Archbishop Hebda with Sisters

June 2018

60th Jubilee Flowers

Bouquets of white roses presented to Sister Mary Lou Dummer and Sister Paula Hagen for their 60th Jubilee.

June Celebrations

A Jubilee is a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating twenty-five or fifty years of a reign or activity. How special is the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of St. Paul's Monastery. 

Celebrating our 60th Jubilee of our initial profession of Benedictine vows promised to God within this Benedictine monastery was a time of reflection on the past (for Sister Mary Lou Dummer and I.)

My parents had such deep faith and were fully and enthusiastically present when we received the sacraments and they were very present in my memory on these occasions.

As a young child, I loved to get up very early and go with my dad to work in the family garden-planting, weeding and harvesting peas, carrots, beans and strawberries.  He loved God and farming the land.  As he taught me to love the land and what it produced, I often heard him pray from his humble heart in his own words out of gratitude.

My mother was much more verbal and educated in her faith and she was deeply grateful that God gave her life and a family.  She taught us to be deeply grateful to God for our farm and family.

All of those values were transferred to my Benedictine home, the monastery and my Benedictine family.  It was a very joyful day deeply united to the Sisters I love with the renewal of my vows in the Chapel I love.

This issue is filled with various celebrations.  Enjoy!

Sister Paula Hagen, OSB

Sister Mary Lou and Sister Paula

60th Jubilee Celebration
by Sister Mary Lou Dummer and Sister Paula Hagen

This June, Sister Mary Lou Dummer (pictured left above) and Sister Paula Hagen (pictured right above) celebrated their 60th anniversary by renewing their vows at a festive Mass with a special meal and afternoon of laughter and fun.


Preparation for the 70th Anniversary Celebration of St. Paul's Monastery

Preparation for our 70th Anniversary

Above left: Mary Lawless and Victoria Fritz baked cookies for the celebration. Above right: Sister Catherine Schoenecker and Sister Susan Bourauel put together an example of the habits the Sisters originally wore.


70th Anniversary Mass and Celebration

Archbishop Hebda at Mass

Above Left is Archbishop Hebda blessing the assembly following the Founders' Day Mass. Above right is the entrance procession at Founders' Day Mass:  Archbishop Bernard Hebda with Father Kevin Manthey and Sister Linda Soler.  

Above: Guests enjoy the outdoors in our festive tent while eating a Bridgeman's ice-cream treat supplied by Jim and Donna Oricchio. It was a perfect day to be outside.

Archbishop Hebda and Healthcare

Above left to right: Sister Marie Rademacher, Sister Rosella Schommer, Archbishop Hebda, and Sister Duane Moes who came to St. Paul in 1948 and are the only living "charter members" of the original 178 Sisters. Also pictured on right, Sister Monica Raway.


The 70th Founders' Day Anniversary was this June 22nd. Mass with Archbishop Hebda was held at the Hill-Murray Chapel followed by a reception at St. Paul's Monastery. What a wonderful celebration it was! Guests enjoyed ice-cream, cookies and archival videos featured on a big screen TV. 

The Sisters' proud heritage dates back to 1852 when three sisters left their monastery in Eichstatt, Bavaria, to establish the first Benedictine women’s monastery in America. They came to St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania, to educate the children of the German immigrants.

Five years later, with several additional Sisters, they journeyed to Minnesota and established the first Benedictine Monastery in the Midwest at St. Joseph, Minnesota. They came to be of service to parents and children of immigrants. This community flourished rapidly, developing into the largest Benedictine Community in the world. Over the years, eleven monasteries were founded from St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, MN.

St. Paul’s Monastery is one of these foundations. In 1948, 178 Sisters left St. Benedict’s to establish a new monastery at 301 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. 

We purchased 301 Summit Avenue to make plans to build a monastery on the outskirts of St. Paul. We purchased land on which we built Archbishop Murray High School, which we staffed until 2000. We moved into the new monastery at 2675 Larpenteur Avenue in January 1965. This was a center for prayer and the formation of women to live the monastic way of life. It was a place where we were enriched for our ministries in numerous schools and institutions throughout the metro area and greater Minnesota.

