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Benedictine Sisters enjoy leadership course in Rome

Benedictine Sisters enjoy leadership course in Rome - (02-09-2016)

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Photo: Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration Ruth Elaine Starman, OSB (left) and Sister Nancy Rose Gucwa, OSB (right) joined Lisa Castlebury from Saint Meinrad Abbey and several others for a conference on Benedictine leadership in Italy during the summer.

Benedictine community monastic and lay leaders from around the world convened in Italy this summer for a conference on Benedictine leadership.

General Councilor Sister Ruth Elaine Starman, OSB and Director of Development Sister Nancy Rose Gucwa, OSB were among those who traveled to the University of St. Anselmo in Rome for “Leadership and the Rule of St. Benedict” held at the Order of Saint Benedict’s international house of studies.

Professors from the business school at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) were each joined by a Benedictine co-teacher who shared examples from his or her own community. Course modules included shaping sustainable relationships inside and outside the community, leading people, understanding and shaping an organization and managing projects.

Sister Ruth Elaine, who attended the course last year, returned as a teacher this time, teaming up with Professor Jean Paul Thommen for a session about leadership.

“It took a lot more preparation on my part as an instructor this time around, but the experience was worth it,” Sister Ruth Elaine said.

Sister Nancy Rose, who attended the course for the first time, was thrilled at the opportunity to learn from professors who’ve taught leadership skills to business professionals.

The course provided me with many practical leadership skills, some well-proven tools and new insights that I can put to use in my current position,” Sister Nancy Rose said. “I also enjoyed meeting Benedictine monks and sisters from around the world and gained a new appreciation for their different cultures and leadership challenges.”

In addition to classwork and lectures, there was time for relaxation and sightseeing. The Sisters visited several holy places throughout Rome; Subiaco, the cave where St. Benedict lived for three years as a hermit before founding his monasteries; Assisi, home of St. Francis; and Norcia, birthplace of St. Benedict.