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Oblate Takes Benedictine Values into World

Kathy Caudill, left, stands with Lila Marke, a library trustee from Bridgeview Public Library.

Kathy Caudill, an Oblate of St. Scholastica Monastery, remembers learning about volunteering from her parents who gave of their time, even while raising their own five children. Kathy began volunteering in her teens and has continued throughout her lifetime in various roles. This week, she was awarded Trustee of the Year from the Illinois Library Association, one of the many places where she has given of her time and Benedictine spirit.

She views her volunteer work as connected to the Benedictine values of serving one's community. "Advocating for libraries, I find my Benedictine values coming into play as I share the stories of the many ways that our library benefits others--offering opportunities that help to level the playing field for all", reflected Kathy. "All of this seems in keeping with 'welcoming others as Christ', offering hospitality to others, and creating a real sense of community."

Kathy has served in her role as a library trustee for twelve years, six of which were spent as Board President. She remembers, "During that time, I have come to really appreciate the opening words of the Prologue from St. Benedict's Rule: 'Listen carefully, my child, to the master's instruction, and attend to them with the ear of your heart....'" It is not always easy to chair a meeting, but she has relied on the wisdom of Benedict to help her. "I found myself listening more, making sure that minority opinions were heard and considered in the decision making process."

Above, Kathy Caudill stands with her family.

From left to right, Patrick J. Caudill, Kathryn Lind Caudill, Jeff C. Caudill, Thomas J. Caudill.

Since becoming an Oblate, Kathy has also taken to heart the Benedictine value of balance in her daily life: "ora et labora", prayer and work. She has added more prayer to her day and discovered that when she spends time each day listening to God, she is "more productive and pay[s] more attention to the many amazing 'Holy Spirit moments'" in her life. She tries to see all that she does as "labors of love" and it is clear that she takes Benedictine values wherever she goes.

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