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Benedictines celebrate more than three centuries of profession

Benedictines celebrate more than three centuries of profession - (16-05-2022)

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Several members of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri, were honored for a combined 355 years of monastic profession during a ceremony held May 5, 2022, at Our Lady of Rickenbach.

Those honored for their profession jubilees were (from left) Sister Kathleen Gorman, OSB (75 years), Sister Mary Bede Luetkemeyer, OSB (70 years), Sister Mary Jane Romero, OSB (70 years), Sister Mary Laurentia Doyle, OSB (70 years) and Sister Mary Benita Luetkemeyer, OSB (70 years). Benedictine Sister Colleen Maura McGrane, OSB will celebrate her Silver Jubilee (25 years of monastic profession) later this year.


Sister Kathleen Gorman, OSB - Diamond Jubilee of 75 years of monastic profession

First Monastic Profession: Sept. 1, 1947

Sister Kathleen had plans to attend college when God called her to religious life. She was especially drawn to a contemplative vocation and proceeded to correspond with 25 different communities. She learned of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and felt they would be the best fit for her.

After her early high school graduation in February 1946, she and her parents made the long trip from Brooklyn, New York, to Clyde, Missouri. It was tough for Sister Kathleen as she’d never been away from home for any length of time. But there she was, knocking on the monastery door in the early hours of the morning and entering a whole new life.

She spent much of her monastic duties in the correspondence department, which she always enjoyed. She also served on the General Council in the 1970s, was novice director for several years, Tucson archivist and pastoral director of the health care facility in St. Louis. She served in the monasteries in Clyde; San Diego (where she was prioress); Tucson, Arizona; St. Louis; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and San Benito in Dayton, Wyoming. She took night classes for several years and earned a degree in 1981. She especially enjoyed celebrating her Golden Jubilee at the monastery in Dayton among what she lovingly referred to as the “Cathedral of the Cottonwoods.”

Her time spent at the monastery in Tulsa was joyful due to the opportunity to spend time with many people from around the world who sought silence and solitude in the Forest. 

“The conversations visitors shared with us were humbling, and I became more and more aware of how seriously people were seeking the ‘one thing necessary,’ especially through contemplative prayer.”

“I love everything about monastic life!” she said. “It is my natural environment of prayer and work and community and all its challenges. Community life is the wheel at which the Potter makes us to be what God wants us to be. We will not be disappointed in our hope. I have been blessed in countless ways and will forever be grateful to all I met and to those with whom I lived.”


Sister Mary Laurentia Doyle, OSB - 70 years of monastic profession

First Monastic Profession: July 11, 1952

Sister Laurentia Doyle entered a Benedictine community as a college freshman in 1951 and spent the next 25 years teaching. With an attraction to the Blessed Sacrament, she sought a more contemplative life and transferred to the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1978. She has a bachelor’s degree in education and has worked in the sacristy, as housekeeper, in maintenance and in the Benedictine Sisters’ altar bread department, a position she most enjoyed because she felt it was conducive to silence and recollection, important parts of monastic life.


Sister Mary Bede Luetkemeyer, OSB  - 70 years of monastic profession

First Monastic Profession: Feb. 10, 1952

Sister Bede was one of 13 siblings - several of whom followed a calling to religious life. For a year after her high school graduation, she worked for the state of Missouri and for the St. Louis public library. She soon followed her own contemplative religious calling, which drew her to the Benedictine Sisters’ monastic life. 

“I wanted to come to a greater love of God, and I felt this type of life would enable me to pursue that ambition easier,” she said.

Sister Bede attended the Institute of Religious Formation, after which she was named the affiliate director and led retreats for women religious. She served on the General Council, as a prioress and subprioress of different communities, worked as vocation director, and spent many years working in the correspondence department and wrote for “Spirit&Life” magazine.


Sister Mary Benita Luetkemeyer, OSB  - 70 years of monastic profession

First Monastic Profession: Oct. 5, 1952

Sister Benita entered the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1951 and made her first monastic profession on Oct. 5, 1952.

During her years as a Benedictine Sister, she was appointed superior of the Sand Springs, Okla, community, served as director of the correspondence department and worked in liturgy, music and in the altar bread department. She and Sister Benita are siblings and made their first monastic professions in the same year.


Sister Mary Jane Romero, OSB  - 70 years of monastic profession

First Monastic Profession: Feb. 10, 1952

Sister Mary Jane was encouraged throughout her childhood to learn about her faith and dreamed of becoming a saint or a missionary one day.

“My greatest desire was to love God with all my heart and do God’s will,” she said.

During high school, she read “The Bread of Life,” by Father Lukas Etlin, a valiant supporter and great friend of the Benedictine Sisters. She wrote the Congregation and received another book, “Eucharistic Adorer,” which enchanted the young girl and helped lead to her religious calling.

One year later she entered the Congregation at Clyde. Recalling that first day when she walked into the Adoration Chapel, Sister Mary Jane said, “The Sisters were singing Vespers of the Feast of the Precious Blood, and I loved the Gregorian chant. It was like I had finally found my home.”

Throughout her monastic life, Sister Mary Jane has served as prioress general, prioress of two communities, editor of the Congregation’s magazine, “Spirit&Life,” as postulant director, and director of the liturgical vestments department.