Sister Mary Colleen SchwarzSister Mary Colleen Schwarz, OSB, Vocations Director writes…

The Catholic Church teaches that the primary vocation of every person is to holiness and the perfection of love. All vocations come from God’s love for us and lead us to love God and all our sisters and brothers in Christ. Discerning a vocation is always understood as a process of love. We are often quick to forget what God has done for us. We must remember time and again that God is at the origin of everything. God is lovingly watching over our community giving us strength and courage to live out of our Benedictine Charism.

I believe our Benedictine religious life is intended for growth and new life. We are called to be religious during a complex moment in time. Historically, it was easier to know our role as a religious because of numerous vocations in Catholic schools and hospitals. To be called as Benedictines during our present times is a call of transition

We are forming a Vocation Team at Benet Hill that will assist us in this transition and hope. This team consists of twelve individuals committed to: implementing the detailed strategies of our six-year vocation plan, supporting our Charism and as advocates and ambassadors for the sisters of Benet Hill Monastery. This will be a highly visible and active committee. Specific projects will be assigned to the vocation members. We will be utilizing the gifts and talents of all our sisters’ wisdom in these projects.Hope teaches us to dream great deeds. Vocation is a summons to belong. Humility gives us the freedom to say “we” as our community journeys with those who are discerning a call to: religious life, oblates, or another reality of monastic life- not yet dreamed.

Vocation Goal

Vocations are the lifeblood of our monastic community.Our goal is to infuse one to three women each year with the passion for God, a passion for our community, a passion for each other,and a passion for God’s people so that they decide to begin the Affiliate phase of the vocation process.

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Pentecost by Sister Jan

pentcst1“Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.”(Ps104)

In St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we hear, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” I Cor. 12:6

This is one of my favorite scriptures. It fills me with hope and a sense of unity.  What are the gifts of the Spirit?  The gifts of the Spirit include: joy, wisdom understanding fortitude, fear of the Lord (a since of awe and wonder), counsel, compassion, peace, love, prophecy, the gift of tongues.  All gifts that encourage harmony, cooperation and interdependence on God and one another.

The challenge for me is to listen to the Spirit and discover what my spiritual gift(s) is/are. Then it is my responsibility to develop and use the gift(s) to serve others.  Remember Jesus promised each of us that we have received the Spirit in our Baptism and Confirmation.  We have these gifts already.  The beauty of our diversity is that we have differing amounts of these gifts.  God wants us to share our gifts to work for the greater good of everyone.

Jesus told the disciples and us, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”   If we each develop our particular gifts and share them generously we would be able to experience Christ’s peace.  It doesn’t matter how young or old, how educated, professional, or what my gender, religion, race, talent or anything else I am.  I just have to be my best possible self at this moment.  Each moment of each day can be my personal Pentecost!

Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Let it begin with me now.

Sister Jan Ginzkey, OSB