Bristow Bulletin – Newsletter of the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia
We invite you to learn more about us and our work by reading our Summer Newsletter, the Bristow Bulletin.
Year of Consecrated Life
As part of the different initiatives to raise awareness about religious life during this Year of Consecrated Life, the Catholic Herald visited Saint Benedict Monastery to get to know us and our life. Click here to watch the video.
Sister Cecilia Dwyer, O. S B. Re-elected Prioress at Bristow Monastery
In the monastic tradition, the prioress is the leader of the community and she will have a monastic council of five community members as advisers. Read the full story here.
The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia are committed to care of the earth, of all God’s creation. The long-standing Vision Statement of the sisters states that “monastic stewardship” is the corporate witness of the community. The Vision Statement reads as follows:
Because the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia believe in the sacredness of all creation, we claim monastic stewardship as our corporate witness.
As a community of monastic women with a contemplative vision, we are “impelled to preserve, cherish, and nurture all that is touched by the Creator’s hand.” —Of All Good Gifts
Out of our sense of reverence, hospitality, and responsibility, we commit ourselves in a spirit of peace to conserving, using, and sharing our gifts, resources, and heritage.
A foundation of this statement and of the sisters’ belief-system and actions is that we believe in the “sacredness of all creation.” This expansive statement includes all peoples, all of the biosphere. While the expansiveness of our beliefs is foundational, our vow of Stability gives special impetus to us, as the slogan “think globally, act locally” expresses.
Benedictines are a people of place. We are aware that our “green” behaviors affect more than just us, that their effects are important for the local area – and beyond. We have in place as part of our long-range plan a 2014-2015 objective that motivates us to examine our practices and purchases, not only to make decisions in the here-and-now that are ecologically sound, but to establish policies that will affect the future. We want our every action to promote the health and vitality of our monastery, our grounds, and the environment surrounding us.
As we contemplate the building of a new monastery building we will make every effort to “build green”. As our environmental consciousness expands and grows we pray we will make decisions that are good for us and for our neighbor, now and into the future.
Embracing a life of contemplative prayer and merciful works, we, the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, warmly share our Benedictine Charism with all who seek peace through understanding and a deepening spirituality.
Daily life in the monastery is comprised of communal prayer, meaningful ministry and the sharing of our common life. Praying the psalms, or the Liturgy of the Hours, at morning, midday and evening, we bring the needs of our world to the timeless praise of God.
Common meals, household chores, and holy leisure round out the monastic life. Essentially, we are sanctified by the daily – by seeking God in the everyday moments of life lived simply with gratitude and joy.
Our ministries focus upon helping our most vulnerable populations become self-sufficient and productive:
- Transitional Housing BARN, a program for homeless mothers and their children
- BEACON, an adult literacy program focused on helping low-income immigrants learn English
- Benedictine Pastoral Center offers workshops and spiritual direction to help individuals deepen their personal relationships with God
- Benedictine Counseling Services, located in Richmond, provides mental health therapy, including grief and bereavement counseling and workshops, EMDR therapy, couples therapy, as well as, end of life therapy
Our two schools – Saint Gertrude High School in Richmond and Linton Hall School, elementary and pre-school in Bristow – celebrated 92 years of education rich in Benedictine tradition and continue to promote a balance of spiritual, academic and personal exploration that enriches the lives of students, parents, faculty and staff.
The logo of the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia was designed for the 125th anniversary of the community’s founding in 1868. It is based on the medal of Saint Benedict which is common to the Benedictine Order throughout the world. In the angles formed by the arms of the Cross are the letters C.S.P.B. which signify Cross of Holy Father Benedict.