(One of the paintings from the exhibit: "Triump of Leadership" by Lynnette K. Black. See further text below.)

July 2018

301 Summit Ave

(Window featured at the 301 Summit Ave. Location, the site of where the Sisters started their Mission in 1948.)

July Celebrations and Retreats

          July is a month of so many celebrations- expressions of creative love in all of nature, the sunrise and sunset, the rainstorms and fresh dew on the grass.  Flowers are in full, colorful bloom.        

          All of the family reunions and picnics celebrate summer and our expanding expressions of love and need for the beauty and love of human relationships. On July 4th, the children from Maple Tree Child Care visited our Sister with songs and hugs.

          On July 8, the Sisters journeyed back to 301 Summit Avenue to welcome guests at an Open House of our first home as Benedictines in St. Paul.  We stood on the red stairs as adults who had been educated to go forth and live the gospel.  From that crowded and humble beginning, we spread to the ends of the earth and created a larger monastery at 2675 Larpenteur Avenue to house so many new members, and now a smaller one at 2675 Benet Road to accomodate an expanded new kind of membership- Oblates and Benedictine Associates.

          Sisters Paula Hagen, Jacqueline Leiter, Karen Sames and Mary White attended a five day conference at Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, North Dakota to share wisdom as part of our Benedictine Federation on the theme of “Walking into the Future, Tending the Benedictine Charism.”

          We are created by God to be adult learners and Benedictines who are deeply committed to the art of living life to the fullest.  Thanks for joining us in the challenge, the grace and the beauty.  Visit our latest art exhibit and see our Benedictine values from a new perspective!

Your creative friend,
Sister Paula Hagen, OSB

Mary Magdalene

Art Reception - August 1, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Formed in Vision, Inspired in Mission

by Annette Walker, Mission Advancement

Sacred art contributes to keeping us mindful of God’s abiding presence.  Our current exhibit, Formed in Vision, Inspired in Mission, pays homage to the Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery and their heritage of Christian service.  The mission to bear witness to the Gospel in everything they do finds its fire in core values that do not age, do not yield in the face of change, and sustain them still in creating a new future. 

In this exhibit, 26 artist friends of the Monastery have been invited to offer visual testimony in color and form to the beauty and power of these values.  The 43 works include paintings, sculptures, fiber art, and glass. Each of these works speak to one of six values of Benedictine Spirituality. 

Come join us at St. Paul's Monastery for a reception
on August 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
for artists and friends to come together
to view the exhibit and continue this conversation.
Cookies and coffee will be served.

Artwork featured above is Mary Magdalene by Elizabeth Fritz and showcased in our art show, Form in Vision, Inspired in Mission. She explains her inspiration: "My creative process while I painted Mary Magdalene included an under-painting of the cave she prayed and meditated in during the last 30 years of her life. She emerged, through my canvas, in deep prayer and meditation. Personally, I began and ended this painting in prayer and meditation about the message of this woman - the apostle to the apostles."

Triumph in Leadership

Triumph of Leadership
by Lynette Black

The Monoprint featured in our header this month depicts the life of Miriam, Moses' sister, as a courageous leader of her people (female!). She rescued Moses from certain death by showing the Egyptian Princess where he was hidden in the reeds & recommending her mother to be his wet nurse, thus keeping the family together. As an adult, Miriam was a strong recognized leader of the Jews and led the women and children across the Red Sea to freedom, singing and dancing. As she aged, she became leprous due to her extreme jealousy of Moses as the chosen leader by God. Moses then intervened on her behalf asking God to forgive her and heal her. Thus loving leadership, taking risks, and caring for community came full circle. Miriam saved Moses' life at the beginning, together Miriam and Moses led the Jews to safety, and Moses saved Miriam's life at the end.

Federation Chapter

Federation Chapter
by Sister Paula Hagen, OSB

Sisters Paula Hagen, Jacqueline Leiter, Mary White and Karen Sames (pictured above), attended the banquet celebrating the sucessful year as an International Federation of Saint Benedict at the University of Mary founded by the Benedictine Sisters in Bismarck, North Dakota.


