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When in Rome: Sister Ruth attends leadership conference in Italy

When in Rome: Sister Ruth attends leadership conference in Italy - (20-08-2015)

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PHOTO: Benedictine Sister Ruth Starman, OSB (last row, in white top near center of photo) attended a two-week leadership conference in July with other professed members and lay employees of Benedictine communities from around the world. In between sessions, the group traveled to Subiaco, Italy, where St. Benedict lived as a hermit before founding his monasteries.

Meeting Benedictines from around the world and learning about their communities and cultures were highlights of the summer when Sister Ruth Starman, OSB attended the “Leadership, Management and The Rule of St. Benedict” conference in July in Rome, Italy.

Hosted by the University of St. Anselmo, the two-week course invited Benedictine community and lay leaders to explore topics related to leadership, shaping sustainable relationships inside and outside their communities, understanding and shaping an organization, and project management.

Conference instructors were from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), the European Business School in Zurich, Switzerland, and Benedictine communities in Germany, the Philippines and Ireland. Participants included men and women from the United States, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Hungary, the Netherlands, Italy, the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka.

Even with the diverse international presence, the language barrier was relatively easy to overcome as all participants and instructors were proficient in English. There was time in between courses to enjoy several tourist opportunities. The group also made a pilgrimage to Subiaco, Italy, where St. Benedict lived as a hermit before founding his monasteries.

“I visited places like the Colosseum, the Forum, the Piazza Navona and the Pantheon,” Sister Ruth said. “It was a wonderful experience.”

After the conference, Sister Ruth traveled to Switzerland for several days where she visited Maria Rickenbach, the community that founded her congregation in America in 1874.

She hopes to incorporate what she learned at the course as part of her duties as a member of the Benedictine Sisters’ General Council, which oversees their monasteries in Clyde, Missouri, and Tucson, Arizona, as as the congregation's vocation director.