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New leaders of Oblate program announced

Sister Sara Aiden and Sister Lynn Marie
Sister Sara Aiden (left) and Sister Lynn Marie

The Benedictine Sisters of Cullman, Alabama are pleased to announce the appointment of new leadership for the Oblate program at Sacred Heart Monastery. Sister Sara Aiden Burress, OSB, will serve as Director of the program. Serving alongside her as Associate Director is Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, OSB.

In making the appointments, Sister Lynn Elisabeth Meadows, Prioress, reflected, “Both of these Sisters are deeply steeped in the Benedictine tradition and have many gifts to offer the Oblates of our monastic community, further strengthening and enhancing a well-established program.” The two Sisters replace former director Sister Priscilla Cohen, OSB, who served as Oblate Director for many years.

Sister Sara Aiden is a former Oblate, having spent eight years as a Benedictine Oblate before entering Sacred Heart Monastery in 2007. Sister Sara Aiden currently serves as Pastoral Associate at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Birmingham.

Sister Lynn Marie entered the monastic community in 1981. Presently, she serves as President of the Monastic Congregation of St. Scholastica. She also holds the position of Moderator of the Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum, the international organization of women’s Benedictine communities.

Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian women and men who enrich their spiritual life by associating themselves with a Benedictine community. They offer themselves in service to Christ by choosing to incorporate the values of Benedictine spirituality into their daily life. Oblates are not vowed religious nor do they live at the monastery; rather, they bring the spirit of Benedictine life to their own homes, churches, and workplaces. Nearly sixty Oblates or Oblate Candidates are presently affiliated with Sacred Heart Monastery.

Sister Sara Aiden and Sister Lynn Marie state, “We are grateful to be asked to serve the Oblate community in these roles, and are eager to get to know the Oblates better.” The two new leaders plan to continue involvement with the North American Association of Benedictine Oblate Directors, an organization with which the community has long had active participation.

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