301 Summit Avenue Event and Tours
by Mary Elizabeth Ilg 

301 Summit Ave

(301 Summit Ave. location where the Sisters began their mission in 1948, now the Germanic-American Institute.)

Red Stairs in 301 Summit

(Red carpeted stairs where Sisters gathered for prayer and song during the years at 301 Summit Ave. location.)

301 Summit Ave Sisters

(Above from left to right, front rows:  Sister Margaret Kramer,  Sister Lucia Schwickerath, Sister Paula Hagen, Sister Lois Hauwiller.  Back row:  Sister Mary Lou Dummer, Sister Marie Fujan and Sister Louise Inhofer.)

On Sunday afternoon, July 8, a group of Sisters returned to their original home at 301 Summit Avenue in St. Paul to greet visitors at an Open House celebrating the 70th Anniversary of St. Paul’s Monastery.  Many guests attended, enjoying German desserts prepared by the host and current owner of the property, the Germanic-American Institute.  Three Sisters from Saint Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph came to the open house at 301 Summit. Sister Michaela Hedican, Sister Marlene Schwinghamner and Sister Margaret Michaud, drove down for the event, as well as former members and new Benedictine Associates.

Everyone was in awe of this beautiful house, the walls echoing with sacred history of the Sisters who began their mission here in 1948, working primarily in health care and education.  Guests walked through the rooms, admiring the carved woodwork, the original fireplaces, the tall windows looking out at the neighboring stately mansions and yards.  Tours were given of the second floor offices and also the third floor ballroom, used then as a dormitory where many novices slept. 

It was a hot day, with the temperature reaching close to 90 degrees.  Bright summer flowers filled the gardens surrounding the gracious front porch, where the Sisters would sit in the shady afternoon coolness, so many years ago.  Mother Loraine Tracy, Prioress 1948-1954, used to allow the young Sisters to wear something lighter and get out of their heavy black habits on those very warm summer days.  They would sometimes say Evening Prayer outside on the balcony rather than in the stifling Chapel with no air-conditioning.  Imagine the sound of those sweet voices chanting the psalms of the Liturgy of the Hours down Summit Avenue!

Seven Sisters gathered for a photo on the famous Red Stairs, recalling how they would sit on the red-carpeted steps, singing and laughing and praising God.

It was a joyful occasion:  remembering the past, and celebrating the present and bright future of the Sisters of Saint Paul’s Monastery. 

Saint Benedict Statue

Feast of Saint Benedict
by Sister Paula Hagen

Many of the Sisters made their first profession vows on this Feast Day, July 11. Because the Sisters, as a community, renewed their vows in June at the Annual Community Retreat, we remembered the event and celebrated Saint Benedict with prayer and dinner. We also viewed a video of the Founding Day celebration with Archbishop Hebda and, of course, indulged in some popcorn.

Saint Benedict, the guide
for all who strive to live the Gospel
by welcoming each person as Christ.
Look with favor
on all who follow in your footsteps
and all who walk with us in our ministries.
Intercede for all
who seek God by serving their neighbors.
Open our eyes
to God's mercy, compassion and love.
We pray all this
through Jesus Christ, our Savior. 
by Sister Marie Fujan, OSB

Victor Klimoski

Strategic Planning OR the Will of God?
by Victor Klimoski, Ph.D.

The Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery have long recognized the centrality of God’s presence in their decision-making.  At the same time, they bear witness to the power of one of their core values – stewardship.  Stewardship involves a careful, thoughtful, and mission-guided use of resources.  Do we invest our time and energy in this or that ministry?  How will we use our buildings and property to serve the common good?  These are stewardship questions that require strategic planning and decisions that embody where the community as a community believes God is leading them.  Good stewardship requires discernment.

Discernment is a theological practice that has been part of the warp and woof of this community since its founding.  Discernment is a process of honest conversation, prayer and deep listening.  It begins and ends with prayerful acknowledgment of God’s leading hand. It challenges people to stay in the conversation even when they most disagree, to speak the truth as they see it with love, to so open their hearts that they can change their minds, and to muster the courage when the way forward becomes clear.  Like so many words in our spiritual vocabulary, discernment can be trivialized or used without a notion of the discipline it requires.  That is not the case at this monastery.

