The sisters’ commitment to caring for the earth has deep roots in our Benedictine spirituality. Having made a promise of stability, we seek to work for the good of the place where we live. This refers to both the people and the land which is our home. Benedict tells his community members to care for the tools of the monastery as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar. By this he lets us know that all things are holy. Such a mindset leads us to care for creation by reducing, recycling and reusing whatever we can.
A monk has written that the first book of God is creation and the second is Scripture. Benedictines know that one of the first places people encounter the divine is through creation. The sisters take care to maintain the monastery grounds as a quiet place where retreatants are free to walk, sit and meditate. By doing so they may discover their connection with the holy and with themselves as part of creation.
Benedictines also have a commitment to beauty because, again, we may encounter God through beauty. The magnificence of a sunset over the western trees, the wind rippling through the tall prairie grasses or the sound of the red-winged blackbirds calling to one another may awaken a sense of wonder and praise in us.
Working in the vegetable gardens, on the prairie or in the orchards keeps us grounded in our creatureliness. Such manual labor provides a balance to sitting at a computer or studying and is an aid to staying in the present moment. We hope you will join us in our commitment to caring for the earth.
Volunteers Hershey Mallett (left) and Stephanie Borger (right) work with
Sister Lynne in the vegetable garden.
In addition to volunteer opportunities (Community Workdays) mentioned above which are open to all, we offer a longer-term volunteer program where single, Christian women can experience life in community, assist us in our mission to care for the earth, and take their experience of Benedictine life with them into their daily life. Benedictine Sojourners provides opportunities lasting 6-12 months. Contact Sister Lynne Smith, 608-831-9305 for more information.