February 10, 2009, was the next significant day in our history. We moved from 2675 Larpenteur Ave East to our new monastery at 2675 Benet Road. The chapel is at the center of our life in the new Monastery, a quiet place open to welcoming others to join us in prayer.

We are proud to journey with people and organizations that partner with us as we carry on the vision of being an authentic expression of a Benedictine community of women rooted in prayer and centered in the call to serve others for the sake of the gospel.


Check out our featured article in The Catholic Spirit!


Nora Slawik's Blessing at Guardian Angels Parish
by Mary Elizabeth Ilg

Nora Slawik, the Major of Maplewood, received a Benedictine blessing from Sister Carol Rennie and Sister Paula Hagen.


Community Retreat
Father Joseph Feders

Community Retreat
"Woven on God's Loom: Tapestries of Grace"

by Sister Mary Lou Dummer

The Community Retreat for the Sisters and Oblates was held June 10-15, 2018. Father Joseph Feders OSB  from St. John’s Abbey, was our Retreat Director. His theme was:  “Woven on God’s Loom: Tapestries of Grace.”  As we seek God in Community, we are continually being shaped and formed by practices, relationships and the human condition.

The Conferences explored the "warp and weft” of monastic life, and encouraged us to reflect on the various threads being woven by God into our own “tapestries of grace.”

Shown above are Sister Mary White, Sister Virginia Matter, Father Joseph Feders, Sister Mary Lou Dummer, Sister Paula Hagen and Sister Louise Inhofer. 

Shown left: Father Joseph Feders with gifts of pottery from Sister Virginia Matter and framed photograph of our St.Benedict statue from the Community.


You Will Be Missed - Jean Ann Regan
by Annette Walker

Our 2018  Prioress Dinner honoree, Jean Ann Regan, will be sadly missed. Thoughts and prayers are with Don Regan and his family at this time. “Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon herMay her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace."

Hill-Murray Graduation

Hill-Murray Graduation
by Sister Linda Soler

On June 1, graduation for Hill Murray Seniors was held at the Cathedral of St. Paul. The recipient of the Benedictine Award is Ava Krize (above right). Ava reflects the Benedictine values. She will be invited to the Monastery with her family to help celebrate the moment. Congratulations to Ava. (Above left Father Kevin Manthey and Sister Linda Soler.)

white earth

White Earth Native American Reservation
by Sister Linda Soler

Sister Linda coordinated a Mission Trip to White Earth Native American Reservation, June 5-9 with 26 Hill-Murray students and 5 other staff. The work on the reservation was a delight to see, as well as the changes being made to help Natives of all ages.

We made compost boxes, put together picnic tables, cleaned and painted for a Boys and Girls Club, Elders, Crying Room at St. Benedict’s Church, and a sign at the cemetery along with cleaning up a public beach. Shrubs were planted at St.Benedict’s Church, and planting was done, and other assigned tasks.  

Our final event of the mission trip was attending the Opening of the Pow Wow. Thank you to the donors, Ron and Marilyn Mitsch, who made the trip possible for the fourth year in a row. Nothing can replace the spirit of the youth who truly received the Christ within others and the joy of ministry to those in need.

School of Lectio Divina

The Condensed School of Lectio Divina
by Sam Rahberg

The art of sustained lectio divina, "a dialogue with God through the text over time" (Kathleen Cahalan) was held this June. 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, in cooperation 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. 


Directed Retreat Experience
by Sister Virginia Matter, OSB

In June, the Benedictine Center hosted eight days of quiet renewal and solitude within the rhythm of the monastic community. Each day, they met one-on-one with a spiritual director who accompanied them on wherever the Spirit led. The remainder of the day they were welcome to join the Sisters for prayer, walk the labyrinth, take in the exhibit, explore the resources in the library, or simply enjoy the privacy of their own room for prayer and rest.

