The Northern Cross
In a simple ceremony during evening prayer on Nov. 20 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Scholastica Monastery, novice Sister Kathleen Del Monte presented her request and was accepted to make first monastic profession for a period of three years.
The ceremony begins with the novice processing down the center aisle with the community members standing on both sides to welcome her.
After an opening hymn, a reading from the Holy Rule of St. Benedict and the psalms of evening prayer, the novice was called forward by the prioress and asked what it was she was seeking. Coming before the altar, Sister Kathleen read from her handwritten document the promises of stability, obedience and fidelity to the monastic way of life she was making for a three-year period as she requested to become a vowed member of the community.
After a prayer for God’s grace upon her, the request was accepted and the document signed at the altar by Sister Kathleen, Prioress Sister Beverly Raway and two witnesses, Sister Claudia Cherro and Sister Luella Wegscheid.
Sister Kathleen was then given the official Benedictine pin, a Benedictine cross and the community and federation documents she would be studying during the next three years, and she was entrusted to the guidance of Sister Donna Schroeder, director of the women in first monastic profession.
The community then raised their hands in blessing as they promised to support her by their prayers, love and example, welcoming her as a professed member of St. Scholastica Monastery.
Sister Kathleen, originally from New York and more recently from Tallahassee, Florida, entered St.Scholastica Monastery as an affiliate in December 2011, a postulant in 2012 and a novice in 2013.
She holds a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology. In addition to classes and duties at the monastery, she assists with mission integration at the College of St. Scholastica.