|I Am Who I'm Supposed to Be: |
Finding Peace as a Benedictine
Stefanie MacDonald, Dubuque, Iowa, completed her Canonical Novice Year this
summer, she took a major step along her path to becoming a professed
Benedictine Sister. In accordance with Church law, she had stayed close to the
monastery all year, studying the Rule, Benedictine spirituality and theology.
She had expanded and deepened her "unwavering focus on God." She had continued
with a spiritual formation program that will be foundational for her entire
Now in her second Novice year, Stefanie
has returned to her chosen ministry of teaching. We asked her how it's going as
a teacher and a woman religious, and she offered the following thoughts
very happy to be back in the classroom. I'm teaching preschoolers and they are
so sweet. One little boy calls himself my boyfriend!
schedule is a lot different than it was before I entered the Benedictine
community. Every morning I go to prayers before leaving for work. It's amazing
to have all these women telling me to have a good day as I leave. It's not just
me alone, turning off Good Morning America and locking the door. I have a family
I get to school, I am so much more relaxed and at peace than I ever was. I
always loved my profession, but never experienced peace like I do now. It took
me by surprise.
thing that took me by surprise is how much I look forward to going home. Back
when I lived alone, I would stay at school until 6 or 7 some nights to get my
work done for the next day. Why not? No one was waiting for me.
for the first time in my life, I go home as soon as I can. My first stop is the
chapel, where I spend quiet time with God and getting my head cleared out. The
Sisters welcome me home, ask me how my day was. After Vespers and supper I have
a whole crew to help me get my work done. We cut out pumpkins last week while
we were watching a movie, and turkeys are coming!
"I thought I had my life figured out. I loved
teaching, I was active in the church. But there was always something missing.
Now I feel complete. I feel whole. I am who I'm supposed to be, a teacher and a
monastic woman who is seeking God with this community. Finally, at the age of
39, it's come together."
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