Sister Jeannine Neavitt
What a journey this has been! I entered the Community in 1960, having just been a Catholic for two years. Although I had been raised in the Methodist Church with a deeply faith filled family, I had much to learn about the Catholic Church, and even more about community life at the Mount.
After my novitiate, I became a teacher in a Catholic elementary-junior high school for about 5 ½ years. The next 17 years were spent as a principal. I believe those students taught me more than I ever taught them. I was an assistant dean of students at Benedictine College in Atchison for 12 years, and assistant director of Sophia Spirituality Center for 9 years. I was privileged to minister at Keeler Women’s Center for 3 years, where we worked with women, providing programs and all kinds of support.
My whole life experience and heart has been expanded by those to whom I was fortunate to minister, as well as those who ministered to me as I went about my ministry.
I was blessed to serve on multiple boards and committees over the years, several in parish work, a number for our community, some with the Atchison community and school boards. Presently, I am on the board of directors for Benedictine College, and on the initial formation team here at our monastery.
The last 13 years, I have served as director of hospitality for overnight guests.
Our Benedictine daily prayer life washes over me and prepares me to minister with the confidence of God’s love and the assurance of my community support. St. Benedict tells us to “Listen with the ear of your heart.” One of our main charisms is “Hospitality”- to see Christ in all we meet. How appropriate for my present ministry. I learn so much from our guests, who are often so inspiring, faith filled, experts in some area and so gracious, along with being fun.
Strengthened by our community prayers, support, and striving to make Christ the center of our lives and director of all we do, our lives are enriched and deepened as we continue our journey. I could never have accomplished any of these goals to the same degree without being in a community like ours.
We must never forget how our students, participants in programs, presenters, Oblates, volunteers, friends, employees, those from multiple cultures, our guests and those we meet as we travel through life, enrich and gift our lives and continue to expand our vision and enlarge our hearts.
Being in a religious community of women helps each of us be more aware of our shortcomings, and supports us in growing who we are called to be in this life. What a true blessing that is to be pointed to the Heart of Christ in all we do. I am forever grateful for my community.