Walburga's profession

The Benedictine Monastic Vocation



Advent Experience
December 10-12, 2010

Monastic Live-in Experiences




Suscipe me Domine secundum eloquium tuum et vivam:  Et  non  confundas me ab exspectatione mea This verse from psalm 119, (If you uphold me by your promise, I shall live; let my hopes not be in vain [Psalm 119:116]) is sung by each nun at her profession.  This picture is a detail of a stained glass window in our Walburga Shrine and depicts St. Walburga at her monastic profession.


Our Benedictine monastic vocation is centered in the monastery.  We seek God

in prayer,

        in work, and

                in community

Daily Mass and The Liturgy of the Hours provides the framework around which our day evolves.  This communal praise of God is our most important task.  The Liturgy of the Hours (or Divine Office) is sung six times a day in English using simplified Gregorian chant melodies.  Lectio divina (sacred reading), personal prayer and an atmosphere of silence are also essential elements of our life of prayer.

By our work we also glorify God.  St. Benedict exhorts us to see "the tools of the monastery as sacred vessels of the altar."  Providing hospitality for those seeking to deepen their relationship with God, we welcome retreatants and visitors.   This hospitality and the needs of the community provides many opportunities for each Sister to utilize various "tools" in the monastery itself, the garden, and the gift and book shop, kitchen, dining room, etc.  We are blessed to have a wonderful group of volunteers who generously assist us in our various labors.

Our small community is family-like for here the young and the old, people of varying personalities, abilities and skills, live, pray and work together.  Stability marks our life for we enter and live out our monastic life here.


The Discernment Process

Single women (ages of 16-40) speak with our Prioress, Mother Mary Anne, and then come to visit the community.  These first visits provide a glimpse of what our life is like and offer both sides to get to know one another.  At each stage of the process, both the community and the individual discern whether or not God is calling the woman to our monastic community. 

If after a number of visits it is discerned on both sides that God may be calling the individual to our monastic community, she comes for a 3-month live-in experience.  This provides an opportunity to experience our life from the inside. 

During the postulancy (usually one year), the woman attends classes on the Rule of St. Benedict and various facets of monasticism and shares fully in our community life. 

When one becomes a novice, she receives the habit and white veil.  Our novitiate period is for two years.  It is a time of deepening one's prayer life and trying one's monastic vocation. 

After this two year period, one may be admitted to temporary profession for three years.  At this time, the Sister receives her religious name and the black veil. 

After three years, the Sister makes solemn profession during which she receives the ring and a wreath.


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