Vocation Story of Sister Patricia Seipel, OSB
Associate Director, Keeler Women's Center
Listen...with the ear of your heart. So begins the Rule of St. Benedict, the Rule that I have come to know, love and treasure in these past twenty years. However, my listening began much earlier.
I met the Mount community through my first grade teacher, Sister Everetta. Throughout grade school at St. Gregory's in Maryville, Missouri, a school at that time staffed by our sisters, I experienced many Benedictine teachers. A particular 4th grade assignment,draw yourself as you think you will be when you grow up, showed me as a "Sister" teaching. Through the years that image kept coming back to me. I thought about many different careers and life choices, but the idea of joining a community never went away. During high school and college, the idea of being a religious Sister was not something I wanted to pursue. God, however, decided to pursue me. Summing up in a few brief sentences my decision to enter religious life does not account for the struggles involved in that decision. Continuing to hear God's call, at last I decided to take a risk and experience religious life. I told myself I would come for one year and see what it was like.
I have come to know and love our sisters and the monastic way of life. The rhythm of our day, the balance of prayer, work, and community are elements I have come to love and appreciate. It is not just something I thought of in 4th grade, but a call to recommit myself every day. I have found that this is where I can best seek and find God, love and serve God and the people of God, as well as be my best self. My ministry during these past twenty years in community has been one of teaching primary age children. Not only have I tried to help them to know of God's love and the presence of Jesus in their lives, but they have been tremendous blessing to me. So often I have found God revealed to me in one of these children.