Benedictine friends invite men, women to vocations experiences

They share a Benedictine way of life and a longtime friendship, and now Sister Bobbi Bussan, OSB, of St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, and Father Ronald Margherio, OSB, of St. Bede Abbey and Academy in Peru, are collaborating on four days of discernment for adults.

“A Sun-Day of Reflection” for single Catholic men and women between the ages of 30 and 45 will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Mary Monastery, 2200 88th Ave. West, on Sept. 21 and Nov. 16, and at St. Bede Abbey, 24 W. U.S. Highway 6, on Oct. 26 and Dec. 14. Open to both men and women, each session will include opportunities for Benedictine prayer and conversation about the priesthood and consecrated life.

Participants are also welcome to join the Benedictine communities for Mass.

The theme for the days of discernment comes from Samuel’s response when he heard God calling him in the night: “Speak, Lord, I’m Listening.”

“God is calling all of us to something,” but it’s up to each person to figure out what that vocation in life is, according to Father Ronald, who is the chaplain at St. Bede Academy as well as the vocation director for St. Bede Abbey.

They may be great teachers or architects or engineers, but perhaps God is calling them to something more, he explained. These discernment days are designed to help men and women reflect on that call in a non-threatening and supportive way, Father Ronald said.

While people may have entered religious life at younger ages in the past, Sister Bobbi noted that in the last year she has had contact with five women who range in age from 35 into their 50s.

“I’m always looking for ways to connect with women in their late 20s to early 40s,” said Sister Bobbi, who is vocation director for the Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Mary Monastery.

“I see this as an opportunity — one more way to reach people in that age group, one more way for them to have an experience of Benedictine life and give them some tips in discerning their vocation,” she said.

There is no charge to attend the days of discernment, but those who are interested are encouraged to let Sister Bobbi or Father Ronald know they are coming and get more details.

Contact Sister Bobbi by e-mail at or by phone at (309) 283-2200.

Contact Father Ronald by e-mail at or by phone at (815) 223-3140, ext. 238.

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