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Sister Initiatives

SISTER INITIATIVES

We offer hospitality and respond to the needs around us through our ministries.

Sister Initiative Mission

Many of the Sisters at St. Paul’s Monastery are involved with ministry outreach to serve the surrounding community as well as internal ministries which serve to support the Community itself.

AIM USA:

The purpose of the Alliance for International Monasticism is:

  • To foster alliances and communication between and among monasteries throughout the world, in order to educate one another to local, cultural, and global issues
  • To form linkages among monasteries for the sake of ongoing cooperation and support
  • To strengthen developing communities so that they can make meaningful contributions to the societies in which they exist and to the development of global peace and human community
  • To help first world communities respect, appreciate, and learn from developing monasteries
  • To provide monetary assistance in the form of grants and Mass stipends
  • To provide educational assistance in the form of books and newsletters

CommonBond Communities:

Mission:  CommonBond Communities’ mission is to build stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities.

Vision:  Every person has a dignified, affordable home that supports independence and advancement within a flourishing community.

Green Mission Statement:  CommonBond Communities values being a good neighbor and environmental steward.  As a leader in the affordable housing industry, we recognize our responsibility to have a positive impact on our residents, properties, and the greater community.  Our goal is to intentionally promote environmental and financial sustainability across our organization, particularly in the areas of:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Water Conservation
  • Healthy Environments
  • Recycling and Waste Reduction

CommonBond Communities, the Midwest’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing with services, has served the region for over 40 years.  They develop, own or manage 5,542 affordable rental apartments and townhomes throughout 50 cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  Over 9,000 people – including families, seniors, and people with disabilities and other barriers – call CommonBond home.  More than 2,400 of these people are children.

Hill-Murray School:

Sister Jacqueline Leiter – Member of the Hill-Murray Foundation Board; Sister Linda Soler – Campus Ministry Staff

Hill-Murray is a Catholic Benedictine prep school for grades 6-12.  Every day, our students are invited to find a home at Hill-Murray, a place where they are known, respected and loved.  Here, they are encouraged to grow in their faith, in what they know and can do, and in the way they treat themselves, others and the world around them.

Located on a 40-acre site in suburban Maplewood, Hill-Murray High School was formed in 1971 as a coed high school through the merger of Archbishop Murray Memorial High School, a school for girls founded by the Sisters of St. Benedict and Hill High School a school for boys founded by the Christian Brothers.  A middle school was added in 1989 and our name was changed to Hill-Murray School.  Originally founded to provide Catholic education to students living on the east side of St. Paul and inner-ring suburbs, over the last ten years, the school has broadened its demographic base, and now draws from a 40-mile radius, from Forest Lake to the north, Hastings to the south and Hudson, Wisconsin to the east.  The current student population is 760, approximately 80 percent of whom are Catholic and 10 percent are students of color.

At Hill-Murray we are known for our academics.  We are respected for our arts and athletics.  We are loved for our Catholic Benedictine faith community.

Tubman:

Mission:  To advance opportunities for change so that every person can experience safety, hope and healing.

Vision:  Thriving people, healthy relationships, peaceful communities.

What we do:  Tubman helps women, children and families struggling with relationship violence, substance abuse and mental health.  Throughout the Twin Cities, Tubman provides safe shelter, legal services, counseling, elder care resources, youth programming and community education while guiding and sustaining individuals and families on the journey from chaos and fear to healing and restoration.

Tubman is the state’s largest provider of domestic violence services, with over 20% of all Minnesota shelter beds for women and children experiencing family violence.

We help more than 30,000 adults and children in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties and the surrounding area get the support and information they need to reach their full potential for safe, healthy and stable lives.  With a strong focus on research and innovation, building efficiencies, and creating partnerships.  Tubman is a pioneer in best-practice models of mental and chemical health services for women, as well as family violence prevention and intervention.

Saint Therese:

Sister Marie Fujan - Pastoral Ministry at St. Therese at Oxbow Lake

Mission: Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.

Vision: Grow our senior community with thoughtful intention, driven by compassionate care for the individuals and families we serve.

Saint Therese is a nonprofit, Catholic senior living and care organization born out of a simple mission: do ordinary things with extraordinary love. For 50 years, we have supported Twin Cities’ seniors and their families with innovative programs designed to make life better and more fulfilling. As individual needs change so do our care offerings—all while creating countless opportunities for physical wellness, spiritual connection and social activities.