Patricia Roberts

Becoming an Oblate
by Patricia Roberts

My name is Patricia Roberts, originally from Arequipa, Perú. From 1993 to 1999, I was the Director of the Benedictine Center and lived in St. Paul’s Monastery with the Sisters on the fifth floor of the old building. In 1999, before retiring to the Canary Islands, I made my profession as a Benedictine Oblate.

During my formation year to become an Oblate Sr. Carol Rennie, our Oblate Director, asked us to reflect on the vow of stability, especially these days when mobility is necessary for survival and we cannot spend our lives in one place, as in the old times.

It is eighteen years since I left St. Paul’s Monastery, but my memories are as vivid as if I had just been there. I send greetings and congratulations to Sister Paula, Sister Mary Lou and Sister Virginia and all the Sisters on the 70th anniversary of faithfulness since you came to St. Paul. It was a blessing that I found my way to you, and it changed my life.

Maple Tree Bike Rally

Maple Tree Child Care Bike Rally
by Jennie Schlauch, Director

This June, on a fine sunny day, the children at Maple Tree Child Care held a bike rally. They biked around the grounds here at the Monastery and even circled our statue of Saint Benedict, sometimes stopping to take a look.

Sister Linda - Serra Club

Serra Club of St. Paul
by Sister Linda Soler

Sister Linda Soler gave a talk on membership to the Benedictine Sisters at the Serra Club of St. Paul. The Serra Club, named after the Franciscan Missionary, Junipero Serra, the founder of many of the California Missions.  It was founded in 1935 in Seattle by a small group of Catholic laymen who saw the need to foster membership in religious communities, both by recruiting new members and supporting those religious in their active careers.


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 (, just under the header “St. Paul’s Monastery Community."

Victoria Fritz and Bonnie Fazekas

Employee Appreciation
by Jessica Lauderman

This June 26, we celebrated our employees with a dinner, special prayers and a program. We honored Victoria Fritz for five years of service as Dietary Supervisor and Bonnie Fazekas as a front desk receptionist for an amazing thirty years. (Pictured above are Sister Mary Lou Dummer, Hostess; Victoria Fritz; Bonnie Fazekas and Sister Paula Hagen, Prioress.)

Laura Schultz and Anna Duerr

Then and Now - Maple Tree
by Jennie Schlauch, Program Director

Former Maple Tree students, Laura Schultz and Anna Duerr, are shown here when they graduated from the Maple Tree preschool 13 years ago.  This June, they graduated from high school and sent us this side-by-side photo.  How special that the girls are still friends after all these years!


Benedictine Center Staff Retreat
by Mary Elizabeth Ilg

Sam Rahberg, Director of the Benedictine Center, with Sister Virginia Matter

Benedictine Center Retreat

Sam Rahberg, left, with Kiely Todd Roska and Sister Virginia Matter. Also shown in the background (left to right) are:  Chris Folkenson, Sue Hamilton, Linda Anderson, Tod Twist and Barbara Sutton

Benedictine Center Retreat Sisters

Left to Right:  Sister Sharon Schiller and Sister Benita Gerold, with Sam Rahberg and Linda Anderson (standing).

On Monday evening, June 18, the Benedictine Center staff and volunteers gathered at the bonfire ring behind the Monastery to enjoy a cookout, s’mores and a time of poetry and reflection.  Chris Folkensen led the opening of the retreat reading a poem by David Whyte, "Fire in the Earth." We also read aloud a favorite poem by Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day,” and shared memories from past summers in our lives.  Kiely Todd Roska, Manager of the Benedictine Center, told us about riding a train across the state of Montana every summer with her sister as a young child, going to visit relatives in Billings.  Sister Virginia Matter recalled a summer road trip when a can of baked beans exploded in a campfire, leaving another (angry!) Sister dripping with an unpleasant brown substance.  Sister Benita Gerold shared a precious summer memory of making 100 quarts of strawberry jam with her mother and sisters.  As Sister Benita described this experience from the long ago past in her quiet voice, we were all held in rapt attention, imagining the jeweled jars of red jam, glistening in the sun.


Go to 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 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, 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



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

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