For nearly twenty years, I have observed the community engage discernment as a regular part of their life and have had the opportunity to facilitate some of their discussions.  At times, I would become frustrated at the pace and wonder at the efficiency of what seemed endless talk, talk, talk.  But the first rule is to give everyone a chance to speak, and the second rule is to hear truly what each has to say.  A decision emerges in an organic way so that any plan of action reflects the mind and heart of the Sisters. The results are strategic because they are purposeful, targeted on advancing mission, and rooted in a conviction the community has attended to the will of God.  The results speak for themselves.

(Shown above: Victor Klimoski, Facilitator of the Strategic Implementation Process and Sister Mary Lou Dummer, Director of Oblates, Member of the Committees.)

Fall 2018 Paver Orders

Engraved Sacred Paver Orders

We are preparing for our Fall 2018 Blessing in our Gathering Plaza and want to remind everyone that now is the time to get your orders in. Our Gathering Plaza is adorned with pavers bearing the names of Sisters, Oblates, relatives, friends and benefactors of St. Paul's Monastery. Contact us today to commemorate a special occasion or honor a living or deceased Sister, family member or friend. https://www.bricksrus.com/order/spm/ or call us at 651-777-6850.

Saints Peter and Paul

Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
 by Sister Paula Hagen, OSB

Sisters gathered in Chapel to honor and bless the Sisters in leadership around the Sacred Space Task Force and Membership Task Force on the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The whole community blessed these leaders as they plan their tasks for the future.

Grant, we pray, O Lord our God,
that we may be sustained by the
intercession of the blessed Apostles
Peter and Paul, that, as through them
you gave your Church the foundations
of her heavenly office, so through them
you may help these leaders and our
community persevere in doing God's
will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns
with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Maple Tree Children on Fourth of July

Maple Tree Childcare on July Fourth
by Jennie Schlauch, Program Director

The children of Maple Tree Childcare visited us with songs and gifts in celebration of the Fourth of July. We gathered in Health Care and each of them got a hug from a Sister. (Pictured above right: Sister Rosella Schommer.)


Visiting Sisters

Sisters on Retreat
by Sister Carol Rennie, OSB

Two Nigerian Sisters from the Immaculate Heart of Mary spent time in silence, prayer and spiritual direction with Sister Carol Rennie. Since 2014, when Sister Mary Lou Dummer and Sister Paula Hagen met these wonderful Sisters, who serve children and families at Sharing and Caring Hands, they have made retreats to the Benedictine Center. (Shown above left to right: Sister Annunciate, IHM and Sister Chikwada, IHM.)

Maple Tree Petting Zoo

Maple Tree Childcare Petting Zoo
by Jennie Schlauch, Program Director

Maple Tree Childcare Center held a petting zoo for the children this month. The children enjoyed being introduced to new animals and interacting with them.

Sisters from Taiwan

Visiting Sisters from Taiwan
by Sister Paula Hagen, OSB

Sisters Cordis Chen, Sub-Prioress, and Sister Julianna Chua are visiting from Taiwan. They met up with Sister Paula Hagen, Prioress, at the recent Federation Chapter in Bismarck, North Dakota and wanted to come visit friends and see St. Paul's Monastery's many attributes. 

Pictured next to the Sisters is a piece submitted in our current art show, Formed in Vision, Inspired in Mission. The quilt, called Mary, Divine Mom is by Janet Hovde. She explains her inspiration: "With this art, I explore the innocence of memorized childhood prayers (before the words are understood!) and the sweet intimacy and nurturing, mothering relationship I feel with Mother Mary today. Art quilting is a playful form of prayer for me. Playing with images, textures, colors, energy, healing, and intuition helps me with the listening phase of prayer as I bypass the plotting, planning, busy left hemisphere of my brain."


