Sister Mary Reuter was born on September 8, 1938, in Medicine Lake, Mont., but spent most of her early life in Hastings, Minn. She entered Saint Benedict’s Convent* in St. Joseph, Minn., on September 12, 1957, became a novice on June 17, 1958, and made her first profession on July 11, 1959, and her final profession on July 11, 1962.
Prior to entering Saint Benedict’s Convent, she completed one year at the College of Saint Benedict (CSB) in St. Joseph. In addition to completing her bachelor’s degree at CSB in 1964, she taught junior high school grades in various schools in the Minnesota dioceses of New Ulm and St. Cloud.
In 1971, S. Mary was appointed as subprioress, fulfilling that role for the next six years. From 1977–1982, she attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where she completed a doctoral degree in formative spirituality. Following the completion of her doctoral studies, S. Mary taught in the theology department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University until she was elected prioress in 1989.
Early in her term as prioress, S. Mary reinstated the Office of Community Planning and created the Office of Development and Communications. Among her priorities was working closely with CSB in maintaining a joint relationship by creating the Joint Administrative Council, consisting of the leadership teams of both the convent and the college. Also, under her leadership, two dependent priories received the approval of the community Chapter to become independent—Mount Benedict in Ogden, Utah, and Saint Martin in the Bahamas.
Early in 1993, S. Mary initiated Phase I of a visioning process for community planning with the help of a consultant firm. The community was led through the intricate process of developing a Comprehensive Facilities Plan, which was approved on March 12, 1994. While building and renovation plans were being implemented, S. Mary’s training in formative spirituality had prepared her for the task of continuing the community’s spiritual development through the programs offered by the Lifelong Formation Committee.
After leaving the office of prioress in 1995, S. Mary participated in the Wellsprings Renewal Program in Glens Falls, N.Y., for a semester and studied as a visiting professor at Emory University in Atlanta. When she returned to Saint Benedict’s, she resumed teaching in the theology department at CSB until her retirement in 2014, at which time she was named professor emerita of theology. She currently serves as a member of the initial formation team of directors, contributes to the spiritual programs of the community, and functions as a member of the Boards of Trustees of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.
*Our community was named Saint Benedict’s Convent until 1996 when it was formally changed to Saint Benedict’s Monastery.