In Sister Mary David’s preceding essay, she guides us in St. Benedict’s understanding of leadership. “Consultation, respectful listening and speaking humbly,” are values the sisters strive to practice in our ministry at Holy Wisdom Monastery.
On Saturday evenings one of the sisters leads our communal practice of lectio divina: listening to the scripture together and sharing their meaning for our lives. We often have guests with us, so our leadership is important in helping them participate fully.
On Sundays, we share leadership in worship with members of our Sunday Assembly. We serve as communion ministers, lectors, presider or homilists.
Prayer is central to our daily life. Each day one of the sisters, a co-worker or an oblate leads the Liturgy of the Hours at morning, midday and evening. Benedict says that only those who can edify the group should lead prayer. We receive instruction and have periodic practices to prepare us for leading prayer well.
In response to people seeking a spiritual community, we practice a shared leadership. We call on the skills of co-workers, oblates, volunteers, Sunday Assembly members, and friends. A sister is a member of the teams and committees in each of our ministries such as Sunday Assembly and the oblate community. Serving on committees facilitates communication of our mission and values throughout the communities, boards and work groups to which we relate.
The sisters work with co-workers and others to lead retreats at Holy Wisdom Monastery, and the Volunteer in Community program. All participants feel enriched by the experiences and gifts of others.
Each woman coming to the sisters’ community will bring her own set of skills. She will find many areas of life at Holy Wisdom Monastery in which to exercise leadership. Someone with a background in business, theology, administration, teaching, environmental studies or other areas will find a fertile field in which to use her skills as a member of the community.