The annual meeting of the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses (CBP) was held in Yankton, South Dakota, beginning January 28 through February 4, 2020. Sister Mary Forman, prioress of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, was one of forty-four participants in attendance. Besides the United States, Benedictine sisters came from the Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico. The purpose of the conference 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.
The theme of the meeting, hosted by the Yankton Benedictine Sisters, Sacred Heart Monastery, was “Called to Serve: Pray, Listen, Lead.” At the business meeting, Sister Aileen Bankemper was elected chair of the organization for a three-year term and Sisters Anita Louise Lowe and Susan Rudolph were elected to a term on the CBP Coordinating Committee. They will serve along with Sisters Rosann Ocken and Maribeth Wentzlaff.
“Each year the prioresses and presidents meet to further the work of the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses. In the midst of this work, we take time for retreat,” explained outgoing CBP Chair Sister Jennifer Mechtild Horner OSB, of Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana. This year’s retreat was led by Sister Michaela Hedican OSB of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, who challenged sisters to practice leadership through the lens of the Beatitudes.
On their free afternoon, 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.