Benedictine Peace Center: Meet the Staff
Let the Retreat Center Staff at the Benedictine Peace Center welcome you to a place of peace and prayer!
Sister Jeanne Ranek, OSB, spiritual director and retreat leader, has conducted an ecumenical ministry formation program for spiritual directors since 1990. She earned a PhD from the University of Notre Dame and a DMin from the Graduate Theological Foundation with studies at Oxford University. Jeanne is a member of Spiritual Directors International. She has served a President of the American Benedictine Academy, board member for Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, and Executive Director for the Association of Benedictine Retreat Centers. she is currently Director of the Peace Center and ministers to monastic communities in the U.S. and abroad as retreat leader, consultant and facilitator.
Sister Doris Oberembt, OSB, brings many years of experience as a spiritual formation minister to her work in the Peace Center. She taught at the elementary level and at Mount Marty College prior to serving 23 years in parish adult education and faith formation ministry. She earned an MA at the University of South Dakota and a Certificate in Corporate Ministry from St. Louis University. S. Doris has extensive experience in spiritual direction ministry. For 20+ years she was Formation Director at the Monastery, guiding new community members in vocation discernment and formation for monastic life. She currently serves as retreat leader, spiritual director and trainer at the Peace Center.
Sister Penny Bingham, OSB, comes to her role in the Peace Center with a background in teaching, assisting retired Sisters, ministering in rural parishes, and serving in community leadership as sub-prioress and prioress. These experiences have honed her skills of listening, helping people to discern, and offering reflections. She holds a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. John’s School of Theology — Seminary in Collegeville, MN.
Sister Mary Jo Polak OSB has been involved in retreats and spiritual direction for over 25 years. Rooted in a background in fine arts education and pastoral ministry, her training includes certificates in spiritual direction from The Shalem Institute and in monastic studies from St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN and Master’s degrees in both theological studies (St. Meinrad, IN) and guidance and counseling (University of Missouri-Kansas City). In 2010 she transferred to Sacred Heart Monastery from Our Lady of Peace Monastery in Columbia, MO, where she served the community in vocation and formation ministries and as prioress. She currently serves as Co-Director of the Association of Benedictine Retreat Centers.