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Monasteries as "oases of hope and renewal"

Monasteries as "oases of hope and renewal" - (27-02-2012)

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Even leaders need someone to lean on.

The Conference of Benedictine Prioresses held its annual meeting in February at Immaculata Monastery of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk, Neb., bringing together dozens of women religious leaders from monasteries across the United States.

Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist,OSB attended the conference, along with Clyde Prioress Sister Sean Douglas, OSB.

“The best thing about this annual meeting is getting together with others who are serving as leaders of their communities to talk about the challenges and joys that are part and parcel of such a position,” Sister Pat said. “Away from the day to day demands of our work, it's a time to relax a bit in the company of people who have a keen understanding of those demands.”

The meeting included a presentation, “The Monastic Superior: a Servant of the Lord; Reflections on St. Benedict’s Vision of the Abbot,” by Sister Manuela Scheiba, OSB, a German scholar of the Rule of Benedict.

Participants also discussed insights in addressing challenges and exchanged strategies on collaboration and information on consultants and other firms that can assist communities in various ways.

“Getting together to share thoughts, concerns and hopes is important and provides an avenue to explore how something might be done better,” Sister Pat said. “We discussed how our communities can be oases of hope and renewal of spirit for any and all who long for them in the midst of our world's current reality as well as being a voice for those who may not otherwise have much influence in the public arena.”