Thursday, April 10, 2008

3osb - Three Houses, One Project

In the winter of 2004, the monastic communities of Bristow, VA, Ridgely, MD and Baltimore, MD met to discuss ways in which the three houses could share wisdom and resources. From this gathering, the Tri-Community Vocation Project was born. Since then, the Vocation Directors of Saint Benedict Monastery, Saint Gertrude Monastery and Emmanuel Monastery, have collaborated on a yearly advertising project - something no single community could do alone. By combining gifts, ideas and capital, the Tri-Community Vocation Project has sought to reach a new level of visibility for monastic life in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As part of this effort, one sister from each monastery was asked to represent her house in a professional photograph that would attempt to capture the joy of monastic life. This photo reached over 25,000 people per day in Washington, DC Metro System during the month of April 2006. This photo appeared again in The National Catholic Reporter in the winter 2007. Pictured from left to right are: Sister Veronica Joyner, OSB, (Bristow, VA), Sister Rosalie Desmond, OSB (Baltimore, MD), and Sister Colleen Quinlivan, OSB (Ridgely, MD). This year's campaign involves electronic advertising for each monastery on the VISION website. Ads will go live in September and remain on a rotation for one full year.

As part of this effort, I met with Sister Patricia Kirk, OSB, Vocation Director for the Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, from Tuesday evening until this morning. It was the first time the Tri-Community Vocation Project participants met without Sister Mary Paul (of Ridgely, MD.) Her absence was palpable – a sign of her unique gift to us as colleague and friend. Now, we are for a time, 2osb. We look forward to the day when we will be joined in this effort by a sister at St. Gertrude Monastery. This community remains in my daily prayers as the work of grieving and imagining a future without Sister Mary Paul continues.
I slide into home plate (Bristow) for an early morning budget meeting and soon I will be on my way to the convent in Richmond. Thinking about an afternoon “off”…feels possible and downright irresistible! I’m off… More tomorrow, dear ones!

Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki