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Tucson Prioress assists with St. Placid visitation

Tucson Prioress assists with St. Placid visitation - (06-11-2013)

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Photo: The St. Placid Priory visitation team included (from left) Sister Mary Benedict Pratt, prioress of St. Martin Monastery in Nassau, N.P., Bahamas; Sister Susan Hutchens, president of the Federation of St. Benedict and a member of St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, Ill.; and BSPA Tucson Prioress Sister Ramona Varela, OSB (far right).  They are joined by Sister Maureen O’Larey (second from right), prioress of St. Placid Priory in Lacey, Wash. (Photo courtesy of St. Placid Priory)

Benedictine Sister Ramona Varela, OSB, served as a member of the visitation committee in September to St. Placid Priory in Lacey, Wash., a Benedictine monastic community.

“A visitation helps ascertain how well a monastery is fulfilling its mission as determined by the spirit of the Gospel, the Rule of Benedict and the community’s constitution, and to encourage the sisters to continued fidelity,” Sister Ramona said. 

While having served in a similar capacity within her own Congregation, this was the first time Sister Ramona had worked on a committee that evaluated another community.

During the visitation, she met with members of the Monastery Council, finance staff, formation personnel and individual sisters. Findings are then assessed and recommendations can be made by members of the visitation committee. The experience was one Sister Ramona enjoyed, along with the beautiful scenery surrounding the priory.

“Washington is a beautiful state, and the area around the monastery was so pretty,” she said. “Observing the sisters’ liturgy and their way of living in community was a wonderful experience for me.”