"If less important business of the monastery is to be transacted, the prioress and abbot shall take counsel with the elders only, as it is written: 'Do nothing without counsel and you will not be sorry afterwards.' (Sirach 32:24)"
In chapter three of the Holy Rule, Saint Benedict encourages the prioress to surround herself with a small group of sisters willing to advise her on important matters. These "elders", or Council Members, support the prioress in her ministry by listening, advising and helping to bear the many burdens of the office.
The Monastery Norms of our Constitution require five members: two council members elected by the community to sit for a period of two years (with an additional term possible), and three members appointed by the prioress. Council members assist the prioress in implementing the community's four-year plan. They accept leadership of a Deanery and facillitate small-group sharing on various topics. They represent the community at major events. Whether appointed or elected, they exemplify the Benedictine values our community cherishes so deeply. It is no small honor or small responsibility to be on the prioress' Council.
This morning, I was asked to give a vocation report to the Council. (Sister Denise was asked to report on our Live-In Program.) It was very exciting to meet with them all around the great, square table in the Formation Room. I was a little nervous at first, but then, found myself in the rhythm of regular conversation with my sisters. After my report was given, I asked if they'd mind a few photos for the blog. They happily obliged.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki