Sister Tonette Sperando, Prioress, recently returned home from Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, South Dakota where she attended the annual meeting of the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses (CBP). She was one of forty-four participants in attendance. Besides the United States, Sisters came from the Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico. Also in attendance from our community was Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie who attended in her role as President of the Federation of St. Scholastica.
The purpose of the CBP and their annual meeting is to provide its members mutual assistance and encouragement to further the vision and values of Benedictine cenobitic life within the Church and contemporary society. Sister Tonette finds the annual meeting to be a time of great encouragement and support as she meets with those in similar roles and a shared Benedictine vision.
The theme of this year’s meeting was “Called to Serve: Pray, Listen, Lead.” In addition to their conference sessions, the Prioresses took time for retreat. This year’s retreat was led by Sr. Michaela Hedican OSB of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, who challenged the Prioresses to practice leadership through the lens of the beatitudes. Beyond conference sessions and retreat, a free afternoon allowed for some leisure time. Some Sisters toured the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, others visited the monastery of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk, Nebraska, while others enjoyed some leisure in Yankton.