"This is the good zeal which must foster with fervent love: they should each try to be the first to show respect to the other."
- Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 72 verse 3
Women in the Church today and women in the many religious orders who are a part of the life of the Church often face the question: “Why are you doing what you are doing?”
I think I was destined to be a Benedictine Sister well before I would ever admit it to anyone…even to myself. I would actually go out of my way to make sure that people knew that I would not be a good candidate for religious life. Somehow in my mind being “normal” was incompatible with a religious vocation. I am a person who loves working with all kinds of people, seeks adventure and is always willing to take a risk. But I also have a more serious side that can enjoy quiet and silence (in small doses) and loves to just be.
I always wanted to be a Benedictine Sister and I treasured the desire. I felt called and wanted to respond to that call with all my heart.
I had other interests as a child – skating and baton twirling. Sacristy work at the parish, Church choir, teaching religion on Saturdays were also favorite activities and, favorite of all, was going to our church and sitting in silence in the presence of God.
On July fifth in 2002, three months after my baptism at Saint Francis Xavier Church Tulsa, OK, I heard God calling me to become a Sister. It took me ten years to make final vows, to become a Benedictine Sister of Saint Joseph Monastery, which is a couple of blocks from where I was baptized.
I heard the first whisper in the 4th grade. “Please listen to the 1st and 2nd graders reading lesson and help them with their sums.”
The whisper came from Mrs. Pazourek the only teacher In that little country schoolhouse that housed 28 students, grades 1-8, where she taught every discipline in every grade. That whisper began my call to a teaching career . Throughout my eight years in Emerald Valley School I was privileged to tutor so many students and to experience the talents of so many gifted teachers.
The Benedictine way of life is a continual seeking of God. Through prayer, ministry, and communal living, we open ourselves daily to God and God's will. The decision to accept God's call to monastic life is not an easy one, and you must choose the path that is best for you.
For women considering entrance to the monastic community, a process of prayer and discernment may be appropriate, depending on the individual's own situation and support of the vocation director. If you are interested in learning more about Benedictine life or about discerning your own vocation, please contact us.
- Age: 21-40 (Consideration for 41-45)
- Work/Education/Volunteer Experience: 3 years (preferably with a degree)
- No dependent children
- Active member of a Catholic parish
- If a convert to Catholic church, must have been a member for at least three years
- If previously married, five years must have passed since becoming a widow or a divorcee (only if marriage was annulled)
Formation is a time to come to deeper self-knowledge and growth, a time to deepen one's relationship in God, grounding oneself, and discovering God's love for oneself. Formation involves learning discernment as a way of life. Through this discernment, the person in formation grows in self-awareness and balance in life.
- What is a vocation? and other questions.
- Women Called to Be Yeast of Faith (Article by Sr. Barbara)
- Test Your Call - A Self-Assessment Survey