Meet Sister Phyllis Hunhoff
What excites me about the future of religious life?
Monastic living has always held an interesting mystique about it. Today more than ever, monasteries are regaining their special historic identity created by the great St. Benedict of Nursia (480–540). It has been a great privilege for me to have assisted many men and women of all faiths to our monastery’s associate program, the Benedictine Oblates. Seeing them cherish the many values such as prayer with the Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio for scripture and Labora, seeing God in all our daily work makes me most grateful for my own Benedictine life. These past several years I have had the opportunity to look seriously at Vocation Ministry. Whereas our monastery, like most religious communities, has some concern about our future, I have found richness in our monastery and the hope for our future in our own individual Sisters. As we looked at new approaches for a greater awareness of Sacred Heart Monastery, such as upgrading our website, increasing our annual retreats, linking to national organizations and utilizing social media, we needed to involve many of our Sisters. What a treasury of gold! They have taken on these new directions with great aplomb. We see some of our most influential and excited members of our monastery in their 60’s and 70’s. As an active, older adult, who formerly would have been considered in retirement, I am now able and joyfully share in the on-going and exciting vocation ministry. And as the aging demographics change, we are now welcoming mature, well educated women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. These women come with an excitement for our consecrated life and hope for the future. They welcome seeking God in prayer and service to the church through our Benedictine monastic life. We are here, dedicated to something bigger than ourselves, experiencing a deep hospitality for the whole world and extending our love of God to visitors, strangers and those in most need. We are welcoming women who dare to dream as I and my other Sisters have done.