After a long process of prayer and discernment the monastic community has elected Sister Mary Forman as the 14th prioress of the Monastery of St. Gertrude.
The formal election took place Wednesday night, March 4th. Through a week-long process, the community reviewed their directions and goals then set about identifying who among them possessed the qualities to lead at this time. Contrary to typical elections, the group seeks “convergence and consensus” through a facilitated process of prayer, discussions and nominee presentations.
Sister Mary was formally installed on June 13th, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. She replaces Sister Clarissa Goeckner, who served as prioress for ten years, serving an initial term of six years and then a second term of four years.
Sister Clarissa said, “Good leadership activates the imagination of the community to find new possibilities, wider vision and renewed commitment. Sister Mary’s energy and passion for the Benedictine way of life will certainly activate our imaginations to find these new possibilities, wider vision and inspire us to a renewed commitment to prayer, justice and peacemaking. Sister Mary’s leadership is so right for us at this time.”
Sister Mary grew up in Boise, Idaho, where she was employed as a pharmacist after graduating from Idaho State University in 1970. Before entering the Monastery in 1973, and afterward, she continued her work as a pharmacist. She also taught release time classes and served in various parishes as a youth minister, pastoral associate, DRE and as retreat minister at the Monastery.
Sister Mary’s interest in monastic studies has guided much of her work, beginning with teaching Latin at the Center for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. She was a councilor for the Federation of St. Gertrude and the past president and board member of the American Benedictine Academy.
She has been an Associate Professor in Monastic Studies at the School of Theology, Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. She also taught at the College of St. Benedict. “I am looking forward to this new adventure with the community as we explore how our future will unfold. I see this time as a grace-filled opportunity for the community for us to deepen our Benedictine charism and the unfolding of our vision and mission. I trust that the support and prayers of our employees, oblates and partners in ministry will carry us forward.”