One of our two ‘grandmother houses’ – St. Benedict’s Monastery in Pittsburgh, PA – is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. As part of the celebration, Sr. Tonette was invited to participate in a special evening of giving thanks and celebrating their ministerial heritage, including the founding of their two daughter-houses and one grand-daughter house.
One of St. Benedict Monastery’s daughter-houses is Holy Name Monastery in Florida. When our community was formed in 1902, eight of the sixteen foundresses of this new foundation were from Holy Name. Sr. Tonette recounted this history for the Pittsburgh community and their guests, sharing with them a quote from our published community history: “The story of how these groups came together through a series of apparent setbacks illuminates the profound truth that destiny waits in the hand of God more than in the designs of human beings.” (From Sister Mary Ruth Coffman’s On Good Ground , 1993.)
In her remarks, Sr. Tonette drew a connection between Pittsburgh and Birmingham, with the latter as the “Pittsburgh of the South,” and used steel as a metaphor to describe the “tensile strength” present in both communities.