Shaun O’Meara, OSB

Sister Shaun O’Meara, Irish to the core, was born in Kilkenny, Minn., the fifth of the seven children of Kathryn and Michael O’Meara. Early on, Shaun learned to read and that resulted in a lifelong “love affair” with the written word. It is no surprise then that her entire life work has been in teaching: classes of high school and college students, and novices new to our community; workshops and retreats; written reflections and articles; and a faithful correspondence with many persons worldwide.

Shaun’s formal education from college through graduate study ranged from sociology to history to theology. At any given time throughout these 60 years, one could find her deep into a book. A sampling of topics: liberation theology, women in the Church, Vatican II, the mystics, monastic life—East and West, Benedictine history including that of our monastery, and last but not least, novels, especially those of women mystery writers.

For nine years Shaun held a leadership position in our foundation in Japan. A highlight of those years was participation in Asian Monastic Conferences in Bangkok, Thailand, and Bangalore, India. Her years in Asia helped broaden her view of the world and Christianity’s place in it.

Shaun has always reveled in a good conversation, offering direct comments, and never mincing words.

We in community have benefited from her honest, down-to-earth, short-rather-than-long, and always inspired reflections that she has shared with us over many years.