The Covid-19 pandemic has caused most if not all Benedictine and other Religious Life conferences scheduled for this summer to move on-line via Zoom or other platforms. An unexpected benefit of this is that more of our Sisters have been able to attend given the lack of need for travel and accommodation expenses.
Over the past few days, Sisters from our community have participated in two different virtual conferences – the American Benedictine Academy (ABA) 2020 Convention and the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) 2020 Summer Institute. Nine of our Sisters were able to participate in the ABA Convention, with seven at the monastery and two at their mission sites in Birmingham. Simultaneously, four Sisters were able to participate in the NRVC Summer Institute. The content of both conferences was informative and stimulating, providing much fruit for continued conversation after the conference sessions were over.
Participation in these conferences has kept the monastery’s network connections busy and kept our technical skills sharp. In this picture, Sisters Magdalena, Karen Ann, Tonette, and Mary (l-r) view NRVC Summer Institute proceedings on a flatscreen TV set up in an Ottilia Hall parlor, with Sister Karen Ann operating the laptop computer connection. Simultaneously, other Sisters were gathered in the Retreat Center, participating in the ABA virtual convention through listening, participation in virtual breakout rooms, and active participation in chatbox dialogue with other participants.