This week we sent Sister Lynne Smith off to school for the academic year at Catholic Theological Union. She went with the blessings and prayers of the community and a survival gift basket from coworkers…complete with plenty of pencils, a package of Ramen noodles and some healthy snacks! The presentation, pictured here, was made at our annual staff picnic by Jill Carlson (left), director of guest services, to Sister Lynne Smith (right).
Beginning today Sister Lynne will share occasional insights into her experience in a new blog series, Living in Community – Notes on a Sister’s Time Away for Education:
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Today was our first class—on spiritual direction. Up until this point we have been having orientation. Yesterday we had a class on physical fitness. It was a couple of hours of stretching and fitness exercises. Then we walked to the University of Chicago fitness center for a tour. By the time we walked back, we pretty much decided we had had our exercise for the day. There is a lovely park on Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan where I and others have been walking. The program has bikes we can use. I brought my bike helmet with me and plan to take a bike out while the weather is nice.
Tomorrow and next week we will each have time to give a presentation about our community. Karyn [a current Benedictine Sojourner at Holy Wisdom Monastery] is coming down for the weekend. We will spend some time exploring Chicago. It should be fun.
Coming next…more about the international cohort with whom Lynne will share the year ahead.
Ed Note: Sister Lynne’s year away was described in our Benedictine Bridge, July 2014, as follows:
Attending classes in Chicago
Beginning August 21, 2014 Sister Lynne Smith will attend the Institute for Religious Formation at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, studying formation for people entering religious communities. This academic-year program includes courses on Scripture, theology, human development and growth, spirituality and research. Lynne will be back in Madison during her semester break in December. When she completes the program on May 15, 2015 she will continue in formation work with women who come to begin the process of joining Benedictine Women of Madison. Women interested in learning more about exploring life with Benedictine Women of Madison may contact Ann Moyer at 608-836-1631, x197.
This article reveals the breadth of the academic program and also hints at changes at the monastery in Sister Lynne’s absence. Vital roles she fulfills must be covered for the coming year and many are stepping up to that challenge. Sisters Joanne Kollasch and Mary David Walgenbach are covering all the formation activities for Benedictine Sojourners and for the novitiate; Ann Moyer has picked up additional responsibilities as director of membership; many oblates are taking on additional responsibilities within the oblate program; Sunday Assembly members are carrying additional worship leadership rolls.