Dear friend of the Monastery,


The exhibit on the Benedictine sisters is the first to be remodeled. Expected completion is May 2016.

Like many Benedictine monasteries throughout history, our monastery is serving to preserve a cultural heritage as well as a spiritual one. We are preserving the past for the future through our Historical Museum that is engaged in carefully curating artifacts and faithfully interpreting the stories they represent.

Thousands of guests visit each year to learn about the rich heritage of our Benedictine community and surrounding areas. The Historical Museum is also the recipient of the state’s highest museum award, the Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award for Outstanding Service — named for the Museum’s founder who also became a celebrated Idaho historian.

We have launched a five-year plan to extensively remodel interpretive displays to better share the stories of the sisters and offer an improved educational and cultural experience. Please consider supporting this project.

The Monastery of St. Gertrude was founded by creative, courageous, pioneering women ministering to the needs of the times. Three sisters missioned from Sarnen, Switzerland arrived in the Northwest in 1882 and they began to establish schools. The motherhouse was founded in Cottonwood, Idaho in 1909 and soon healthcare became an important ministry. While we have achieved an extensive collection of artifacts, we recognize that the interpretative displays could do a much better job of sharing these important stories. Our goal is to revamp all museum exhibits to more effectively encourage inspiration, learning, reflection, and interpretation. The project collaboration team includes former Idaho State Historian Keith Petersen, interpretive specialists Mary Reed and Mary Jahn, interior designer Amber Harris, and an on-site team.

The Historical Museum has already received $8,500 in grants for the support of this project. We have a goal of raising $20,000 to complete the exhibit remodel and hope you will help us toward our goal.

This project will only encourage us to continue in the direction of making connections, linking the present with the past and developing understanding. Through the ministry of our Historical Museum we and our visitors are made more aware of and are grateful for the accomplishments and lives of our ancestors.

With gratitude for your support,

Prioress Sister Mary Forman, OSB






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