We have five senior communities in New Hope, Brooklyn Park, Shoreview, Robbinsdale and Woodbury that are rich with thoughtful amenities and support. Our compassionate services also reach seniors living in the broader Twin Cities area through home care, outpatient therapies and wellness programs.

Saint Therese. Making every day extraordinary. To learn more, visit: www.sainttherese.org.

Outreach Ministry for the Poor and Marginalized:

Sister Mary White

“The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ”. - Pastoral Constitution of the Church

As Benedictine women, we share in the joys and sufferings of this challenging world.  It is primarily through our community prayer that we hope to extend faith and hope; and in return receive the prayers of others whose own values call them to service.

Along with our daily prayer and the receiving of guests at our monastery, we move out from our home and join others efforts in trying to make available to everyone, the same gifts that God has blessed us with. We never see some of these people at the monastery. Yet their needs are known to us through churches, law enforcement, schools and social service agencies. In our limited way, we provide service and advocacy, especially for the spiritually, materially and socially impoverished. And as we encounter people of various races and cultures and meet them at their point of need, we ourselves receive the inspiration of their strength, courage and gratitude.

Our outreach efforts address the remedial educational needs of youth, those who are new to our country or students who are falling behind. We are a presence in the prison; and we network with other organizations to address domestic abuse, sex-trafficking, hunger, housing, and illegal employment practices.

While our Outreach serves people of all faith traditions—and those who say they have none—we don’t promote any one religion or denomination. Because we believe that our God wishes good things to all people and that God excludes no one, we have no need or desire to discriminate or judge.

Some of the ways that Community Members serve in Ministry within the walls of the Monastery include:

  • Prayer – The Healthcare Center Residents are focused on the Ministry of Prayer and daily pray the Rosary including any prayer requests received by the Sisters.  The Community gathers in prayer three times each day.
  • Work of the Monastery – As in all homes, there are tasks to be done each day for the wellbeing and comfort of the inhabitants.  The Community members volunteer to be responsible for tasks such as clearing, cleaning and stocking the tables in the Dining Room, keeping the common areas of the building in good order and setting out the food for breakfast each morning.  All Sisters and Guests are thankful for the time and effort that is prayerfully given to accomplish these important tasks.
  • Dietary Department – The Community is often blessed by the donation of large quantities of food items such as apples, the Community member come together for times of conversation and work as they help the Dietary staff process and preserve the bounty.

The Sisters serve one another, their staff, and their guests in many ways. Sisters, Benedictine Associates, Oblates, and Volunteers extend Benedictine hospitality by greeting guests at the Reception Desk. Sisters also hold positions in Administration, Building Management, and serve within the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery.


THE WORD OF OUR FOLLOWERS

Thank you so much for making the world a better place – and for giving God’s love to all those in need of hope and care!

Reneé Valois

May God bless you all for that you do! Let us all pray for a better, more loving, and peaceful world. May all of us live together as a family of brothers and sisters in Christ.

CC Pupek

Our story of knowing the Sisters is probably somewhat similar to all of yours. We came to know Sister Lucia and Sister Jeron when we joined St. Peter’s Parish in North St. Paul back in 1990. Sister Lucia was the music director at the church and Sister Jeron was in the choir. Janis was attracted to the choir and because of her musical background quickly bonded with Sister Lucia. Through the years, Janis has played her cello at Monastery masses and participated in other music-related ministry work with the Sisters. Through Janis’ connection with the Sisters at St. Peter’s, we were introduced to the Monastery and the rest of the Sisters. That connection proved valuable when, a few years later, Janis became very ill with a chronic disease. The hope that the Sisters offered to us was very reassuring, and the knowledge that this whole community of Sisters was praying for Janis’ health gave Janis a level of confidence that things would get better. I don’t think we can overemphasize the power of group prayer—especially group prayer by this group of wonderful people. Prayers together in a monastic community setting are especially powerful. We are convinced that Janis would not be living the life she is today without the prayers of this community. This is such a special place – this corner of Maplewood. In a world full of doubt, conflict, hopelessness, this corner of the world is like an oasis. I don’t know about you, but when we walk into this building we feel a sense of calm and a feeling of genuine goodness. And look at the goodness these Sisters have given us. A school where kids can learn in a Christian setting; a haven for those many children who find themselves in crisis domestic situations; a place for those in need of affordable housing; and a center that offers safe and convenient child care.

Mike and Janis Nash

Your prayers are of more value than any of us realize.

Jerome Miller

Sister Mary Lou Dummer: You know how very important our family is to us – and we so appreciate your prayers for them.

