We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2019 Mother Benedicta Riepp Award is Sheila Nelson!
This award, named after our foundress, is awarded annually to a woman who exemplifies Benedictine and Gospel values in her daily life, and Sheila Nelson has done just this. Her advising, encouraging and mentoring College of Saint Benedict (CSB) women promotes the Benedictine mission of the college to transform and empower young women to live lives of integrity. Her work to develop gender studies within the curriculum for CSB/SJU was ground breaking. Her significant work locally and nationally for the GLBT communities within the context of Catholic social teaching demonstrates openness in dialogue with others and a passion for the marginalized. She has worked both at the college level as well as with parishes, the diocese and broader community in educating and advocating for openness in mind and heart.
Issues of faith, acceptance and understanding has been the bedrock of her publications, workshops, mentoring and personal life. In the nomination letter, Sheila Hellermann wrote: “I personally believe that had M. Benedicta Riepp and Sheila Nelson had an opportunity to meet, I have no doubt their inevitable collaboration would have inspired, been admired, and shook heads, with their bold willingness to respond. Neither are observers, nor content to sit on a bench. They are both innovators, needed voices for the underserved and marginalized, and truly God’s hands and feet in the world.”
Sheila will be presented with this award at Gratitude Day on Sunday, August 11. Congratulations, Sheila!