Benedictine Prioresses Gather in Yankton, SD


The annual meeting of the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses (CBP) was held in Yankton, South Dakota beginning January 28 through February 4, 2020. Sister Judith Murphy, OSB, prioress of St. Scholastica Monastery, was one of forty-four participants in attendance. Besides the United States, Sisters came from the Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico. The purpose of the conference is to provide its members mutual assistance and encouragement to further the vision and values of Benedictine cenobitic life within the Church and contemporary society.


The theme of the meeting, hosted by the Yankton Benedictine Sisters, Sacred Heart Monastery, was “Called to Serve: Pray, Listen, Lead.” At the business meeting, Sr. Aileen Bankemper was elected chair of the organization for three-year term and Srs. Anita Louise Lowe and Susan Rudolph were elected to a term on the CBP Coordinating Committee. They will serve along with Srs. Rosann Ocken and Maribeth Wentzlaff.


Outgoing CBP Chair, Sr. Jennifer Mechtild Horner OSB, of Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana, explains that, “Each year the Prioresses and Presidents meet to further the work of the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses. In the midst of this work, we take time for retreat. This year's retreat was led by Sr. Michaela Hedican OSB of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, who challenged us to practice our leadership through the lens of the beatitudes.”


On their free afternoon, some Sisters toured the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, others visited the monastery of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk, Nebraska, while others enjoyed some leisure in Yankton.


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