This last day of meetings for the Federation Chapter was packed with content. Sister Agatha Muggli (who has played piano and arranged our rituals) and Sister Katherine Howard spoke on a culture of formation. Sister Agatha connected van Kaam’s work about the nature of spiritual development with the Benedictine tradition; Sister Katherine focused on Benedict’s steps of humility as the means by which spiritual growth occurs through community interaction; she explored some of the barriers that get in the way of that spiritual transformation. Rich table discussions ensued.
In the afternoon, Sisters Bobbi Bussan and Ruth Starman followed with a presentation on some of the means by which vocation directors work in the 21st century, and the cost for a variety of forms of print and digital media, with demos of several web sites that are popular with the under-30 Catholic group.
The Chapter voted on and passed the resolutions considered earlier in the week, and added several to thank our hosts and speakers. The day concluded with a banquet in honor of Heritage Day :
Abbess Edwarda Schnitzer chose two choir nuns, Benedicta Riepp and Walburga Dietrich, and a lay sister, Mara Flieger, for the mission. Though young and inexperienced, “. . . the courage of these women did not falter up to the time of saying farewell to their convent home on June 11, 1852.” By way of Bremen, New York, and Latrobe, Pennsylvania, they finally reached St. Marys, Pennsylvania, on July 22. Here the seed of the Benedictine Order for women was deposited in American soil– seemingly a most unpromising place.
from Ardent Women by Olivia Forster, OSB