Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Benedictine Appeal of These Places: Personal Witness

Many of the applications for Benedictine Heritage Tours this year included deeply felt appreciations of what is Benedictine about Saint John's and Saint Ben's. Here is a sample culled from the applications of seven faculty and staff members with their permission.

“The Abbey and staff that work here really are a community in every sense of the word. You see it in how everyone works together for a common purpose…I feel blessed to be a part of this community, and I strive to live by the Rule of Saint Benedict." Sandra Dirkes, Financial Aid

“Working alongside the Sisters of St. Benedict and members of the St. John’s Abbey has shown me how to be strong, patient and dedicated to the mission of the library and the college. Working with our faculty and staff has taught me to think outside of the box, learn and be willing to share.” Bonnie Kalla, Library

“One of the areas of advantage Saint John’s offers a young man is the Benedictine way of life as lived by the monks and witnessed by the students and employees. Another is the long reaching shadow of influence cast by the Abbey Church bell tower stretching around the globe.” Patrick Haws, Athletics

“The community at St. John’s was so supportive to me and my family... Even though I was not familiar with the Benedictine Values, they were being shared with me every day. I began to wonder where this sense of community came from. It made me want to learn about the history of this special place where I worked.” Laurie Birr, Information Technology Services

“I was awed and thoroughly and permanently influenced by my years of experiencing the Benedictine monastic music tradition. The richness, diversity and quality of sacred music that I experienced at these institutions has spoiled me for life.” Patricia Kent, Music

“Thoughtful, theological design is at the heart and soul of our physical environment at Saint John’s.” David Paul Lange, O.S.B., Art

"I have always appreciated how the Benedictines’ sense of time spans the centuries and how they are a part of a way of life that reaches back to the sixth century. As a lay member of this community, I know that I am changed by my interaction with the monastics and by my own efforts to communicate our common values. I recognize the practice of these values in the lives of the individuals whose stories I chronicle.” Glenda Burgeson, Communication and Marketing

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