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Pandemic creates new opportunity for giving

Pandemic creates new opportunity for giving - (22-01-2021)

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Photo: (From left) Sisters Hope Rodenborn, Cathleen Marie Timberlake and Josetta Grant are three of the congregation’s members behind Monastery Creations.

When a global pandemic shut down major holiday shopping events, the Benedictine Sisters did what Benedictine Sisters do: they adapted and persevered. And remembered a fitting Bible verse: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need” (Romans 12:13).

Sister Cathleen Marie Timberlake, OSB knew that the pandemic had cancelled many of the holiday shopping events she usually attended each year as part of Monastery Creations, the congregation’s line of handcrafted soaps, lotions, candles and other items.

“We knew our loyal customers would miss being able to buy our products, so we devised a way to help us and help them at the same time,” she said. “We also wanted to create something that would benefit others who are struggling.”

Thus, Fall Fest was born. The event’s purpose was two-fold: sell the products online that they had spent several months making in anticipation of holiday shopping events and support local food pantries during the winter months.

Sister Hope Rodenborn, OSB and Sister Josetta Grant, OSB joined in with their holiday-scented soaps and lotions. The response was overwhelming, and the Sisters extended the event an extra two weeks in order to fill the orders that were flooding in. After all was said and done, the Benedictine Sisters were able to donate $1,000 to the Ministry Center in Maryville, Missouri, and another $1,000 to the Stanberry (Missouri) Ministerial Alliance Inc. The organizations operate food pantries for Nodaway County and Gentry County respectively. 

“We can’t begin to express our gratitude to all who shopped Fall Fest and, in turn, helped us to help others in our neighboring communities,” Sister Cathleen Marie said. “It would be wonderful to make this an annual event in the future.”