Sister Susan Quaintance (far left) completes her term as President of the American Benedictine Academy. Joining her at the Academy's convention are, from left to right, Sister Mary Ann O'Ryan, Sister Virginia Jung, and Sister Judy Zonsius.
“If you go to Amazon.com and type in ‘Benedictine spirituality,’ you will get thousands of results,” notes Sister Susan Quaintance,” the quality varies, though.” To help sort through the resources of Benedictine spirituality and deepen their understanding of the tradition, hundreds of people belong to the American Benedictine Academy (ABA).
Founded in 1947, the ABA originally began as a forum for women and men in Benedictine religious communities who were working on Benedictine scholarship. Membership is now open to anyone interested in Benedictine spirituality and values.
Sister Susan first attended an ABA convention in 2000. She had finished her graduate studies in theology a few years earlier, but realized that she wanted to keep learning. Since then, she has attended every biennial ABA gathering and, over time, became more involved in the organization. For the last two years she served as its President.
During the time she served as President, Sister Susan says she was grateful for the “healthy mix” of representatives on the board with her. There were three vowed Benedictines and three Benedictine Oblates. Among the Oblates, one was an Anglican priest and another was a Sister of Mercy.
At its most recent convention in July, Sister Susan completed her leadership term but remains a committed member.
She notes that American Benedictine Academy regularly attracts people “who seek to deepen their understanding of Benedictinism, both historically and in its contemporary expressions. It’s a terrific example of ‘love of learning.’”
The next convention will take place in July 2018. The topic is chapter 57 of the Rule of St. Benedict on “Artisans of the Monastery.” If you’re interested in learning more about Benedictine spirituality, Sister Susan invites you to check out the ABA’s website and consider becoming a member at www.americanbenedictine.org.