Welcome! You’ve taken a big step in your discernment process just by visiting the vocations section of our website. We want you to feel at ease as you communicate with and learn about us and our monastic community.
We are a Benedictine monastic community of women dedicated to a life of prayer, community and work. We were founded in 1857 and follow a guide called the Rule of Benedict. As Benedictines, we respond to the needs of the Church and the world. We invite you to come and pray with us, visit our sacred spaces and learn more about our Benedictine life.
Note From Director Sister Lisa Rose
I am Sister Lisa Rose, the director of vocation ministry for Saint Benedict’s Monastery. My role is to assist women who are discerning their vocation in life by first asking, “What is your vocation?” Questions that I may ask are “What is your prayer life like?” or “How do you feel God is calling you to religious life at this time in your life?” Together through our conversations, I ask the question, “Is Saint Benedict’s Monastery the best place for you to seek God?” I have the privilege of guiding women into a deeper relationship with God. My role is one of offering direction so she finds what is best for her. As the director of vocations, I listen and respond, I challenge and support, I let go and let her seek God.
Sisters Bridgette Powers and Laura Suhr Make Perpetual Monastic Profession
Sisters Bridgette Powers (right) and Laura Suhr made perpetual monastic profession on Monday, July 11, 2022. They were featured in The Central Minnesota Catholic. In the article, which can be found on pages 22–23, both Benedictine sisters share pieces of their vocation journeys and what has led them to commit to a lifetime of seeking God in community at Saint Benedict’s Monastery.
Photograph and article are by Dianne Towalski, multimedia reporter for The Central Minnesota Catholic
Come and Be Discernment Retreats
“Listen” is the first word of the Rule of Benedict. It is at the heart of discernment.
Join other single women for a weekend of self-discovery and vocation discernment. Learn and discover some of our Benedictine/Christian values that shape us, listen to personal reflections that will help you better understand if God is calling you to explore religious life, and learn about our sisters whose prayer and lifestyle are rooted in faith.
There is one upcoming discernment retreat:
- March 10–12, 2023
The retreat weekend begins at 7 p.m. on Friday and ends at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Is God Calling You?
Some Questions to Ponder
- Do I feel a call to a deeper faith life, a deeper relationship with God?
- Do I desire to be part of a community committed to other women who are also seeking God?
- Do I sense a longing for a structured life of prayer, service and community living?
- Do I continue to find myself thinking about how to deepen my faith life?
- Do I wonder whether I may have a vocation to religious life?
If these questions resonate with you, it may be time to begin asking: “Do I have a call to religious life?”
Beginning to Discern
We will engage in discussion with women who want to begin mutual discernment as they respond to their baptismal call and explore possible membership into our community. The following criteria are necessary for a woman interested in beginning the dialogue:
- Are you a baptized Roman Catholic who has celebrated the sacraments of reconciliation, Eucharist and confirmation?
- If you are a convert to Catholicism, have you been worshiping regularly with a Roman Catholic community during the past two years?
- If you were raised Catholic, are you currently worshiping regularly with a Roman Catholic community?
- Are you single, widowed or divorced with an annulment?
- Have you had post-secondary education and/or do you have work experience beyond high school?
- Are you being treated for a condition that may prevent you from fully living in a monastic community?
These are the basic prerequisites to begin the dialogue for a religious vocation into our community. Contact Sister Lisa Rose, director of vocation ministry, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (320) 363-7180.
If you feel called to monastic life, but not as a professed sister, there are many opportunities that you can explore. Sister Lisa Rose would be happy to talk to you. Options include becoming an Oblate of Saint Benedict’s Monastery or a volunteer.
Paths Of Formation
This is a time of becoming more familiar with the community through frequent visits while living and working independently of the community.
This stage is generally nine months long. The woman lives within the community learning the life of prayer, work and community living. The opportunity to attend classes on Benedictine spirituality and prayer are built into the schedule.
This is a canonical year of intense prayer and reflection on the Benedictine monastic way of life in this community. It is a time for the novice and the community to continue to get to know one another. This year is one of discernment as the novice and her formation director ask the question, “Is this the best community for her to seek God?”
First Monastic Profession
The stage of first monastic profession is a period of four to six years. The woman lives as a professed member of the community, continuing to learn the balance of prayer, work and community. She is discerning if this is the best place for her to seek God and make a lifelong commitment to the community.
Perpetual Monastic Profession
Making a lifelong commitment to seeking God according to the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict at Saint Benedict’s Monastery.
What are the characteristics of Benedictine spirituality?
Some of the key characteristics of Benedictine spirituality include:
- Liturgy of the Hours
- Lectio Divina (prayerful reading of Scripture)
Benedictine Spirituality includes the willingness to:
- Seek God
- Use the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict as a guide
- Listen to one another and the God within
What are the signs of a monastic religious vocation?
- The desire to live in community
- A love of prayer
- Understanding the role of obedience to one another and to the prioress
- Knowing the importance of the daily practice of discernment:
- With yourself
- The community
- The prioress
What is monasticism? What is a monastery? How does it differ from apostolic life?
- Monasticism is a life where the priority is prayer. Prayer, work and community living are some of the key components of this lifestyle.
- The monastery is the place where Benedictine women live together in community.
- The apostolic life differs because it focuses on active ministry. Service to others is important.
How do I know if I have a call?
- You have a desire to look for something deeper in your life.
- You have a hunger to serve God more deeply.
- The feelings of religious life linger and remain with you, no matter how hard you try to ignore them.
How do I apply?
- There is a discernment process that is led by the director of vocations. Fill out an online request form to schedule a visit. You will be contacted by the director of vocations and have an in-depth phone interview to see if an on-site visit is the next step for you.
What promises (formerly known as vows) do you make as Benedictine sisters?
- We make three promises of commitment:
- Conversatio (continued fidelity to the monastic way of life)
- Celibate chastity and monastic poverty are also indispensable to the common life.
What types of ministries have the sisters been involved in?
Currently, sisters within our community are involved in many different types of ministry, including:
- Health care
- Pastoral ministry
- Social ministry
- Community ministry within our own organization
What Does a Day Look Like at Saint Benedict’s Monastery?
What to Expect
If you spend the night, you will be a guest of the welcoming community. Five sisters live in the welcoming community, and they will help you feel at home. These sisters will accompany you to prayers, Eucharist and meals. You will also have a private room prepared for you with bedding, towels and reading materials about our community.
If you come for a visit, please keep in mind the communal activities of prayer in the Oratory, Eucharist in the chapel and meals in our dining room. We ask that you wear clothing that speaks of simplicity, such as pants or a knee-length skirt and a modest blouse or sweater top, when we are in the Oratory, Chapel and monastic dining room. You will want clothes to work in, walk in and hang out in when with the welcoming house community.
Based on your needs, a schedule will be set up with Sister Lisa Rose. She will help you discover all the opportunities available to you during your visit. There will also be an opportunity for you to spend time in quiet reflection, go for walks and exercise, if you so choose.