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Sister Rosann Eckart

On any given day, my ministry in the maintenance department involves a variety of tasks. Each morning, after turning on the choir chapel and hall lights, I pick up the slips filled out by the Sisters requesting repairs. It’s also a daily task to haul the trash from the monastery buildings to the dumpster. Besides yard work, moving furniture, washing towels and rags used in cleaning the shop, cleaning the Just Bee Hermitage and taking care of Sophie, the black Labrador, I take my turn doing dishes after meals. In the evening, I check the doors to ensure the buildings are secure and turn out the lights.

Being Benedictine is integral to monastic life and ministry, because the vows help us be “free of worldly cares.” We have the community support at all times – in joy and sadness. We have daily community prayer, feeling that support as we chant the psalms as a group.

We know we can count on the community for support in whatever service we are asked to do. We know God is with us.

Sister Barbara Smith

My main ministry is working in the development office, helping process the day-to-day donations that come in, and sending out thank you letters to donors. In the fall, my duties include gathering donations for Night of Dreams, the monastery’s annual fundraiser, and helping with that event.

I also serve in Dooley Center, which is our 44-bed nursing facility for our sisters and family members, as a pastoral minister. 

Another part-time passion is working for Water With Blessings, a non-profit based in Louisville, Kentucky, that provides Sawyer water filters to Water Women and their families in 48 countries across the globe. As a partner coordinator, I work with people around the world who want to help provide these water filters to God’s thirsty children through the program WWB has developed. 

In my spare time, I love to work outside, gardening with my sister buddies and animal friends – Sophie, the black Labrador, Joey, Cleo and Tigger, the cats. I also have a year ‘round passion to grow microgreens indoors. These baby plants complement the salad bar enjoyed each day by more than 80 sisters. 

Our community and prayer life comes first as a Benedictine and our ministry flows out from those strengths. 

Being a Benedictine Sister is essential to the rhythm of my being day-to-day. Every day is different to some degree, however, the schedule for my monastic Benedictine prayer life and eating together as community is engraved in stone. There may be a few exceptions here and there but, for the most part, we Benedictines have a balanced lifestyle of prayer, work and leisure.

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