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School of Lectio Divina

July - The Condensed School of Lectio Divina
by Sam Rahberg

The art of sustained lectio divina, "a dialogue with God through the scriptural text over time" (Sam Rahberg) was held this July. The Condensed School of Lectio Divina adapts the Benedictine Center’s keystone experience retreat into a shorter, less-expensive format. The core teachings and the monastic experience remains intact. Sam Rahberg, with S. Carol Rennie OSB and S. Virginia Matter OSB, lead five teaching sessions that distilled the essentials of sustained lectio divina, making this an excellent introduction to the practice or a good review for past participants in the School of Lectio Divina. 

Centering Prayer

August - Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina Retreat
Friday, August 10, 7:00 p.m. through Wednesday, August 15, 1:00 p.m.
with Carol Quest & Jodi Reis Johnson

Come immerse yourself in silence through the practice of centering prayer gently supported by lectio divina and prayer with the monastic community.  Extended sessions of group centering prayer offer the opportunity to deepen your relationship with God and self. Register online All are invited.


We Would Love to Hear from You

Let us, in fellowship, “lay your petitions before the Lord God with the utmost humility and sincere devotion.” (Rule of St. Benedict, Chap. 20)

If you have not seen our new website, we invite you to have a look! The address is still the same. If you would like to send a prayer request or concern via our website, you will find that request submission form on the Home page (www.stpaulsmonastery.org), just under the header “St. Paul’s Monastery Community."


Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/41-0724050 and Amazon donates to St. Paul's Monastery.

This is an opportunity to partner with a national company...AMAZON! Most everyone has placed a few orders for those hard to find items. Others use Amazon because it is easy to find "everything!" Go to smile.amazon.com and pick your donation; we hope you pick us! Type "St Paul's Monastery" in and in the future a pop-up window will appear reminding you to go through AmazonSmile to count your donation. Your account will appear as normal but you'll see "Supporting: St Paul's Monastery" right under the search bar. 0.5% of your purchase will come back to us every quarter. Last quarter we only made $5.00 but we're hopeful to spread the word and get everyone connected to us designating us on AMAZONSmile! It makes you just want to SMILE!


We are deeply honored by those friends and supporters who have made a planned or estate gift to the Monastery. Including the Monastery in your estate planning allows you to continue sharing in the work that the Monastery plans to do for generations to come: supporting and serving in our educational apostolates, pastoral ministry, social outreach and spiritual care. To help foster the mission of St. Paul's Monastery, planned gifts and annual contributions can be made for general needs or to a special fund.  Possibilities include:

Membership: Oblates, Benedictine Associates and Vowed Religious
Pastoral Social Outreach
Spiritual Direction and Retreats
Health and Retirement

If you would like information on how to make a planned gift to the Monastery, please let us know. If you have already included the Monastery in your estate planning and have not yet informed us, let us know that as well so we can thank you now for including us in your planning. For more information, contact Annette Walker in the Mission Advancement Office, awalker@stpaulsmonastery.org or 651-777-6850.


What are corporate team volunteer grants?
Team volunteer grants are corporate giving programs in which a company provides a monetary donation to nonprofits when a group of employees volunteer together.

Corporations offer these programs to promote team building and community service. These corporate grant programs have the potential to be a win-win for everyone involved. If your organization can design appealing opportunities for groups of corporate employees to come out and volunteer, everyone wins!

  • Your organization receives volunteer support from a group of individuals
  • The group of employees has an enjoyable and rewarding team-building event
  • The corporation gets to give back to the community
  • Your organization receives a grant from the company

read full article here

Check out the list of Companies that match!


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Keep in Contact:

To connect with or
support Community
ministries, call
651-777-6850 or donate
securely online on the
Monastery web site


Writers and Photographers Needed! 

We'd love to hear from you on various events, movie/book reviews, Sister stories and more! Have a story you'd like to share? Maybe a special event you'd like documented? We can put your time and talent to good use! The Monastery publishes a fall and spring magazine, a monthly e-newsletter and regularly posts to Social Media. Please prayerfully consider whether you or someone you know may be interested.  For more information, contact Ann at 651-209-9022 or abechtell@stpaulsmonastery.org



St. Paul's Monastery
2675 Benet Road
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55109

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