Jerome and Barbara Bovy

Sister Karen Sames: thanks cousin, for hearing his call and answering it. You do so many unnoticed great works that I forget sometimes how many people you help with all the work and prayers. My family feels blessed from being part of your life, especially Stephanie.

Debbi Gosse

I have much to be thankful for, being introduced to your Monastery and Sisters when I came for a Ministry of Mothers Sharing leadership training. I so loved the atmosphere: your peacefulness, hospitality and your chanting of the hours. I still hum the melody of that week when I pray mine every day. I would love to get back and see your new surroundings. I pray for all of you every day. Sister Paula, I love you!

Bonnie Chester

I left St. Paul in 1963 to serve in the Fargo Diocese until returning here in 1995. It was within a few months that I became a member of a priests’ support group that enjoyed your hospitality for its meeting place and continues to do so. In those days, we met in time for dinner with you and stayed over night in the guest wing. I enjoyed the graceful, curved stairway that took us to the dining room. I think we left after lunch the next day. It was likely at the time you moved to your current monastery that we began to meet at about 3:00 PM, leaving the same evening following our meeting. During my earlier years with you, there was a lay woman on your staff who presented an education seminar periodically, and I enjoyed being a part of her sessions as well. The affordable housing project on land adjoining the former priory, as well as the fine service for women in the former priory building, speak highly of your commitment to social justice. I think it was shortly after moving to St. Pascal’s as pastor in 2009 that I began to have the privilege of presiding at your weekday Masses periodically and frequently staying for lunch or dinner. Being with you on a more casual basis has led me to realize that you served in a number of K-12 teaching positions, several worked as nurses, and some on parish staffs in a variety of positions. Thank you for the pleasure of feeling a part of your community and the apostolic mission you serve.

Father Dave McCauley

I’d like to offer a short testimonial about how the Sisters of St. Benedict at St. Paul’s Monastery in St. Paul, MN have both affected me personally and how they have had an impact on the broader church. It has been my privilege to celebrate Mass with the Sisters once a month for the past few years. I am always struck by the beauty of the Liturgy: the prayerful attention the Sisters bring to the celebration, the excellence of the music choices, the nobility of the architectural space in which they worship, and the honest artistry of the things used in the liturgy (e.g., the vestments and vessels). In a very hectic world, it is deeply nourishing for me to be able to find spaces for stillness and unforced prayer such as those I have found at the Monastery. It has also been my privilege to do some educational/spiritual programs for interested individuals attracted by the Monastery’s reputation as a center for spiritual growth; the Sisters have always been exemplary in their welcome to spiritual seekers. They truly embody the Benedictine value that “all guests are to be received as Christ.” I’d also like to point to two areas in which the Community has had incredible impact on the wider church and world. For years they were involved in the religious education of young people attending what is now Hill-Murray High School. In fact, the land on which Hill-Murray presently stands originally was in the Sisters’ care and they continue to support Catholic education there. Some years ago, in an act of truly prophetic foresight, the sisters chose to “downsize” from their earlier monastery, building a new one on the same property more suited to their present numbers. Rather than demolishing their earlier building, they have partnered with a variety of social service groups to provide excellent housing on their property for women and children at risk of homelessness, transforming both the earlier monastery building and erecting many new homes on the site. I pray that the sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery continue to offer their witness of daily prayer, deep love of the scriptures, and outreach in loving service to the wider world for many years to come!

Father Jan Michael Joncas

I have known the Benedictine Sister of St. Paul’s Monastery since the 1970’s when I first began my ministry as weekend chaplain. And although that service was discontinuous over the years, I have remained close to this community. Working as I have over the years in the Medical School at the University of Minnesota this community of Sisters has been my Benedictine home away from home. One of the most important values that they have provided by their life in the Monastery is stability – a sign and symbol of being a place of the Lord’s service. This sense of place that they project is a constant reminder to me of our Benedictine call to prayer and work and neither is to exceed the other in a well-balanced and equitable life. Their sense of hospitality invites all to come and share in whatever capacity possible in this rich synthesis. In this way, the visitor or friend who cannot live within the Monastery walls can take with them the experience that they have shared with the Sisters and allow it to continue to influence their life apart from the Monastery. They provide a spiritually nourishing and sustaining monastic peace that becomes their gift to the community at large.

Father Cyprian Weaver

THE RULE OF ST.BENEDICT

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THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT

The Rule of St. Benedict serves as an invitation to open our hearts to God. It summons us to recognize our responsibility in the world and the proper use of resources. Above all, the Rule reminds us of the fundamental value of living our lives in search and service of God, preferring nothing to the love of Christ.