Hello from Trish Stefanik, the newest Benedictine Sojourner. I have arrived. At the monastery, that is; I have a long way to go to acclimate to a new part of the country, get to know a whole new community of people and enter into a new way of life. Not to mention, learn what light switch turns on what light, where the dishes and utensils are kept in the kitchen, and how to get around the oratory, offices, buildings, the prairie and a new town. Whew.
Yes, arriving will take time. I am very grateful that the sisters and the monastery staff, according to the Rule of Benedict, advocate the practice of patience, perseverance and humility. And that they are in community to support each other, including me now, in that practice. By sharing some of my experience on occasion with you the readers and friends of Holy Wisdom Monastery, I hope to offer a view of monastery life from the eyes and heart of someone desiring to love God and learn from others.
I am a single woman, raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, who lived in and near Washington DC for the past 27 years. I have been enriched by spiritual community and work with Sojourners, a community and magazine of faith in action for justice; various churches; the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Paulist Media Works; the Servant Leadership School of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour; the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation; a West Virginia wilderness retreat community, Rolling Ridge; and Friends of Silence, which encourages prayer and contemplation.
Looking back, one thing seemed to naturally lead to the next to bring me to this new thing. I desire to listen, reflect, and take action to be a part of God’s creativity and evolving creation. I continue here enthusiastically. And I begin again.