Every Benedictine sister who hears another sister wish her “Happy Feast” feels a special warmth because this is the same day (July 11) that almost every sister vowed to live her life as a Benedictine seeking God together in community. Thus, for every sister the number of years keep mounting until a public celebration is in order after 25, 50, 60 and 75 years. Often individuals will celebrate one other time between 25 and 50. They may come from a local parish that also gifts their sister with a celebration.
Our public celebration, at which time each sister renews her vows, consists of a full day of special prayers, a festive Eucharist, and a superb meal to which we invite relatives and friends to help us note the event. This day is one of great significance as it is about Saint Benedict, our patron, as well. Our patron, a sixth-century monk, lived in Italy. Benedict developed a Rule from which monastic living is derived. Even though the Rule is a short document, it portrays a wise man who as a spiritual master guiding himself and others to find peace in the acceptance of Christ.
We become people of peace and pray during our Liturgy of the Hours for peace in the entire world.
Mary Jane Berger, OSB
Photo: St. Benedict statue in Sacred Heart Chapel, taken by Sister Nancy Bauer