2018 Gyrovagi now available

Gyrovagi cover Click on image to navigate to Gyrovagi page and download

Feast Day Greetings from the Federation President

March 21, 2018

Dear Sisters,

Wishing you every grace and happiness on this feast of our Holy Father Benedict.  May we always run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love. (RB Prol. 49)  And may God bring us all together to everlasting life! (RB 72:12)

Let us hold each other in prayer as we continue to seek God in the school of the Lord’s service, asking God to keep us faithful.

With love and prayers for your good,

Sister Lynn

11th Annual Oblate Institute Brochure Available

The 11th Annual Oblate Institute held at the Sophia Spirituality Center in Atchison, KS is scheduled for July 12-15, 2018. The theme of the Institute is "Being Fully Alive: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community." Judith Valente, Oblate of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery, will be the main presenter. She has authored four books on spirituality, is an award-winning journalist and a poet. The brochure for the event, which contains more detailed information and a registration form, may be downloaded below.

11th Annual Oblate Institute Brochure
obInstit18.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [999.4 KB]

Frances Briseno Elected Prioress in Boerne

Sisters Bernadine Reyes, Prioress, and Frances Briseno, Prioress-Elect Sisters Bernadine Reyes, Prioress, and Frances Briseno, Prioress-Elect
 
On Friday, March 2, 2018 the Sisters of St Scholastica Monastery in Boerne TX elected Sister Frances Briseño as their next prioress to serve a 5 year term beginning with her installation on May 19, 2018.  Sister Mary Catherine Wenstrup, Prioress at Covington, KY, served as the Election Discernment Facilitator, and Sister Mariette Bernier of Elizabeth, NJ served as Assistant Discernment Facilitator. Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie presided over the election.
 
Please join them in thanksgiving for the guidance of the Spirit and for prayers for Frances and the community as they move forward into their future. 
(l to r) Sisters Lynn Marie, Frances Briseno, Mary Catherine Wenstrup, and Mariette Bernier

Erie Benedictines participate in DACA demonstration in Washington, D.C.

The following story ran on the website GoErie.com on February 28, 2018: "Five representatives from the Erie Benedictines for Peace were among about 40 Catholic nuns and leaders who were arrested Tuesday in Washington, D.C. at a rally calling for immigration reform." To read more of this story, follow this link.

NAABOD Newsletter Winter 2018 now available

The Winter 2018 NAABOD Newsletter is now available via the link below. In the section on the World Congress presentations, you can click on the links to access them. 

NAABOD Newsletter February 2018.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [946.2 KB]

CBP meets in Cullman, AL

CBP 2018 Group Photo CBP 2018 Group Photo

The Conference of Benedictine Prioresses gathered for its annual assembly in Cullman, AL at the Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center from Feb 1-7, 2018. As always it was a great opportunity for the CBP members to share with one another and encourage one another in the ministry of leading monasteries.  It wasn’t all work – at the end of the week together, there was a grand Mardi Gras celebration including Cajun food and a Dixieland jazz band providing great entertainment and an opportunity for dancing and fun.”

Federation of St. Scholastica representatives at CBP with an adopted Missionary Benedictine Federation of St. Scholastica representatives at CBP with an adopted Missionary Benedictine

Gratitude for the life of Sister Johnette Putnam, OSB

The Federation of St. Scholastica gives thanks for the life, leadership and service of Sister Johnette Putnam.  May she be rejoicing in heaven.

 

Thank you, Johnette!

 

The following obituary and photo are from the Mt. St. Scholastica website (www.mountosb.org)

Sister Johnette Putnam, O.S.B. Sister Johnette Putnam, O.S.B.

June 2, 1933 - February 4, 2018

 

Sister Johnette Putnam, OSB, 84, a Benedictine sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kans., died Sunday, February 4, 2018, at the monastery. The vigil service will be Thursday, February 8, at 7:00 p.m. in the monastery chapel and the Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated there Friday, February 9, at 10:30 a.m.

 

Born in New Orleans, La., Sister Johnette was a member of St. Scholastica Priory in Covington, La., until it closed in 1988 and she transferred to Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison. She taught in grade schools in Louisiana and was a principal for several years. From 1958 to 1968, she taught at St. Joseph High School in Chauvin, La., and St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, La. She held a B.A. in English from Mount St. Scholastica College, M.A. in theology from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., and an honorary doctorate from Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D. In 1968, she was elected prioress in Covington and in 1978 became president of the Federation of St. Scholastica, an organization of Benedictine monasteries. She held this position for 12 years and then was a retreat director at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, Ala., before moving to Atchison. There she served as director of Sophia Center from 1992 to 2003 and helped launch Souljourners, an ecumenical program for training spiritual directors at Sophia Center. She wrote many articles and gave lectures and workshops on monastic life, community leadership, liturgy, and spirituality.

 

Sister Johnette was preceded in death by her parents Gorham and Georgiana Serpas Putnam, by her brothers Charles, Joseph and S. Jerome, and a sister, Emilie Nicaud. She is survived by her twin brother John (Dot) of Tierra Verde, Fla., nieces and nephews, and her monastic family. Arensberg Pruett Funeral Home (www.arensbergpruett.com) is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica or made online at the Mount's web site (www.mountosb.org).

Eulogy for Sister Johnette Putman
Johnette Putnam.Eulogy by Jeanne d'Arc K[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [211.9 KB]
Funeral Homily for Sister Johnette Putnam
Johnette Putnam.funeral homily by Meinra[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [178.6 KB]

Tri-Community Lenten Reflections Available 

Our Lenten Reflections on Fasting and Feasting will begin on Ash Wednesday and continue each Wednesday in Lent, offering suggestions for prayer, reflection and intentional action.

 

Visit: https://www.3osbconnections.org/lenten-reflections

 

Emmanuel Monastery, Lutherville, MD

St. Benedict Monastery, Bristow, VA

St. Gertrude Monastery, Ridgely, MD

Bristow 150th Anniversary noted by Prince William Living 

Freelance writer Olivia Overman contributed an article to the Prince William Living magazine/website noting the 150th anniversary of the community's founding. To see the article, click here.

Tulsa Visitation held Nov. 16-19, 2017

(l to r) Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, Sister Christine Ereiser, Prioress, and Sister Elizabeth Brown

Boerne Visitation held Nov. 9-12, 2017

(l to r): Sister Susan Quaintance (Chicago), Sister Bernadine Reyes, Prioress, and Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, Federation President (l to r): Sister Susan Quaintance (Chicago), Sister Bernadine Reyes, Prioress, and Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, Federation President
(l to r) Sisters Susan Mika and Bernice Lindsey (Visitation Committee) with Sisters Lynn Marie McKenzie, Susan Quaintance, and Bernadine Reyes (l to r) Sisters Susan Mika and Bernice Lindsey (Visitation Committee) with Sisters Lynn Marie McKenzie, Susan Quaintance, and Bernadine Reyes

Barbara Austin Installed as Administrator 

On Sunday, October 15th, Sister Barbara Austin of Tulsa, OK was installed as the Administrator for the Benedictine Sisters at Queen of Angels Monastery in Liberty, MO. Sister Barbara received a blessing from Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, Federation President, as well as from each member of the Liberty community.

Benedictine Vocation Directors Gather at St. John's

National Benedictine Vocation Directors Conference Group Photo National Benedictine Vocation Directors Conference Group Photo

The National Benedictine Vocation Directors Conference met at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN. Five vocation directors from the Federation of St. Scholastica were in attendance.

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